This year the Stegner Center will celebrate its landmark 20th anniversary. In the early days, when my colleagues and I were first contemplating the idea of a namesake Wallace Stegner Center, we were unsure whether it would take hold. Ultimately, we concluded that Stegner’s name would resonate locally and beyond, and that the College of Law was an appropriate setting to maintain his extraordinary legacy. The high principles and thoughtful values that Stegner incorporated into his work as a writer are precisely what the law, at its best, is all about—setting high standards for a civilized society and promoting the public good. In that spirit, the Stegner Center has sought from the beginning to foster honest dialogue and creative solutions to the knotty environmental problems that we collectively face.
We will celebrate the Center’s 20th anniversary at the Annual Symposium on March 5-6, 2015, and at other opportunities throughout the year. It is fitting that this year’s symposium topic is “Air Quality: Health, Energy, and Economics,” a subject of surpassing importance to the Salt Lake Valley with its increasingly frequent inversion events and to elsewhere across the West’s cities and energy fields. It is also fitting that the Quinney College of Law and the Stegner Center will host the 2015 biannual Natural Resource Law Teacher’s Institute, where we plan to take our colleagues from across the country on a field trip to the Great Salt Lake and to the Snow Basin ski area to discuss the diverse environmental issues that each of these settings present. During the conference portion of the program, we look forward to showcasing the new College of Law building with its many sustainability features.
My colleagues have been quite active during the past year, not only producing cutting edge scholarship and speaking across the country, but also engaging in important public service activities and receiving signal recognition for their work. The same is true for our students, who have seen their work published in various forums, received important scholarships, and participated in several national competitions. Of particular note, our colleague, Professor Bob Adler, has been named the 11th dean of the S.J. Quinney College of Law; Professor Lincoln Davies will join Bob as our new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. More detailed information about everyone’s individual accomplishments and activities are found in this newsletter.
The Stegner Center has maintained a busy program schedule during the past year, highlighted by our 19th annual symposium on “National Parks: Past, Present, and Future” and our recent conference on “The Wilderness Act at 50 and the Mountain West.” Both of these programs were fitting tributes to Wallace Stegner given his deep involvement with both national park and wilderness issues throughout much of his adult life. Our Young Scholar visits, periodic lectures, and regular noon-hour greenbag presentations further enrich the College’s intellectual life and shed bright light on pressing public concerns.
Please take a few moments to page through this annual Stegner Center newsletter and to learn more about the Center’s activities as well as the accomplishments of my remarkable colleagues and our equally remarkable students. We greatly appreciate your interest and participation in the Center’s activities and programs, as well as your vitally important support for them. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.