Former Gov. Herbert to open Utah Tech University’s community lecture series

Former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will open Utah Tech University’s Trailblazing Speaker Series for the Fall 2023 semester.

Herbert will speak on federalism, the relationship and division between national and state governments, at noon on Sept. 12 in the Dunford Auditorium, located in the Browning Resource Center on the UT campus. Admission is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.

“Former Gov. Herbert delivered the university’s Commencement speech in 2020 to great acclaim,” Vince Brown, director of Utah Tech’s Institute of Politics & Public Affairs, said. “We are honored to have him visit us again and speak to us about an issue with which he is very familiar.”

After taking office in 2009, Herbert served as the 17th governor of Utah until 2021. During his tenure, Herbert focused on economic development, education, energy and efficiency in government. As a result, Utah is recognized as a premier business destination and a great place to live and raise families with an unsurpassed quality of life.

Prior to becoming governor, Herbert, who was born and raised in Utah County, served as Utah’s lieutenant governor for five years and as a Utah County commissioner for 14 years. He attended Brigham Young University, served six years in the Utah National Guard — from 1970 to 1976 — and started the real estate brokerage and development company, Herbert and Associates Incorporated.

He has served as the president of the Utah Association of Realtors, president of the Utah Association of Counties, chair of the Western Governors Association, chair of the National Governors Association and national president for the Council of State Governments.

Herbert’s address on the Utah Tech University campus is made possible by a collaboration between the university’s Institute of Politics & Public Affairs and the Trailblazing Speaker Series.

Utah Tech University’s Institute of Politics and Public Affairs serves the campus and community as a hub for civic engagement, student leadership, and public policy education and research. Its core mission is to inspire students to pursue careers in public service by providing them opportunities to connect with policymakers, politicians, activists and academics.

Designed to introduce the Southern Utah community to diverse ideas and personalities while widening their worldviews, Utah Tech University’s Trailblazing Speaker Series features 50-minute presentations at noon most Tuesdays of the academic semester. The series, held in the Dunford Auditorium, located in Utah Tech’s Browning Resource Center, aligns with the university’s strategic goal to establish the community as a university and provide Southern Utah with educational resources and learning opportunities.

Trailblazing Speaker Series’ complete lineup for the Fall 2023 semester includes:

  • Date: Sept. 19
    Speaker: Perry Ridge, associate professor at Brigham Young University
    Topic: Bioinformatics


  • Date: Sept. 26
    Speaker: Tanalis Pidilla, history professor at MIT
    Topic: Ayotzinapa’s Missing 43: Reflections on their Schools’ History, Struggle, and Search for Justice
    Note: This lecture will be held in the Zion Room, located on the fifth floor of UT’s Holland Centennial Commons


  • Date: Oct. 3
    Speaker: Taylor Randall, University of Utah president


  • Date: Oct. 17
    Speaker: Sam Heimer


  • Date: Oct. 24
    Speaker: Matt Russell, professional triathlete


  • Date: Oct. 31
    Speaker: Jimmy Santiago Baca, poet
    Topic: The Power of Self Expression


  • Date: Nov. 7
    Speaker: Dr. Mary Wilde
    Topic: The Art and Science of Calm: Physiology, Philosophy & Practice


  • Date: Nov. 14
    Speaker: Paul Taylor
    Topic: Seizing Opportunity: Be on Top of Your Game


  • Date: Nov. 28
    Speaker: Dr. Tasha Toy, UT’s assistant vice president of campus diversity/senior equity and inclusion officer
    Topic: The Power of Diversity