OGDEN — These in the know say the Ogden-Weber Complex School — especially as it features now, serving a sturdy 6,000 pupils every year on its sprawling Northern Ogden campus — wouldn’t exist without the need of Brent Wallis.
The Ogden native began his qualified vocation at what was then Weber State Higher education in 1965. In 1971, he headed the Techniques Centre North at Weber, teaching technological abilities education and learning there.
With Wallis at the helm, the heart finally morphed into Ogden-Weber tech. According to the college’s Promoting Supervisor Maria Milligan, the college grew from 93 once-a-year pupils in its early a long time to additional than 6,000, with Wallis serving as the institution’s director, superintendent and president for 37 several years. He retired in 2007 and served a stint in the Utah State Home of Associates.
Wallis died previously this month, just after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 80.
Milligan stated Wallis was behind the reins as the college moved to quite a few destinations throughout Weber County in its first 10 years, together with the old and dilapidated Ogden Exchange making in West Ogden. According to a 2018 profile on Wallis, which was penned by Ogden-location author Rachel Trotter and part of a sequence of pieces celebrating the historical past of the West Ogden stockyard, Wallis was identified to wake up at 2:30 a.m. on Monday mornings to get a head start out and warming up the Trade Building’s boiler.
Wallis spearheaded the culminating relocation for OWTC, which started in 1984 when ground broke at the college’s latest property on Washington Boulevard, just north of 2nd Road. Throughout the early yrs of the school’s existence, funding was generally in dilemma and Wallis labored tirelessly with the Utah Point out Legislature and other entities to get funds for the then-fledgling tech school.
“Given all the problems the establishment confronted during the early decades of its historical past, it is not likely that Ogden-Weber Complex University would be celebrating a 50th anniversary this yr with no the management, eyesight and innovation of Brent Wallis,” claimed Jim Taggart, existing president of OWTC.
Taggart said Wallis was a trailblazer in technical education, noting that he was among the the initially in the country to apply competency-based instruction, which fundamentally focuses on serious-world efficiency and instructing the items opportunity businesses say they will need most in the workforce. Milligan explained the modern strategy led the university to become the first technological training institution in the place to receive the prestigious U.S. Secretary of Training Award for Superb Vocational Plans. Wallis also carried out an open up-enrollment program with an open entry and exit model at OWTC, which allowed college students to end their training on a timeline that was very best for them.
Rob Brems, previous president of the Utah Faculty of Used Technological know-how, explained Wallis as a “man of vision” and reported today’s used engineering education landscape in Utah was heavily motivated by Wallis and his get the job done with the OWTC.
“He really was a pioneer,” Brems reported. “And really early on, he recognized something a great deal of people did not: that a technical education and learning was likely to be something that most people today are heading to will need.”
But further than the professional dynamism, both Brems and Taggart explained they’ll bear in mind Wallis significantly additional for the variety of human being he was. Taggart was employed at OWTC by Wallis in 1994. The pair cast a near romantic relationship in the a long time that followed. Taggart states Wallis was always dedicated to the accomplishment of the school’s teachers, pupils and their people.
“The thing that stands out the most was how he treated persons,” Taggart reported. “He constantly took a private curiosity in the folks … at the tech college. And he experienced this amazing ability to recall everyone’s title. He’d keep in mind the identify of an apprenticeship teacher who teaches two evenings a thirty day period and Brent hadn’t seen them in two years.”
Wallis was also a devout family guy, Taggart explained. Wallis married his wife, Gloria, in 1962 and the couple experienced six small children, 21 grandchildren and 10 excellent grandchildren. According to his obituary, Wallis an avid reader and gathered a massive library of books. He was also regarded to enjoy classical songs, taking part in golfing and using bikes.
“He was just a wonderful gentleman who motivated a lot of folks,” Taggart reported. “He was a excellent chief simply because he built other leaders. He’ll be skipped.”