Skip to main content

Huntsman Alumni Magazine - Fall 2018

A Life Well Lived

Jon M. HuntsmanJon M. Huntsman, Sr. (1937-2018)

This School, the State, the nation and the world lost a great leader, a highly successful entrepreneur, and a global visionary on February 2, 2018 when Jon M. Huntsman died at age 80 at his home in Salt Lake City.

Jon loved Utah State University, and he loved the School of Business that since December 3, 2007 has borne his name. He liked to say, “I have been observing Utah State University for the past 50 years, and this is the finest college in America. I didn’t go there, but I recognize it as the institution where I would go today if I had to select the best university.”

The son of an Idaho schoolteacher, Jon and his wife Karen have devoted their lives and $1.5 billion to improving the human condition, working to eradicate cancer, and to provide educational opportunity for thousands of students.

In 2007 he challenged us to build a business school that produces students who can compete with the best and the brightest anywhere in the world. Last year, he doubled his investment to more than $50 million and helped us secure another $25 million from his friend, Charles Koch.

His challenge in 2007 has brought us world-class faculty, incredible new curricular and extracurricular opportunities, local, national and global accolades, and in 2016 a beautiful, state-of-the-art building.

Jon saw our potential when he said, “There is a remarkable atmosphere on the campus and in the community of Logan. The university has a sense of purpose. There is a remarkable quality of life here. These features will all combine to help us make this business school one of the finest in the country.”

Jon Huntsman believed in us. USU is a much better institution because of his generosity, friendship, and love. He was our partner every step of the way. He was totally aligned with our vision, but he constantly encouraged us to reach higher, dig deeper, and accomplish more. If I were dean for 100 years, I doubt we could find another partner of such surpassing gifts. We miss him greatly.

— Dean Douglas D. Anderson