OREM President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offered a dedicatory prayer Tuesday at the newly named Utah Valley University.
As he took the pulpit at the university celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony, President Monson recalled the last time he participated in a ceremony on campus.
Thirty-three years ago, he said, he watched at the school's first president, Wilson Sorenson, turned the soil, marking the start of construction on the Orem campus.
"I've been to a lot of dedications here and there," he said, with a half smile. "Never one quite like this first groundbreaking, though."
Sorenson was tardy, and rode in on a horse at the last second. He hitched the horse to the bleachers that had been set up for the ceremony and grabbed the shovel, President Monson said.
"I call him a pioneer," he said. Sorenson and others who worked to bring the valley's humble vocational school up to university standards "have shown us the way to follow."
In the dedicatory prayer, President Monson blessed the university's professors that they will "teach with goodness and integrity."
"Bless the students who come here that they might recognize the privilege they have to study and learn," he said.
He asked that the campus be protected from both man and nature.
"I invoke a blessing upon these facilities," he said, bowing his head in prayer. "May all truly gain the knowledge they seek as they come to Utah Valley University.Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert and Sens. Orrin Hatch and Senator Bob Bennett, both R-Utah, also spoke at the ceremony, along with several other local politicians.