This archived article was written by: Josie Luke
The College of Eastern Utah celebrates its 65th Anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 8. The day’s events include the dedication of the new G.J. Reeves Building, the naming of the Jennifer Leavitt College Center, and the installation of President Ryan Thomas as the college’s ninth president.
The first classes at CEU began the first week of October 1938 with the buildings serving as both the high school and the college and continued for the next 22 years.
According to Brad King, vice-president of institutional advancement and auxiliaries, some of the original students in the school’s first classes will be coming for the celebration and they have received replies from different parts of the country regarding many attending the celebration.
He wasn’t sure how many people would attend all of the activities, but said that 300-400 people could attend the dinner/dance.
King said, “The dedication and the naming are acknowledging people who have done some very nice things for the college and for the students.”
The College Center will be named for Jennifer Leavitt, the granddaughter of Helen Leavitt, who donated money to CEU to provide scholarships. Jennifer died from cancer at the age of 18, never realizing her dream of college to become a teacher.
King explained, “The nice part [about the donation] is that they’re not fabulously wealthy or anything like that. It’s just that they really cared about the college and about the area. They put their money where their mouth was and really backed it up with a nice donation of $600,000 that will provide $25-30,000 worth of scholarships for the next 20 years.”
He also said that the new G. J. Reeves Building “continues the legacy of the college.” He continued, “You see big names on places all over, but this is cool. It’s somebody that really cared.”
The new G. J. Reeves Building is named for G. J. Reeves, the Carbon County Superintendent who was in charge of overseeing the construction of the original campus. His children now make annual contributions to a scholarship fund initially established with contributions by G. J. and Margaret Reeves and an aunt, Anna Cogswell.
King said that the new building would serve students “for the next 65 years.”
The day’s activities start at 9 a.m., with the CEU Alumni Wildman Scramble Golf Tournament at Millsite Golf Course. The fourth annual tournament that raises scholarship money for students from Emery High School.
At 11 a.m. registration begins in the College Center along with a silent auction in the Alumni Room. The Alumni, Friends and Family picnic will be from noon- 2 p.m. on the library patio, with the Kid’s Fest from 1- 3 p.m. There will be activities for young children provided by Phil Brown and CEU’s child development students. Student government and the SUN Center will provide entertainment for middle-age children. There will also be activities for older children.
The dedication of the new G.J. Reeves Building and the naming of the Jennifer Leavitt College Center will be from 2- 3 p.m. Tours of the buildings will be held at each building during this time.
The Gallery East Opening Exhibit and CEU Prehistoric Museum tours will be held from 3- 5 p.m.
The 65th Anniversary Recognition Dinner Dance will start at 6 p.m. During this time, the installation of President Thomas, the introduction of first class and student body officers, and the recognition of distinguished alumni from each decade will be held. Final Bids in the silent auction will be held from 7:30- 8:30 pm. A Desert Buffet Extravaganza, Entertainment and Dancing to the Jimmy Dart Orchestra will happen from 8:30-9:30 pm.
Eastern Utah Theatre will also present a play, “Cash on Delivery” from 7:30- 9:30 pm in the Geary Theater.
King said, “It’s going to be a wild day. We hope that some of the students choose to attend everything” and knowing of students financial situations joked that students should “ask their parents for enough money to go to
King added that Karen Bliss is spearheading planning for the event with help from numerous other people and needed to especially be thanked.