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What’s New at the U: Everything

PAC-12 Day 2

Whether you are stepping foot on the U’s 1,500 acre campus for the very first time or returning to campus to teach for your fifth decade (like Larry DeVries in mechanical engineering), you are coming to a whole new U.

Pac-12 Day at the Utah State Capitol

The buzz on campus has been building all summer, and here are some highlights of what’s new in 2011-‘12:

Photo by Nathan Sweet Photography

It won’t have escaped your attention that the U is now in the company of eleven other elite schools in the West – the Pac-12 conference. The U is in a whole “different neighborhood,” and the dramatic increase in exposure that will continue to follow our move matters—for academic reputation as well as athletic affiliation.  Read how in Dean David Rudd’s piece here.

“Free” might also get your attention.  New this year is free art on campus. Your student UCard is now your ticket to all College of Fine Arts events. That includes film, dance, concerts, theater and more. Expand your horizons and take advantage of the breadth of artistic talent that resides on and visits our campus.

You will likely notice that the U’s skyline is changing. The brilliant new Natural History Museum of Utah is ready to open later this fall. There is more room for exhibits and in a breathtaking new space you’ll have to see to grasp.

The new James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building—an interdisciplinary research facility that includes among many innovations, a nanofabrication facility—is an emerging star (as in, USTAR) on the north side of campus. And on the other side of campus, Phase I of the business school expansion is also nearing completion.  Those two buildings bookend the connections among science, technology and entrepreneurship that have put the U in the number one spot nationally for startup companies.

Yes, the U is growing, but in intentionally sustainable ways. Things you’ll notice right away:  campus-garden-grown offerings at the Farmer’s Market (Thursdays until October), a solar power project growing like ivy on the south wall of OSH, an expanding recycling effort across campus and bike repair stands popping up to help support riding. You can also now use mass-transit like never before, with two new east-west TRAX lines open that head right to the U, one more reason to leave the car keys home. Learn more about your Sustainable U here.

The welcome mat is rolled out in a new way for our students who are also military veterans. Vets now have a dedicated space (161 Union) to gather, talk, get information and assistance, to study or just relax.  Roger Perkins, a veteran himself, is director of the center.

If the majesty of the mountains and the ever-changing desert sky were not inspiration enough to bring your work to life here, all students can explore the “Office of Inspiration,” officially known as My U Signature Experience (MUSE).  Visit the office in room 1750B in Marriott Library or online at to learn more about the educational opportunities that abound for you.

This is just the short list.

To find out more, you won’t want to miss Plazafest on August 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the plaza to the west of  the Union Building. Organizations and services from all over campus will gather to provide information about opportunities to make your time at the U extraordinary.

Welcome — for the first or umpteenth time — and have a great year in the great new neighborhood.


  • one big switch

    This sounds fantastic