UVU unveils public policy institute, announce VP Pence as guest speaker
It was a big day in Orem. Not just for now, but for the future. Utah Valley University celebrated the unveiling of the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy Thursday with a host of luminaries and a special announcement.
The Herbert Institute is located on the second floor of the Fugal Gateway Building on the UVU Orem campus — what is now called Herbert Hall. The purpose of the institute is to develop future policy leaders, gather the community, and build trust in civic institutions.
“This is a significantly important occasion for Jeanette and I and our family,” former Gov. Herbert said. “I’d like to think it’s an important occasion for Utah Valley University, for Utah Valley, and the county… and for the opportunity that Utah has to excel in our institution of higher learning and set the example for the rest of the country.
UVU President Astrid Tuminez, Gov. Spencer Cox, and Sen. Mike Lee were among those in attendance to pay tribute to the former governor for his decades of public service starting with his time on the Utah County Commission.
In addition to celebrating the institute, Herbert announced that former Vice President Mike Pence will come and speak at the university next month. Pence will speak in the Concert Hall at the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. as part of UVU’s Fall Forum on Sept. 20.
“Prior to his time as vice president, Mike Pence was the governor of Indiana. We served together, and he is a dear friend of mine. I’m grateful he accepted the invitation to visit UVU,” Herbert said. “Mike Pence is an example of courageous leadership. We are honored that he would take time out of this busy schedule to visit Utah and speak to the students of UVU.”
Students, faculty, and community members are invited to attend. Tickets for this event are $5 for the general public and free for students.
According to Tuminez, the idea for the Herbert institute first sparked when she and Herbert met in 2018 and spoke at a high school together in Moab.
“Not only does he dream, but he is able to realize those dreams and have a vision, and make them come true,” Tuminez said. “In 2018, UVU did not have an institute for public policy. Not anymore, this is what we are celebrating and heralding today.”
At the unveiling, $1 million was donated to the institute — $500,000 in a gift from America First Credit Union and $500,000 in a grant from the Larry H. And Gail Miller Family Foundation. The donations will be used to support interns from the Herbert Institute in Washington D.C. According to Herbert, the institute has raised a total of $5 million in the past year.
“Still more work to do, but we’re on the right road going in the right direction,” Herbert said.
More information on Pence’s visit or to purchase tickets can be found at https://uvu.edu/herbertinstitute/pence/index.html. Students can use their UVID as a discount code at checkout.