Matthew S. Holland

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Matthew S. Holland Mormon educator

Matthew S. Holland was the president of Utah Valley University, located in Orem, Utah. He filled the post in June 2009. UVU was a state college until July 2008. It is now the largest university in the state of Utah and still offers classes reflective of its roots as a trade school. Holland stepped down as president of UVU in June 2018 in order to serve as a mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints beginning in July 2018.

He was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 4, 2020. When he spoke in the October 2020 general conference, as did his father, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, it marked the first time in six years that a father and son had spoken during the same general conference (the late President Gordon B. Hinckley was the church’s president when he and his son, Elder Richard G. Hinckley, both spoke in the April 2006 priesthood session). The Hollands spoke back-to-back in the April 1983 general conference, when Matt Holland was 16 and gave a talk called “Muddy Feet and White Shirts.”[1]

At the time of his appointment as president of UVU, Holland was an associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University, where he taught courses in political philosophy and American political thought. He has researched on how ideals of Christian charity influenced the development of American political life and published a book, Bonds of Affection: Civic Charity and the Making of America, with Georgetown University Press (2007). His research has garnered national attention.

He was born in 1966 and was raised in Utah County. His father, Jeffrey R. Holland, was president of Brigham Young University from 1980 to 1989.

Matthew Holland attended BYU as an undergraduate and earned his bachelor’s in 1991. He was valedictorian of BYU’s political science department. Before he moved on to graduate school, he was chief of staff for the top executive of the international consulting firm Monitor Group and, later, was a special assistant to Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt. He earned his PhD in political science from Duke University, where he studied early American political thought. He also received a fellowship to study at Princeton University as a James Madison Fellow, and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a Raoul Wallenberg Scholar. In 2017, he spent three months studying, researching, and writing at Oxford University.

Holland is a member of the American Political Science Association and the American Historical Association. He served on numerous boards, including the Deseret News Editorial Advisory Board, the boards of the Utah Valley and the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, and the Utah Technology Council. He has given speeches at Harvard, Stanford, and Notre Dame.

In 2011, he was awarded the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award through the Boy Scouts of America Utah National Parks Council.

He and his wife, Paige, have four children.