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30 years of WSU presidents

Since 1990, there have been four presidents to lead Weber State University. Each of them have had an impact on WSU and have helped to lead it toward the future.

Dr. Brad Mortensen, formerly WSU’s Vice President of University Advancement, will be inaugurated as WSU’s 13th President on Jan. 7. Mortensen was chosen after a nation-wide search for the role of WSU’s Presidency in winter of 2018.

Brad Mortensen was named the new president of Weber State University on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. Brad and his wife Camille Mortensen were formally introduced in an announcement Thursday evening.
Photo by Benjamin Zack

In 1995, President Mortensen graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in economics at Utah State University. Mortensen went on continuing his education at Syracuse University, where he graduated with a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis on education policy. In 1997, Mortensen pursued his education further at the University of Utah, becoming a Doctor of Philosophy, Educational Leadership and Policy in 2009.

Since President Brad L. Mortensen joined WSU, he has served on several committees, university planning councils, and has been very involved as a member of WSU’s faculty.

Mortensen stated that he looks forward to getting out, meeting and listening to the ideas of those on campus, regarding perspectives on what will help ensure that WSU continues to see success for future generations.

Dr. Charles “Chuck” A. Wight, who served as WSU’s President for the greater part of the last five years, announced that he would be stepping down from the position in Jan. 2018.

Dr. Charles A. Wight, Weber State University's president from 2013 - 2018.
Photo by Weber State University

During his tenure, Wight oversaw the construction of the university’s Tracy Hall Science building, the naming of the Boyd K. and Donna S. Packer Center for Family and Community Education and WSU’s increasing student enrollment rates.

Before Dr. Charles A. Wight came to Weber State University, he served in several different roles at the University of Utah. He started working there in 1984.

In a Jan. 19, 2018 Signpost interview by Kara Mitchell, Dr. Charles A. Wight stated that WSU is an extremely unified university, referring to WSU as a “magical” place.

Dr. F. Ann Millner would become the first female president in WSU’s history in 2002. Her WSU career began in the Health Department when she was named the Associate Dean of WSU’s Continuing Education Program in 1982.

2002-2012 ann millner (a) touch up.jpg
Dr. F. Ann Millner, Weber State University's president from 2002 - 2012.
Photo by Weber State University

In August 2003, Millner was the first president to see the opening of WSU’s Davis Campus. Millner showed her investment in community, society and Utah’s education with such expansions and ran for Utah Senate in District 18.

According to the book Weber State University, The Campus History, one of her favorite events at WSU was the Alumni Awards for those of the university who went out and made their impact on society and the world. She also oversaw the ribbon-cutting ceremony of WSU’s Compressed Natural Gas fueling stations, which are still open to the public at 4760 Old Post Road.

According to the Signpost in 2012, Millner was, “completely focused on Weber State University and always has been.” She served as the 11th president of WSU for 12 years.

Dr. Paul H. Thompson served as WSU’s 10th president from 1990 to 2002. During this time, WSU saw major changes, including online courses becoming available and the yearly schedule switching from quarters to semesters.

In Nov. 1993, WSU’s Athletics Department was faced with dropping their football budget completely due to financial issues at the time; however, during Thompson’s term as president, an anonymous donor donated $100,000, effectively saving WSU’s football team.

In 1998, Thompson oversaw the renovations of the Browning Center’s Performing Arts building. During his term, the school began operating in satellite locations and purchased property to open a campus in Layton

One thing that President Thompson stressed to the student body, alumni and faculty was that learning is not just graduating, it’s a lifelong process.

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