OREM, Utah (ABC4) – A new engineering building is coming to Utah Valley University thanks to a hefty donation from two co-founders of the sofware company, Qualtrics.
Scott M. Smith and Karen Smith donated a $25 million gift to help fund UVU’s planned engineering building. The addition of this building comes in response to the state’s need for higher education to increase the number of engineers and computer scientists in Utah’s workforce, a press release says.
Last year, Utah universities together produced more than 3,000 engineers and computer scientists, but there remained approximately 4,000 unfulfilled positions across Utah’s workforce.
“Karen and I are delighted to support UVU and its students in this way,” Scott Smith said. “Utah County is a special place for us. Our families settled Utah County in pioneer days, our children were raised here, and we started Qualtrics in our home in Provo. We want to give back in a way that will make an impact, honor my profession, and make Utah County a better place to live. We found the perfect match with UVU.”
According to a press release, this donation will help jump-start the private fundraising campaign to raise the $40 million needed to start construction on the 180,000 square foot, five-story building that will be located on UVU’s Orem Campus.
The new building will be named the Scott M. Smith Engineering and Technology Building and the name of the college will be changed to the Smith College of Engineering and Technology.
“Utah Valley University is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year,” said Astrid S. Tuminez, president of Utah Valley University. “We honor those who sacrificed and worked hard to bring us to this point. We now celebrate Scott and Karen Smith and their visionary gift, which will lay the foundation for UVU’s next 80 years. Their generosity will benefit thousands of students — many yet to be born. They will change peoples’ lives and help fill a critical need to increase the number of engineers in Utah now and in the future.”