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Utah State University is celebrating a new building Wednesday at its Jon Huntsman School of Business part of a push, the school said, to keep pace with growing demand for entrepreneurship and business courses.
The $50 million building was constructed with $14 million in state money.
Billionaire industrialist and philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr., told about 200 faculty, lawmakers, business leaders and others that honesty and integrity would be the most important lessons for students who come through the sleek glass building.
"Whether on Wall Street or Main Street, the teachings here will improve the mind and, hopefully, the pocketbook," Huntsman told the audience during his 11-minute speech.
But he also emphasized the importance of charity work, telling the truth and a doing business by the books.
"Our students must be men and women who compete fairly and fiercely," he said.
After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Huntsman said his message wasn't meant as a broad statement on the business world; he was speaking to "just the students," he said.
The patriarch was joined by his wife, Karen Huntsman, in the pavilion named for the late Mormon apostle L. Tom Perry, a Utah State graduate.
Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led a prayer thanking Huntsman and asking Heavenly Father to watch over the octogenarian philanthropist, before praising the university as a place for students to "learn, meet and find companions."
Gov. Gary Herbert also spoke the ceremony and characterized Huntsman as a benefactor to the school and the state.
"We cannot overstate the blessings Utah receives because Jon and Karen Huntsman call Utah home," he said.
The businessman has driven economic development in the Beehive State, Herbert said, and has put Huntsman's alma mater, the University of Utah, at the forefront of cancer research.
USU President Stan Albrecht agreed in his own sentimental, nine-minute speech. A donation from Huntsman in 2007 allowed the school to create faculty chairmanships and scholarships in his name and put the family moniker on the business school.
Huntsman rebuffed the praise from the governor and Albrecht, saying his foundation has been given "way too much credit."
He is among 10 national and local donors to fund the space. The list also includes the Charles Koch Foundation, operated by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire businessmen and champions of conservative causes.
In Utah, contributions came from sources such as the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation and the George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.