The inauguration of Weber State University’s 13th President, Brad L. Mortensen, will be permanently marked in the records of Utah’s education history and will be remembered as the start of a new chapter for WSU, Ogden and Utah’s education at large.
Mortensen’s official inauguration as President of WSU took place in the Austad Auditorium in the Val. A Browning Center on Jan. 7, WSU’s Founder’s Day. It was 131 years to the day when WSU was founded.
Erin Kendall, WSU alum and a member of the office of undergrad research at WSU commented on the attendance, noting that a large crowd showed up for the inauguration.
“It’s great to see a lot of … community people here,” Kendall said. “It doesn’t appear to be the normal crowd that you’d see on campus. A lot of people have taken time to visit and support President Mortensen today.”
The building was full of laughter, greetings and support, from freshman to former colleagues of Mortensen and state legislature.
Ruth Watkins and Laura Snow, both of the University of Utah and both former colleagues of Mortensen’s, attended the inauguration.
“We really want to be a part of honoring him and the important work that he does as a leader for higher education in our state,” Watkins said. “It really matters.”
Watkins expanded on why she believes in Utah’s higher education system, referring to higher education as one of our society’s greatest assets.
Watkins stressed that higher education enables innovation and creates jobs, and WSU is at the front, leading the charge. She also said that Mortensen’s work is important and will continue to lead WSU into the future.
Snow, who has known Mortensen for 15 years, described him as a personal friend and a professional colleague. She was pleased she was to be able to attend Mortensen’s inauguration.
“He has a lot of support,” Snow said. “People are genuinely happy for him and excited for the future.”