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Congress Recognizes 120 Years of Success at Weber State University

October 27, 2009
Press Release
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution introduced by Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) recognizing Weber State University for the 120th anniversary of its founding as an institution of higher education.

"I am pleased to recognize Weber State University for providing students with 120 years of exceptional academic opportunities.  Since its early beginnings as a small academy, Weber State has grown to become one of Utah's premier academic institutions.  If the past 120 years are any indication, it is fair to assume that Weber State is on track to continue expanding upon its many accomplishments for generations to come," said Congressman Bishop.

"We greatly appreciate Congressman Bishop highlighting the University's 120th anniversary for the U.S. House of Representatives. I'm proud to be a part of this amazing institution and the many great accomplishments that our faculty, staff, and students are contributing to our community and region," said Weber State University President Ann Millner.

Ann Millner is the first woman to be named president of a Utah university.

Originally founded as Weber Stake Academy in 1889, Weber State University currently offers 200 undergraduate degree programs—the largest and most comprehensive undergraduate offering in the state. Two-year associate degrees or professional certificates, and master's degrees in accounting, business administration, criminal justice and education are also offered by the university.  

"Weber State epitomizes what our country's higher education system should do - create engaged and outgoing students who then turn around and serve their community and country," said Amanda Rogers Thorpe, President, Washington D.C. WSU Alumni.

History of the University can be found here or below.

•    The Weber River, county and University were named for the American fur trapper John Henry Weber, friend and employee of William Henry Ashley.

•    John Henry Weber was born in Denmark in 1779, and arrived in the United States in the years before the War of 1812.  

•    In 1822 he answered Ashley's advertisement to become a fur trapper in the American West, and he became one of the trusted leaders of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company.

•    As the spring of 1825 approached, Weber and his men moved to trap the streams, seeking beaver and other animal pelts.  They gave Weber's name to one of the rivers flowing west from the Wasatch mountains.

•    The Weber River site of Fort Buenaventura was the first of the Mormon settlements in Weber County. During a visit to the Weber River community in September 1849, Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders, including Heber C. Kimball, Jedediah M. Grant and Thomas Bullock, decided to locate the city of Ogden at the site.

•    On January 26, 1851, the Mormon church reorganized the Weber County area into a broader ecclesiastical district as the Weber Stake of Zion.  In 1888 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) established a general LDS Church Board of Education. The board's major goal was to combine secular and religious education, initially with the establishment of church academies and later by providing LDS religion classes in locations adjacent to public schools.  

•    In September 1888, the Weber LDS Stake Presidency organized the Weber Stake Board of Education with stake president Lewis W. Shurtliff elected as president of the board.  

•    The Weber Stake Board advertised that in January, 1889, the Weber Stake Academy would begin offering classes, with Louis Moench, then serving a mission in Germany and Switzerland, as principal.  

•    The school struggled during the Moench years (1889-1902), although it received annual appropriations from the LDS Church Board of Education.  In 1902, David O. McKay was "unanimously elected" to become principal of the Weber Stake Academy.  McKay's interest in the Weber school remained strong over the next sixty years.

•    By 1928, Weber College was faced with several choices: becoming a college dependent on support from Ogden City and Weber County; becoming a state-supported junior college; becoming a branch campus of the University of Utah; or being phased out as a college.

•    The 1931 Utah legislature passed a bill which provided for the transfer of two LDS church-owned colleges to the state of Utah; Snow College was transferred in 1932 and Weber College in 1933.  

•    Weber College officially became a four-year college in 1964.

•    The Utah Legislature authorized the addition of upper division courses in 1959, and four years later, Weber State College awarded its first baccalaureate degrees.  In 1991, the institution was re-named Weber State University.

•    WSU now has a 400-acre campus in Ogden, Utah, with 89 percent of the buildings constructed since 1960.

•    The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education.

•    Business baccalaureate and master's degree programs are accredited by the International Association for Management Education (AACSB), a distinction held by fewer than 10 percent of all colleges and schools of business.