Recently, I read a speech by Mitt Romney in which he quotes lines of the song, “Forty Years On,” sung by the students and alumni of The Harrow School, the London school for boys, whose most famous graduate is Winston Churchill1. Here are a few lines from that song:
Forty years on, when afar and asunder
Parted are those who are singing today,
When you look back, and forgetfully wonder
What you were like in your work and your play,
Then, it may be, there will often come o’er you,
Glimpses of notes like the catch of a song…
How will it seem to you, forty years on?
The lyrics captured me the moment I realized that I am now 40 years on from my graduation from Utah State University in 1973. At that time the George S. Eccles Business Building was just three years old. Like so many before me—and, I suspect, many after—I wonder, “where did the years go, forty years on?” It is not only the notes of a song like “The Scotsman” that bring these thoughts to mind. They come in a walk across the Quad, the roar of a crowd in the Spectrum, a glimpse of Mt. Logan or, as is the case today watching out my office window, the sight of Lund Hall being demolished to make way for the construction of the newest addition to the USU campus: Huntsman Hall. My mother has told me stories of Lund Hall. She lived there in the 1940’s as an upper-class “resident” when it was a dormitory for freshmen women. Hers was the west corner room on the top floor. That was precisely the spot where the demolition began today. When I was a student at USU, Lund Hall was the dorm for the football team. More recently, it has served as the home of the math and statistics department.
We will miss Lund Hall, but we will be so fortunate to have this new building. It will be a great asset for the college and for the entire University. Huntsman Hall will be the physical manifestation of our brand—excellence in everything we do! What stories, I wonder, will it tell forty years from now?
The name, “Huntsman Hall,” was selected by the University to honor Jon M. Huntsman, Sr., who has done so much for our college of business, and who has provided the lead, private gift for the new building. In coming issues of this magazine, we want to recognize all those whose support is making this wonderful new edifice possible. We deeply appreciate their generosity.
This is an exciting moment in the history of Utah State University. We are at a critical “point of inflection.” Building on the legacy of those who have gone before, we are laying the foundation of a truly great business school. Those of us who are actively involved in this effort can sense the momentum of positive change, and feel fortunate to contribute to the University we love at this time. But there is still much to be done to fully realize our ambition. Huntsman Hall will give us the space we need to expand student opportunities in entrepreneurship, leadership, and international programs. But without a permanent endowment to grow and sustain these programs, we will fall short of our vision. So we are continuing to seek out visionaries among our alumni and friends who will help us realize that dream. We hope you’ll join us. Just think of what we can become—forty years on!