Wednesday marked the inauguration of Utah Valley University's newest president, Astrid Tuminez, who was selected after the departure of former president Matthew Holland, who is now serving as the president of the North Carolina Raleigh Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Technically, Holland was the only president of UVU before Tuminez, but as the university has undergone numerous name changes, so has it seen several presidents.
Here’s a few facts about the past presidents of UVU.
Matthew Holland (2009-2017)
Holland was technically the first president of UVU, or at least this iteration of UVU as a four-year university.
Holland was born and raised in Utah County, the son of Jeffrey R. Holland, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Holland's wife, Paige, also grew up in Provo, and the two are parents to four children.
Holland earned an Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America and a PhD in political science from Duke University.
Elizabeth J. Hitch (2008 - 2009)
Elizabeth J. Hitch was the interim president of UVU in between William A. Sederburg’s presidency and Holland’s tenure.
Hitch was a professor at the University of Wisconsin before coming to Utah and earned a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Michigan.
Hitch currently serves as the associate commissioner for academic and student affairs for the Utah System of Higher Education.
William A. Sederburg (2003 - 2008)
William A. Sederburg was born in Nebraska and raised in Minnesota. Before he was president of Utah Valley State College, Sederburg was president of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Sederburg was instrumental in transitioning Utah Valley State College into Utah Valley University.
After he left UVU in Holland’s and Hitch’s hands, he was the commissioner of Higher Education for the state. He then retired in 2011, but in 2014, he was named the interim chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Lucille Stoddard (1987 - 1988, 2002 - 2003)
Lucille Stoddard was the interim president twice and worked with UVSC for more than 30 years. She had just about every title possible, including academic vice president and dean of the business school.
Her husband, Frank Ferguson, is one of the architects behind the original Orem campus design.
Stoddard conducted a highly influential study that led to the creation of Utah’s K-16 Alliance. It partners elementary and secondary education providers with higher education to make the post-graduate transition more successful.
Kerry D. Romesburg (1988 - 2002)
Kerry D. Romesburg was the man behind the change from a two-year community college to a four-year state college. Enrollment more than doubled by doing that, from 8,700 to 20,000 students.
Romesburg has been the president of Jacksonville University since July 2004 and was a graduate of Arizona State University, earning a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate all from ASU.
J. Marvin Higbee (1982 - 1987)
J. Marvin Higbee didn’t serve too long a time as the president of the college, but he did help the school’s difficult transition from Utah Technical Institute to Utah Valley Community College.
Higbee was inducted into UVU’s hall of fame in 2008 and is recognized for hiring the school’s first full-time athletic director, Mike Jacobsen.
Higbee went on to be the corporate director of education marketing and sales at Novell after leaving the school.
Wilson W. Sorensen (1946 – 1982)
The namesake of the Sorensen Student Center, Wilson W. Sorensen was the president of the school, which had three separate names under his presidency, for 36 years. He was often described as a visionary, responsible for UVU’s current state and status.
Sorensen pushed strongly for the institution to remain a vocational college, and strongly opposed the closing of the school’s heavy equipment, welding and machinery programs. But many of his colleagues and other university presidents disagreed with him. He eventually conceded and allowed the multiple changes to the identity of the school.
Hyrum E. Johnson (1941 – 1946)
Hyrum Johnson taught industrial arts classes in Spanish Fork and Pleasant Grove. He was a highly respected craftsman and because of that, was sought after to be the first director of what was then Central Utah Vocational School.
During World War II, skilled craftsmen were a commodity, and Johnson trained some of the best through the school. The school was originally in Provo.