EDUCATION

Qualtrics co-founder donates $25 million to UVU for new engineering building  

Oct 27, 2021, 4:25 PM
An artist rendering of the planned Scott M. Smith Engineering and Technology Building at UVU. (Used...
An artist rendering of the planned Scott M. Smith Engineering and Technology Building at UVU. (Used by permission Utah Valley University)
(Used by permission Utah Valley University)

OREM, Utah – Utah Valley University announced that Scott Smith, the co-founder of Qualtrics, and his wife Karen will donate $25 million to the construction of a new engineering facility to be built on the UVU campus. 

A news release said the building will be named the Scott M. Smith Engineering and Technology Building. The college will be renamed the Smith College of Engineering and Technology. 

The Smiths said they were looking for a way to give back in a way that celebrates their profession. 

“Karen and I are delighted to support UVU and its students in this way,” said Scott Smith in a statement. “Utah County is a special place for us. Our families settled in Utah County in pioneer days, our children were raised here, and we started Qualtrics in our home in Provo. We found the perfect match with UVU.” 

“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.” 

The news release said the donation creates a solid base for a campaign to raise $40 million dollars for construction on the planned 180,000 square foot building. The university is asking the state legislature to kick in other funding for the five-story structure. 

With more than 5,000 students enrolled at UVU’s College of Engineering and Technology, the university said it’s getting more difficult to find adequate space. Hallways are now being used for student and faculty meeting spaces. 

As enrollment numbers grow the new building will bring more room for labs, classrooms, and office space on campus. 

The donation comes at a time when the state is seeing unprecedented demand for engineers and computer scientists. UVU said last year universities in the state graduated more than 3,000 engineers but another 4,000 were needed to fill open positions statewide. 

Scott Smith co-founded Qualtrics along with his sons Ryan and Jared in 2002. 

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Qualtrics co-founder donates $25 million to UVU for new engineering building