With the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation acting as a partner, Salt Lake Community College announced in an event on Thursday that it will be renovating its business building at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
The largest-ever single cash donation received by the college, $10 million from the Miller foundation, made plans for renovating the 36-year-old building possible. SLCC also changed its business school’s name to Gail Miller School of Business, which makes it the only business school in Utah named exclusively after a woman.
SLCC President Deneece Huftalin on Thursday cited Miller’s gift and her family’s contributions to the community for the renaming.
“I know that many of us, myself included, are inspired by Gail’s courage and passion with which she builds our community and sets an example for everyone,” Huftalin told the audience.
The Miller family’s relationship with SLCC extends decades. In 2001, the family donated the land and buildings for Miller Campus in Sandy, which hosts the college’s Culinary Arts program and The Mill, a center that provides education and resources to those wanting to start or grow a small business.
“I have long deeply admired Salt Lake Community College and appreciated the role that they play in the state of Utah,” said Miller, who sits on the college’s board of trustees. “I’ve also been very grateful for the longstanding relationship that I’ve had [with SLCC].”
Miller said the family has “long been committed to education,” and so they seek to support programs that help students and build stronger communities. The renovation of SLCC’s business building will be a step in service of that goal, Miller said.
According to a press release, the new business building will increase its size by 18,900 square feet and will feature an open atrium, expanded auditorium and modernized conference rooms. Construction will begin in 18 months with a targeted completion date of May 2026.
“This new business school will allow the students here to play an important role in developing future business leaders and problem solvers through the help of their educational staff,” Miller said.
The latest data from the SLCC fact book shows that the business major, excluding general education, is the second most-popular major at the college. Over 1,600 students are currently enrolled in the program.
Dr. Dennis Bromley, dean of the Gail Miller School of Business, said the aesthetics of an academic setting are important and its functionality critical for an effective learning environment.
“This building was state of the art in 1986 when high tech was a self-correcting typewriter,” Bromley told the audience.
Cali Bourdos and Genesis Ruiz, two SLCC students of business, spoke at the event and expressed appreciation for the building’s renovation. Both said they believe the new building to be a positive initiative.
“This has evoked inspiration in me,” Ruiz said, “and it will do the same for others.”