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Monday, May 18, 2015

The University of Utah

Last Thursday, my son Alex presented his Master Thesis in an event that is called an oral defense of the Master Thesis.  The event took place at room 215 at Orson Spencer Hall (“OSH”) at the University of Utah (the “U”).  The staring time was 3:30 in the afternoon.  I arrived around 2:30 and I decided to walk around the campus.  I finished under graduate school at the U in 1974 and I finished law school in December 1976.  Most of my visits to the campus since graduation have been to the basketball arena, the football stadium, the book store, the library and the law school.  This day, I walked through the student union building, I walked into the new library (at least it is new to me) and I walked into the new business school building.  I walked into OSH where I had almost all of my political science classes (my major) as an undergraduate.  

Back then I was involved as an intern at the Hinckley Institute.  I worked on the 1972 Wayne Owens US Congressional Campaign for about 5 months.  Wayne won that election and then won several more a few years later.  He was on the House Watergate committee in 1972-1973.  Wayne was always a hero of mine from 1972 to his untimely death in December 2002 in Tel Aviv, Israel.  Wayne was actively involved in the Mid-East Peace process for several years before his death.  I always wondered if his death was really natural causes or some intentional act by some person.  Wayne actually officed, in an of counsel position, with one of my previous law firms – Wilkins Oritt & Headman.

I was also an intern in the Utah State Senate in 1973.

The door to the Hinckley Institute was open and I walked in and talked to some of the staff. They were very welcoming to me an old timer.

After my visit to the Hinckley Institute, I found room 215 and was proud to sit for almost an hour while Alex made his presentation.  I thought he was terrific. I cannot tell you how proud I was of him.  I sat with his mother Debbie (a wonderful mother) and Alex’s stepfather Alan (a fine man).

Alex graduated from the U.  I have two nieces (terrific people) both of whom graduated from the U.
I remember when Alex was in high school, his mother and I took him and two of his buddies to a BB King concert in the basketball arena.  When BB King died a few days ago, I thought back to the concert.  We sat on the front row to watch the amazing Mr. King.  The three boys (all of who loved the guitar) loved the concert and sitting so close was a dream come true for all of us.

The U has a beautiful campus filled with new buildings, middle aged buildings and old buildings.  I have I always loved the environment of the U.  Walking around last week made me thing about all the studying I did, the classes I attended and the things I learned.  It made me think of plays and concerts, speeches and travelogues.  It made me thinks of the Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum.

My time at the U helped make me the person and the lawyer I am today.  I was lucky to attend and I am proud to be an alumnus.   The campus is almost 1,600 acres in size and is stretched out on foothills of the Wasatch Mountains on the east side of downtown Salt Lake City.  From my desk on the 11th floor of 111 East Broadway, Salt Lake City, I am looking directly at U campus.  I can see the football stadium, the new six story law school that is almost completed, the Behavioral Science Building, the med school and many other of the taller buildings.

My time at the U helped make me the person I am today.  I was lucky to attend and I am proud to be an alumnus.   “Who am I sir, a Utah Man am I”.

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