Wilson W. Sorensen

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Wilson W. Sorensen was the president of Utah Technical College (now Utah Valley University) from 1946 to 1982.

He was born on August 8, 1916, in Draper, Utah. He was raised in Deseret, Utah (near Delta), until the eighth grade, then the family moved back to Draper. He graduated from Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts and a master’s degree in educational administration from Brigham Young University.

After graduation, Sorensen taught industrial arts at Granite High School in South Salt Lake, Utah. He was hired by the Central Utah Vocational School to purchase supplies to train workers in arms and ammunition manufacturing during World War II. Although he had an educational background, Sorensen was a carpenter by trade, which made him attractive to head the growing trade school as it became a state-funded institution.

When Sorensen started at the institution, it had under 1,000 students. By the time he retired in 1982, there were over 5,500 students and it had moved campuses twice and was renamed the name Utah Technical College. Sorensen hoped that the school would retain its focus on vocational training.[1]

During his retirement, Sorensen was on the Committee to Save Geneva Steel in the 1980s, and he ran for a seat in the Utah State Legislature in 1984. He published a history of Utah Technical College in 1985. He also served on the board of the Orem Community Hospital and served as chairman of Provo's Freedom Festival. The Kiwanis Club of Provo named him Citizen of the Year and he received the Modern Day Pioneer award from the Sons of Utah Pioneers.

The student activities center at UVU is named in his honor. He was the inaugural recipient at the alumni recognition banquet in 1998. In 2006, individuals and organizations in the community came together to establish the Wilson W. Sorensen Endowed Scholarship to assist UVU students.

Sorensen was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Helen, had four children. He died on July 30, 2009.

Wilson Sorensen is the grandfather of NFL players Daniel Sorensen and Brad Sorensen.

Source: Wikipedia, “Wilson W. Sorensen”