OREM — Country stars Collin Raye, Josh Gracin and Joe Nichols will headline Utah Valley State College's university-status celebration at 7 p.m. June 30 at the Brent Brown Ballpark on campus.

Raye is a well-known name for country fans; Gracin started out on "American Idol"; and Nichols has had some recent hit songs.

The school's two-day "UVU-phoria" event, June 30 and July 1, will include tours of the new library, a dance, concert, fireworks and other festivities as the college officially becomes a university.

The concert, which will be the culminating event of the evening of June 30, will also feature Johnny B as emcee and will open with the "UVU's Got Talent" finalists. At approximately 10 p.m., a fireworks show will close the concert.

The school opted for country because "our primary objective was to make a good family show," said Val Hale, vice president for advancement at UVSC and chairman of the UVU-phoria committee.

A rock concert targeting UVSC students is in April and will feature five bands, Hale said. "That is especially for the students," he said.

Hale said UVSC worked with the country music station K-Bull 93 in contracting the big-name entertainers.

Festivities kick off June 30 with an Orem Owlz day game at 11:30 a.m. at the Brent Brown Ballpark. From 1 to 6:30 p.m., the public will have its first opportunity to tour the new 190,000-square-foot library.

A UVU Family Fun Fest will start at 5 p.m. at Pace Park, just south of the McKay Events Center, with local vendors, food, entertainment, booths, face painting and balloon art.

A dance in the Grande Ballroom will feature a countdown to UVU when the clock strikes midnight.

Tickets for the concert, which is sponsored by K-Bull 93, will go on sale to the public Friday, March 28, and are $9.33 for adults, $5 for children. Package deals for both the concert and Owlz baseball game will be available for $15. A presale will begin today for all Utah Valley University students, alumni and employees for $5 per ticket (Owlz game/concert package for $10). Tickets can be purchased at the McKay Events Center, 801-863-SHOW (7469) or 1-888-844-7469, www.mckayeventscenter.com and at all Smith'sTix outlets. Officials estimate the capacity of Brent Brown Ballpark to be 15,000, so seating will be limited.

Dubbed one of the "hit makers" of the early 1990s, five of Raye's albums have gone platinum. He's also had 25 Top Ten hits, 15 No. 1 smashes and 12 chart-topping videos. Gracin first caught the nation's attention during the second season of "American Idol." Gracin is one of only two new country artists in recent times to release a debut album with three top-five country hits (including the No. 1 hit "Nothin' to Lose"). Nichols, a 30-year-old native of Rogers, Ark., is well-known for his 2005 hit, "I'll Wait for You." His new album, "Real Things," features the hit single, "It Ain't No Crime."

"We are excited about becoming a university July 1," Hale said. "And we are thrilled to share our excitement with the community. This will be an evening that not only celebrates UVSC becoming UVU but will hopefully be an event that brings our community together in a way that only a new university can. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

For more information, visit resource.uvsc.edu/uvuphoria or click on links from www.uvsc.edu or www.uvu.edu.

Tuesday, July 1, will formally mark Utah Valley University's first official day of operation. The grand opening and ribbon cutting for the new library will take place that morning. UVSC's Wasatch Campus located in Heber City will also hold a celebration the evening of Monday, June 23.


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