Wednesday, July 2, 2008
[School News] The hustle and bustle of Utah Valley State College becoming a big-time university was finally put to bed with the ribbon cutting on the new library along with a resounding sigh.
The climactic morning of the first official day of gloating university status was scheduled with numerous speeches from state dignitaries, including both senators, and all members of congress. (Including a surprise appearance from Chris Cannon. Bill Sederburg, president of UVU, made a joke that Cannon wasn't originally slated as a guest, but now has much more free time since losing the republican primary. Cannon bitched about how there were more people in the audience than had voted, but sarcastically said he knew all of the audience voted for him. His really awkward speech made for the most entertaining of the day, so thanks Chris!)
The crowd of UVU employees, students and community members was larger than expected. The UVU Review scooped the story to announce that Thomas S. Monson would be giving the dedicatory prayer for the newest building on campus. Once word was out that the LDS prophet was going to be there, or anywhere for that matter, crowds flocked to get a glimpse of the man. The ribbon cutting on the library was no different. Monson reflected on experiences from when he was working on the state board of regents during the time of the Orem campus' groundbreaking many years ago and the nice coincidence that he was there to share in the event university status.
In collaboration with the opening of the $48 million library, Monson offered a dedicatory prayer while also blessing the school and the students in their pursuits of learning. During the prayer, a few outbursts of “Separation of church and state!” along with rebuttals of, “Have some respect!” interrupted the silence of the head bowed audience. Insisting that the school is an institution of higher education, the dissenting crowd member silenced and went on their way.
Cynical, and sometimes painfully critical of these school events, the challenge of the dedication prayer was, in my opinion, bound to happen due to the sheer principle of it taking place on a state funded college campus. To attain that ever-so important appearance of political correctness the ceremony was opened with a prayer by Scott McKinney, an evangelical pastor. But I don't know how many people came to see him. (Jennie Nicholls)