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David Eccles School of Business Opens Flagship Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building

The University of Utah's new Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building.
  • Events culminate school’s seven-year campaign for the $70 million building
  • $17.5 million building donation from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation is the foundation’s largest single grant ever made
  • Naming celebrates Spencer Eccles’ business leadership and decades of support for his alma mater

November 10, 2011 – The University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business cut the ribbon today on the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building, the school’s new flagship educational facility.

The building has been named by the University of Utah in honor of Spencer Fox “Spence” Eccles (BS’56 Banking and Finance), Chairman Emeritus of the Intermountain Region of Wells Fargo & Co., and former Chairman & CEO of First Security Corporation. The naming recognizes Eccles’ decades of commitment to his alma mater, both personally and as chairman & CEO of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, which contributed $17.5 million for the new building – the largest single grant in its 30-year history.

The week’s several dedicatory events – including a faculty/staff open house on Friday and a pre-game “tailgate” party beginning at 1:30 prior to Saturday’s Utah vs. UCLA football game – celebrate the culmination of a seven-year fundraising campaign for the new building. The campaign, including an initial “challenge grant” from the Eccles Foundation that jump-started the effort, has generated more than $34 million. Legislative funding from the state of Utah contributed $23 million for the project.

“The Eccles family has a long history of involvement at the University of Utah, and they have been ardent supporters of our business school,” says Taylor Randall, dean of the David Eccles School of Business. “It is fitting that we name our new home the Spencer Fox Eccles Business

Building in recognition of the decades of tremendous support from the Eccles Foundation and the family’s legacy of leadership in the state’s and nation’s business communities.”

“I’m honored and humbled to be associated with my beloved University of Utah in this way,” says Spence Eccles, “especially at the business school named for my grandfather David Eccles. It’s something I never could have imagined.”

“We are thrilled to be able to make this significant investment in the excellence of business education at the U,” says Lisa Eccles, president of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. “Our Foundation remains sharply focused on ensuring that the David Eccles School of Business provides the most outstanding ‘top 25’ education possible for Utah’s future business leaders.”

Spence Eccles says the new facility is also a win for Utah’s economy,“ I am excited to see great things come out of this innovative business school. It’s going to make a positive impact on the economic vitality and business leadership in our state for decades to come!”

When the building’s Phase I space is occupied by students and faculty in January 2012, more than half of its 188,623 square feet on nine levels will be available for use. Phase II is slated for completion in May 2013. Included in both phases of the “green-friendly” facility is the latest in state-of-the-art wireless technology, podcasting and video conferencing capabilities.

Highlighting the building are its three major pavilions – the James Lee Sorenson Leadership Pavilion, Ken Garff Classroom Pavilion and C. R. England Student Community Pavilion. Named in recognition of the generous support and significant business legacies of their namesakes, these areas are designed to encourage collaboration and innovation among students, faculty, alumni and the community.

  • The James Lee Sorenson Leadership Pavilion, (Phase I) named for nationally prominent entrepreneurial leader, houses the graduate education wing and features a 270-seat auditorium, a café and terrace, student lounges, various team discussion rooms and classrooms.
  • The Ken Garff Classroom Pavilion (Phase II) is named for the late Kendall D. Garff, a prominent automobile dealer in the Salt Lake Valley. It houses a variety of educational spaces including 11 case-method tiered classrooms, a seminar room, a “trading floor” for business simulations and other engagements, faculty research labs, and the student services and career management centers.
  • The C. R. England Student Community Pavilion (Phase II) bears the name of the nation’s largest refrigerated trucking company, C. R. England. This pavilion’s spaces will foster collaboration and innovation, including a space for community gatherings and numerous breakout discussion rooms and areas for student-faculty interaction.

“This tremendous new facility will enable us to provide our students with educational opportunities we have never been equipped to offer before,” says Dean Randall. “Our students will have the tools they need to work side-by-side with our world-class faculty in developing their skills to become adept, well-prepared business leaders. We are committed to making Utah’s flagship institution of higher learning home to one of the nation’s top business education programs.”

About the David Eccles School of Business

Founded in 1917 in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah’s College of Business and Graduate School of Business combined in 1991 to form the David Eccles School of Business, named in recognition of one of Utah’s pioneering industrialists through a $15 million endowment grant from his last surviving child, Emma Eccles Jones. Today, the Eccles School’s programs include those focused on entrepreneurship, ethics, technology innovation and venture capital management. Emphasizing interdisciplinary education and experiential learning, the Eccles School launched the nation’s largest student-run venture capital fund with $18.3 million; it is also home to the Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center and the Sorenson Center for Discovery and Innovation.

Approximately 3,500 students are enrolled in the David Eccles School of Business undergraduate, graduate and executive degree programs as well as joint MBA programs in architecture, law and health administration. It was recently announced that the school’s Executive MBA Program has climbed to No. 33 nationally on the 2011 Financial Times list of leading Executive MBA programs. For more information, visit

About the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation

Among Utah’s largest and most longstanding charitable organizations, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation has contributed more than $400 million during the past two decades alone to benefit Utahns statewide. It supports projects and programs that have the potential to make a significant difference in bettering the quality of life of its citizens, carrying forth the philanthropic interests and goals of its founders through its grant-making programs focused in five areas: community, education, health care, arts & culture, and preservation & conservation. Its board of directors includes Chairman & CEO Spencer F. Eccles, President Lisa Eccles, and Secretary, Treasurer & General Counsel Robert M. Graham.

For more information, visit