Auto Expo Endowed Scholarship
Utah Valley University’s annual Auto Expo and Swap Meet is one of the largest car shows in Utah, and the proceeds it generates fund the Auto Expo Endowed Scholarship for UVU students in the department of automotive technology.
The UVU Auto Expo was started in 1983 by UVU collision repair instructor Don Pendergrass to showcase UVU’s trade programs. Held on a lawn near Sparks Automotive on UVU’s Orem campus, the first show boasted about 70 cars. Today the expo is held at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah, and showcases nearly 800 vintage cars and hot rods, drawing thousands of spectators.
When Pendergrass retired, he recruited Ray Campbell to take over the expo. Campbell, who had been running a successful auto show in Provo at the time, added a hot rod/street rod class to the show’s classic car collections. By 1996 the expo had outgrown its space and was moved to the UCCU Center. Then in 2006, it was moved again to Thanksgiving Point, for even more space.
During UVU’s early years as Central Utah Vocational School (1941-1963), Utah Trade Technical Institute (1963-1967), and Utah Technical College at Provo (1967-1987), technical training was the institution’s primary role. By highlighting UVU’s automotive technology programs, the annual auto expo helps demonstrate the University’s continued focus on the trades. UVU’s auto, diesel, and collision repair programs are vital parts of the University, educating and training about 400 students annually in one-year and two-year programs. UVU automotive students
By bringing together academics, industry, and the community for a common cause and by creating opportunities for automotive students to meet with industry representatives, the expo also supports UVU’s mission of community engagement.