Utah History Encyclopedia

(now Utah Valley University)

By Dennis Farnsworth

For over fifty years, Utah Valley Community College (UVCC) has been fulfilling the educational needs of the area. In recent years, UVCC has experienced rapid growth and expansion of its role in the community. In the past, the college was strictly a trades school; however, a stronger education program has emerged to meet the needs of the community.

Through the years, the school has experienced several name changes. In 1930s, The Central Utah Vocational School was created to help during the depression years and to meet the World War II production needs. The name was changed to Utah Trade Technical Institute in 1963, and again in 1967 to Utah Technical College at Provo.

The college soon outgrew the Provo campus, and expansion was inevitable. A 185-acre site was located in southwest Orem. The new campus, dedicated in 1977, includes building for automotive trades and business education, a trades building, a student center, a learning resource center, an environmental technology building, an activity center, an administration/health technology building and a science building. In July 1982 the Utah State Board of Regents designated the school as a comprehensive community college charged to retain the vocational/technical emphasis.

Four men have served as president of the institution through the 1980s: Hyrum Johnson, Wilson w. Sorensen, Marvin J. Higbee, and Kerry D. Romesburg. Each brought valuable expertise and a willingness to serve and guide the college through growing years.

In 1987 the Utah State Legislature approved the renaming of the institution to Utah Valley Community College. This name change came as the college surpassed the 7,000 students enrollment mark. The emphasis of the college remains vocational education. Students completing programs may be awarded one- or two-year certificates, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Science or Associate of Arts degrees, as well as complete transfer curricula for most baccalaureate programs.