A. Ray Olpin University Union

The University of Utah

A photo of the Union in fall.

  • About Us
  • All Roads Lead to the Union: Newsletter


    The Union Scholarship Celebration

    The Union Scholarship Celebration is easily becoming the most anticipated event of the year! Started in 2010, the first several years the entire event was held in Crimson View because it was new and much smaller in attendance. The very first year the event raised about $7,000, which provided two scholarships to two students. Despite some natural doubt and uncertainty in the first few years, the Union Scholarship Celebration has grown exponentially and is one of the largest fundraisers on campus. Accomplishing and surpassing the Union’s mission and goals of bringing the campus community together and making it a home for all students. The Union Scholarship celebration provides need-based scholarships which are designed to assist students attending college who otherwise may not be able to due to funds or lack of access to funding. This community celebration fosters a sense of belonging as it creates a warm welcoming connection to campus resources and the Union, and it also drives student persistence in accomplishing their goals ultimately leading to graduation and beyond.  

    April 4th, 2019 marked the day the Union celebrated their largest scholarship fundraiser yet at the 9th  Annual Union Scholarship Celebration. A night of unexpected surprises and performances that kept the guests entertained throughout the entire evening.

    The Union administration staff and team combined forces with many amazing campus and community partners to sponsor and produce the event. All together, the Union Scholarship Celebration raised over $200,000 dollars, and awarded $160,000 over 41 scholarships to prolific student leaders on campus.

    Gourmet hors-d’oeuvres at the VIP reception.

    The evening started at 6 pm with a VIP reception in the Crimson View where our scholarship recipients, sponsors, and partners enjoyed gourmet hors-d’oeuvres and delicious drinks leading up to the main program.

    A Jazz band then lead a procession of guests down to the Union Ballroom from the Crimson View. A buffet style dinner donated very generously by University of Utah Dining Services was served at the beginning of the event followed by the main Celebration starting at 7:30 pm. Union Director Whit Hollis and Senior Associate Director Branden Dalley hosted the evening’s festivities through conversation, laughter, gratitude, and applause as they announced and celebrated each of the Union Scholarship Recipients.

    Miss Utah Jessie Craig wows the crowd with an unexpected violin performance.

    Throughout the night, there were several unexpected performances. The first was the Jazz procession performed by the School of Music students, followed with a flash mob dance, choreographed and performed by the School of Dance students. After the first round of scholarship recipients was announced and recognized on the stage, an opera singer sang from the Union Ballroom balcony. Later in the evening, an outstanding violin performance by the current Miss Utah, Jessie Craig, wowed the crowd then was followed by a penultimate ballet performance.

    Fireworks were the last unexpected entertainment of the night.

    After the last round of scholarship winners were announced and welcomed to the stage, the evening finished with desserts in the Ballroom Corridor. As the guests enjoyed the last treat, the final unexpected surprise of the evening finished off with a bang. A breathtaking firework show lit up the sky outside of the Union ballroom to cap off a celebration of student accomplishments and the donors who support them.

    Written by Jordan Passey

    Subscribe to our newsletter mailing list

    * indicates required