Event Planned to Honor OSH’s History Before Demolition


Kiffer Creveling

Orson Spencer Hall, Friday, February 21st, 2016, Peter Creveling Utah Chronicle

Orson Spencer Hall won’t be demolished without a proper goodbye. The College of Social and Behavioral Science will commemorate the building with an event on April 22.

Crumbling ceilings and classrooms still equipped with VHS players lie inside OSH, but the building also represents about three generations of students who have passed through its doors.

Orson Spencer Hall, Friday, February 21st, 2016, Peter Creveling Utah Chronicle
Orson Spencer Hall, Friday, February 21st, 2016, Peter Creveling Utah Chronicle


“We think it’s important to honor this long history on campus,” said Rob Hunsaker, director of development for the College of Social and Behavioral Science (CSBS). “We’re acknowledging the fact that most everyone who has graduated from the U since 1953 has had class in OSH.”

The “Farewell to OSH” event will pay homage to decades of history, as well as acknowledge the ongoing accomplishments of current students and teachers. Held on the same day as College Research Day, where students display projects and discuss them with guests, the event will help the community pay respect to the ongoing academic efforts at the U.

U President David Pershing, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Ruth Watkins, CSBS Dean Cynthia Berg and other special guests and alumni will speak, Hunsaker said.

The event will include a historical walking tour and a retrospective film on OSH followed by a panel discussion. Cameron Trajen, a junior in art, feels saying goodbye to OSH is unnecessary.

“I know that people get attached to their surroundings, especially when they’re surroundings that have fostered growth and progress,” he said. “But I would rather my student fees go toward funding my declared major than for an unrelated event elsewhere on campus.”

Orson Spencer Hall at the U in Salt Lake City, Utah, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015.

Trajen might attend the OSH event because he feels the history of the building will make its destruction meaningful, but does not entirely support it.

“It’s hard to get enthusiastic about certain events that I’m not fully behind, because I know that I helped pay for them,” he said.

Hunsaker said many people have memories of OSH over the years and an opportunity to say goodbye to the building before it is gone is important.

“So many people have distinctive memories of their time in the building,” Hunsaker said. “One person told us of how he and his wife met in a geography class.”

The event is open to all university students, alumni, faculty and staff. There will also be a chance to financially contribute to the rebuilding of OSH.

Hunsaker said: “There may be an opportunity for people to buy a brick as part of a fundraising event for the building, which will replace OSH.”

[email protected]