News

SUU To Welcome Home Former Governor, Secretary Leavitt

February 12, 2009
Category: Academics


Southern Utah University and its Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics in Society will welcome home its namesake, Michael O. Leavitt, at an event Thursday, February 19, from 5-7 p.m. in the Great Hall of the R. Haze Hunter Conference Center. The event is free and open to the public. 

At this Welcome Home Event, the public will have the opportunity to personally welcome the former Governor and Secretary home and hear a report of his service in Washington D.C., as well as participate in a question and answer session. 

Of the event, SUU President Michael Benson said, “As a campus and community, we wish to acknowledge and thank Michael O. Leavitt for his many significant contributions to our nation during his distinguished service in Washington, D.C., as well as his commitment to Utah and to our local community. Please join with us to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of Michael O. Leavitt.” 

SUU’s Leavitt Center is also planning on announcing a partnership project between the University and Leavitt that they will only reveal as "exciting." 

Doug Larson, Director of the Center says, "The number of people that have approached me and the Center to ask what the Governor is doing next has been countless. We wanted to provide the community an opportunity to welcome back one of Cedar City's biggest supporters and to welcome the entire Leavitt family back to Utah and find out first-hand what the Governor has next on his always ambitious schedule." 

The public welcome home event is sponsored primarily by LSR Development, LLC in Cedar City. 

Leavitt has been in Washington D.C. for almost seven years serving the people of the United States following his tenure as Governor of Utah. This includes roles as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Secretary of Health and Human Services, both appointed by President George W. Bush. 

Leavitt's public service, he maintains, has always pursued three goals: "To leave things better than he found them; to plant seeds for the next generation; and to give it his all." 

The people of Utah elected Leavitt governor three times -- a feat achieved by only one other Utah Governor. Prior to leaving the statehouse to work in the Bush Administration, he was the nation's longest-serving governor. During his eleven years of service, Utah was recognized six times as one of America's best managed states. He was chosen by his peers as Chairman of the National Governors Association, Western Governors Association and Republican Governors Association because of his ability to solve problems across partisan lines. 

Born February 11, 1951, in Cedar City, Utah, Leavitt graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and business from Southern Utah University. He served as president and chief executive officer of a regional insurance firm, establishing it as one of the top insurance brokers in America. He is married to Jacalyn S. Leavitt; they are the parents of five children.

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