Presidents Circle & Kingsbury Hall
The University of Utah was originally established in 1850 as the University of Deseret and is the state’s oldest institution of higher education. It was renamed the University of Utah in 1892— four years before Utah attained statehood.
Today, eight buildings surround historic Presidents Circle. Each is named to honor past presidents of the university. Notable among these are:
• JOHN R. PARK BUILDING—at the top of the loop. This commanding building was built in 1914 to serve as the center of campus. Its namesake held the longest tenure—23 years—as president of the university. Today, it’s home to the Office of the President and other key administrative offices.
• KINGSBURY HALL—the venue for the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate—was completed in 1930 and has been the starting place for many performing arts organizations like Ballet West and the Utah Opera. Quotes from Socrates, Aeschylus, and Walt Whitman, adorn the stone above the main entrance facing south. From left to right they read:
“PRAISED BE THE FATHOMLESS UNIVERSE FOR LIFE AND JOY AND FOR OBJECTS AND KNOWLEDGE CURIOUS.” ~ Walt Whitman, When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
“LEARNING IS EVER IN THE FRESHNESS OF ITS YOUTH. EVEN FOR THE OLD.” ~ Aeschylus, Agamemnon
“THERE IS ONE ONLY GOOD, NAMELY, KNOWLEDGE; AND ONE ONLY EVIL, NAMELY, IGNORANCE.” ~ Socrates, Diogenes Laertius
• THE CROCKER SCIENCE CENTER—originally the George Thomas Building built in 1935—was originally the campus library and later the Utah Museum of Natural History. After a three-year renovation and expansion, the building was renamed and is now a major hub for the sciences on campus.