Southern Utah University celebrated the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony of the Mark and Julie Svoboda Geoscience Building on Thursday, May 2, 2019.
The geoscience building was originally SUU’s business building until last year. With the dedication of the new Dixie L. Leavitt Business building in Fall 2018, the old business building went under reconstruction to allow geoscience majors to have a building to call home.
Dr. Robert Eves, Professor of Chemistry and Geology and newly-appointed Interim Provost, was one of the first eight graduates to receive a Bachelors of Science in Geology back in the 1980’s.
“I dont we can let this day pass without talking a little bit about where this program has come from,” Dr. Eves said. “I am a graduate from this program… and at that time there were two geology faculty members, Dr. Maxwell and Dr. Kennedy.The program was located on what now is the second floor of the General classroom building and we would study in the basement.”
The possibility of having a building dedicated to geoscience didn’t even seem like a plausible until 2016 when Dr. Eves received a call from Mark Svoboda, an SUU alumnus.
Svoboda came to SUU to pursue a degree in business in 1978, but after one geology club field trip, he was hooked. Unfortunately that time, a student could not receive a bachelor’s degree in Geology. Svoboda decided to complete his degree in business, but later went on to receive a bachelors in geology from Weber state in 1982 and master’s degree from the Mackay School of Mines at the University of Nevada in Reno in 1988.
In 2016, Svoboda called Dr. Eves asking him a variety of questions about the geoscience program. After a plethora of phone calls to one another, the plans for a geoscience building started to take place.
“This is really a unique part of the world for geology not just Utah, not just southern utah but the world,” Svoboda said. “That is what drove me to want to help create this and I hope it moves on through the years and becomes a big part of SUU.”
After the dedication, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place in front of the new geoscience building and tours were held for the public to view the newly reconstructed building.
“We stand here today cutting the ribbon on a new ear in Geoscience education. What you see before you is an achievement which is likely beyond the imagination of both Marks and mine geological mentors Dr. Maxfield, Dr.Kennedy and Dr. Fred. I know they join me in appudaing first an alumnus who had a vision at geoscience at SUU and was willing to sacrifice to make it happen… Thanks to you Mark and Julie and to all those whose efforts came together to make this day a reality.”
The building is available for use immediately.
Story by: Cassidy Harmon
Photo Credit: Mitch Quartz