OREM Utah Valley State College accepted Friday a $20 million donation to its business school the largest gift the soon-to-be university has received to date.
Family members within the Woodbury Corp. will pay the sum from the estate of Wallace Woodbury, who founded the company, over the course of 10 years.
The donation, the largest ever made by the corporation to one facility or project, was made with hopes of putting the Woodbury School of Business "on the map," said W. Richard Woodbury, president of the corporation.
"We have a vision that Utah Valley University will have a business school and be a university that is equivalent or better than any other university," he said. "We hope this donation will help make it superior."
Details of how the money will be spent have not been finalized, but Woodbury said there has been talk of establishing new programs for students, such as a master's in business administration degree. Attention will also be paid to attracting high-caliber faculty and administrators for the school, now named after the Woodbury family.
"This moves us into the major leagues," said UVSC President William Sederburg. "It gives us flexible money to be used within the business school."
The donation comes on the heels of the school earning accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), making it one of 42 undergraduate-only schools in the nation to have such status.
"This is going to provide an opportunity that we haven't had in the past an opportunity to start new ventures, build new programs and stay on the forefront of business education," said Stanley Jenne, dean of UVSC's School of Business.
The Woodbury name, he said, "stands for integrity, success and giving back to the community," ideals he hopes will be instilled in students who participate in programs at UVSC, which will become a university this summer.
Various lawmakers and members of the Board of Regents were in attendance, as well as President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a longtime friend of the Woodburys, President Monson said they are good people, "obviously doing good things with their money."
"He who gives money gives much, but he who gives self gives all," he said. "And the Woodburys have given both."
President Monson, who was a member of the state Board of Regents when ground was broken for UVSC, said the institution has "made strides" since it began.
The Woodbury family has played a large role in the development of Utah County, and Woodbury said Friday he believes giving to UVSC is a way of giving back to a community that has done so much for them in their success.
"Institutions need money, and UVSC has done amazingly well with scarce financial resources," he said. "The school can no longer fulfill the needs of the growing population, and the residents of Utah Valley deserve an institute of higher learning."The Salt Lake City commercial real estate company has supported UVSC in smaller ways since it was a technical college and has contributed significant funds to UVSC through the years for scholarships.