On its first day with a two-U name, Utah Valley University officials cut a ribbon to open the new library and celebrated the school's accomplishments over the past year.
Hundreds of students and university and community leaders gathered on the shaded west side of the new library for the standing-room-only ceremony, where master of ceremonies UVU President William Sederburg slipped and called the school UVSC -- but only once.
"We're all Wolverines today and I salute you on this great accomplishment," said U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah.
The new Digital Learning Center, which doesn't have a formal name for lack of a naming donor, was dedicated by Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Pastor Scott McKinney of the Christ Evangelical Church offered an opening prayer at the ceremony.
"Bless all the students who come here," Monson said in his dedicatory prayer. "May all truly gain the knowledge they seek as they come to Utah Valley University."
Monson generated a lot of attention from those who wanted to meet him. He was thronged before the ceremony and at a luncheon after. Members of UVU's student government sneaked into the luncheon to snap a picture with him.
Sederburg said Monson has been a friend of the university for a long time.
"You are a true Wolverine," Sederburg said.
Before Monson spoke, he walked over to 91-year-old Wilson Sorensen, former president of the institution, shook his hand and placed his white UVU baseball cap back on his head.
As a member of the board of regents, Monson was at the 1975 groundbreaking for the Orem campus. At that groundbreaking, Monson said everyone was assembled and ready to go -- including the governor -- except Sorensen, who rode up on a horse, hitched it to the bleachers and went on with the ceremony. Sorensen said he rode the horse because the school had a rodeo team.
Monson, who grew up spending summers in Provo Canyon, said visiting the UVU campus "was like coming home to me."
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he was proud to see the school reach the university milestone.
"To finally make it a university it just gives it that much prestige and power," Hatch said. "This great university is going to be one of the great pillars of our education community."
Former school president Kerry Romesburg lauded the new library facility as a symbol of how far the university had come and where it was headed.
"This is a symbol of university status," Romesburg said standing in the first floor lobby of the building. It was during his tenure as president that the old library was built.
"We were so proud of it then," Romesburg said.
UVU library director Mike Freeman has said he is not disappointed to see the old facility turned into something else.
Among the lawmakers at the ceremony was U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, who recently lost the Republican primary to Jason Chaffetz, a member of UVU's board of trustees.
When Sederburg joked that Cannon was now free, Cannon reminded him that he will work for money.
"I'm not free. I'm very expensive if anyone is willing to make any offers," Cannon said. "I'm sure everyone here voted for me. ... We have more people here than voted."
• Brittani Lusk can be reached at 344-2549 or at email@example.com.
To read more about UVU's transition go to the UVUphoria Special Section.