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Contact: Jason Wanlass, University Communications
(801) 626-6347

President Gordon B. Hinckley to Help Honor David O. McKay's Legacy at Weber State
Tuesday, November 06, 2001

OGDEN, Utah - Weber State University will pay tribute to one of its early influences by naming its Education Building for David O. McKay. The former LDS prophet, was a student, teacher, principal and president of the Board of Trustees at Weber when it was a small, Church-owned academy. A naming ceremony honoring his role in the history and development of the university will be held Nov. 13 at 3 p.m. in the Val A. Browning Center Austad Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Among the dignitaries participating in the program will be: LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, Alan C. Ashton, founder of WordPerfect and McKay's grandson, and all four of McKay's living children (Emma Rae McKay Ashton, Lou Jean McKay Blood, Dr. Edward R. McKay and Robert R. McKay).

There will be tours and refreshments in the David O. McKay Education Building following the program.

"To have the Education Building bear the name of David O. McKay is quite important to our faculty, staff and students," said David Greene, dean of the Jerry and Vickie Moyes College of Education. "It is also very fitting that this site has been chosen for this honor. Within this building are programs which prepare students for careers to serve children and families something to which David O. McKay was very committed throughout his life."

This living legacy to McKay was made possible by a $2-million commitment from the Ashton Family Foundation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation and the Stewart Education Foundation. Their leadership gifts will continue McKay's vision for growth of the campus and its educational programs for students and the surrounding communities.

McKay filled many roles during his tenure at Weber Academy. He not only taught literature and history, but served as choir director and band leader. It was under his leadership the first scholarships were awarded and the school colors were deemed purple and white. He also instituted a number of progressive program changes both in and outside of the classroom. The music program was significantly expanded, domestic arts and science began being stressed, men's and women's athletic teams were formed and the number of books in the library were increased three-fold.

While principal of the Academy (1902-1908), he was called to be a General Authority for the LDS Church. For two years, McKay served in both capacities. Even upon leaving Weber, to assume full-time responsibilities with the Church, he continued his association with the school as a member of the Board of Trustees for 14 years (1908-1922).

McKay's great love for Weber never waned. In his later years he was quoted as saying, "My attachment to Weber is rooted in the fact that not a few years of my life are interwoven in its history and growth. As I search for the source of my affection for the good old school, I find it not in its architecture, not in its brick walls, its beams and rafters, not even in the classrooms that connote so many fond memories...but in the personal integrity and worth of the hundreds of thousands of students who exemplify the ideals for which Weber has ever stood."
Additional Contact(s): David Greene, dean of the Moyes College of Education
(801) 626-6273

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