On Monday, September 29, Salt Lake Community College President Deneece G. Huftalin honored former SLCC President Jay L. Nelson by dedicating the newly opened green space where the former Taylorsville Redwood Campus administration building once stood.
Former President Jay L. Nelson was in office for 29 years while the school was still named Utah Technical College.
“The Jay Nelson quad will serve as a reminder of what it means to be dedicated and loyal to a cause, one that laid a foundation for Salt Lake Community College to become the best community college in the nation,” said President Huftalin.
The dedicated green space and the legacy fountain located east of the Student Center now show Nelson’s name, as well as his family’s, in the form of paver stones and a dedicated bench.
The ceremony started with a speech by President Huftalin on the impact and legacy left by former President Nelson.
Part of President Nelson’s legacy comes in the form of SLCC’s independent status; he didn’t allow the college to be absorbed into other institutions, providing an affordable technical education for citizens and creating a second home for many alumni and students.
Former President Nelson’s son, Bruce Nelson, spoke on behalf of his three brothers and sister. Nelson talked about his life with his father and his childhood spent at SLCC while President Nelson was active.
Nelson also brought a recording from one of President Nelson’s speeches.
Nelson also brought a Utah Technical School letter opener and the shovel that was used by President Nelson to remove the first piece of dirt to build the school.
The ceremony was then followed up with a performance of “I Wish You Love” by South City Jazz, led by SLCC faculty Lyle Archibald.
The Nelson family was then given bricks saved from the demolition of the administration building to serve as reminder and memory of the building that stood there for more than four decades.
The dedication ceremony finished with the unveiling of a glass plaque dedicating a future bench and quad in the name of President Nelson.
After the unveiling of the plaque, the legacy fountain’s water springs launched high in the air to conclude the event.
The quad’s large and natural presence will serve as a reminder of Nelson’s legacy and as a social gathering area for students to relax and enjoy.