The University of Utah will officially launch the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute on Sept. 2.

An initiative of the David Eccles School of Business, the new institute aims to support informed decision-making by developing and sharing economic, demographic and public policy research. In addition, the institute serves as a prestigious gathering place for thought leadership.

Named in honor of businessman, philanthropist and University of Utah alum Kem Gardner, the institute builds upon his legacy of hard work and his great love for Utah. Gardner currently serves as chairman of The Gardner Company, a private commercial real estate company. During his 38 years in business, Gardner and his partners have been involved in developing more than 33 million square feet of commercial real estate. Not satisfied with business alone, Gardner devotes a significant amount of time toward the betterment of Utah.

“There are a lot of needs around us, and Utah has big decisions ahead,” Gardner said. “I love this state and want to make a difference. I look at the Policy Institute and know it will help our community and business leaders make better-informed decisions.

An advisory board of business, government and community leaders — chaired by Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank and Gail Miller, owner of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies — provides strategic direction to the institute. Former Governors Mitt Romney and Michael O. Leavitt serve as the board conveners and will host an annual summit that will be held at the newly restored Wall Mansion on historic South Temple, which will serve as the home of the new institute beginning in 2016.

“Utah has a proud history of prudent planning and thoughtful decision-making,” said University of Utah President David Pershing. “Looking forward, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute will aid in the important choices Utahns will have to make by providing accurate and trusted research to the people of this great state.”

A luncheon will be held for invited guests at the Utah State Capitol Rotunda in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 11:30 a.m.

Click here to listen to a podcast with Policy Institute Director Natalie Gochnour and Jim Wood, Ivory-Boyer senior fellow at the institute.

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