September 29, 2008
Sorenson Donates $12 Mil. To U of U
The Sorenson Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit corporation established by the James LeVoy Sorenson family for the exclusive purpose of promoting charitable, religious, educational, literary and scientific endeavors, has donated $12 million to the University of Utah for the construction of an interdisciplinary arts and education complex at its Salt Lake City campus.
The donation in support of fine arts or arts and education is the largest ever made in university history.
The new facility will be named the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex and will be built at the southern entrance of the campus adjacent to Milton Bennion Hall, east of the David Eccles School of Business. It is scheduled to open in 2011 at an estimated total cost of $30 million.
Sorenson is a former elementary school teacher who founded Art Works for Kids, a program that has helped bring music , dance , theater and the visual arts into many Utah elementary schools. She has been a pioneer and long-time champion of making arts education available to Utah's elementary school children.
"Art education is essential to the success of children as individuals and as citizens. But no single group can bring quality art teaching programs to Utah schools; we all have to work together," said Beverley Sorenson. "We are delighted that the University of Utah has dedicated its tremendous resources to establishing this new center to integrate education with the arts and enrich the lives of Utah children."
A principal goal of the new interdisciplinary educational complex will be to research and facilitate teaching methods for integrating arts education into traditional core curriculum subjects such as math, science, history and language arts. Working together with faculty from across the university, educators from the College of Education and the College of Fine Arts will identify best practices for this innovative teaching method, implement a newly designed teacher education program and train arts specialists for placement in Utah's elementary schools.
In addition to classrooms, arts practice areas and performance venues, the new arts and education complex will house the Virginia Tanner Creative Dance Program, six research and outreach centers and two university clinics. These include a new Center for Integrating the Arts into Academic Learning, a new Center for Math and Science Education, the Utah Reading and Literacy Center, the Utah Education Policy Center, the Center for the Advancement of Technology in Education and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Center on Community of Caring.
Copyright Enterprise Business Newspaper Inc. Sep 1, 2008
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