Agency History #2506


The Utah Statehood Centennial Commission was established in 1988 by act of the 48th State Legislature. Its mission is to "bring the people of Utah together in a common effort to celebrate 100 years of Utah's Statehood and to work for a better future."


Cooperating with other groups, communities, and individuals, the commission will sponsor and support celebrations and educational, recreational, and cultural events and projects for the benefit of Utah and all her citizens. Commissioners selected the theme "Utah--the people and the places" for the centennial.

Commission members agreed on a 19-month-long celebration encompassing not just the centennial of statehood but the sesquicentennial of settlement by the Mormon pioneers as well. The official centennial observance will commence on January 4, 1996, and conclude on July 24, 1997. Many pre-centennial activities are planned to prepare for the celebration.

During its first year, commission members established three short-term goals: amend the law (statutorily required by the enabling act), conduct a logo and slogan contest, and establish a permanent organization (called "A Committee of Two Million" in the first report). Recommended changes in the law were adopted by the legislature in 1989. A contest to design a logo for the centennial celebration was also sponsored by the commission during 1989. Authorized to establish committees to assist them, commissioners explored the roles committees would play and considered the names of possible members.

The enabling legislation also charged the commission to "work with all necessary state agencies to develop, produce, and sell a centennial license plate to fund the commission's activities."

The original functions outlined in the Centennial Act were revised in 1989 through amendments proposed by the commission and adopted by the legislature. The amended statute charged the commission to "make grants to county centennial committees, communities, and other groups and individuals to carry out the purposes of this section; make rules governing the expenditure of centennial funds by county centennial committees and other organizations by complying with the procedures and requirements of . . . the Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act; and submit an annual report to the Governor and to the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel for submission to the Legislature by December 1 of each year."


The enabling act authorizes the governor to appoint 25 bipartisan members to the commission with the advice and consent of the Senate. Members are appointed to terms ending June 30, 1998. The Division of State History (Agency #495) is required to provide the commission with administrative support. The director of the Division of State History is required to serve as executive secretary of the body and is a voting member of the commission.


During the 1988 celebration of Statehood Day, Governor Norman H. Bangerter recommended the creation of a Statehood Centennial Commission. Accordingly, the legislature authorized creation of the commission during the general session. Appointments were made in July. At their first meeting in October, commissioners elected a chairperson and a steering committee.

A tentative organizational structure to assist in planning and implementing various aspects of the celebration has been devised. In an effort to involve as many of Utah's 2 million residents as possible, commissioners intend to emphasize statewide planning and coordination of grassroots efforts. Some 15 to 30 members will be appointed to serve on each of the anticipated 15 to 20 committees to be established to assist the commission. The commission will also coordinate with county centennial committees and other groups.


Centennial Commission Annual Reports, 1988 and 1989

Minutes of Centennial Commission Meetings

Administrative Files


Slogan and Logo Contest Files




Kriste Bennett, 1988-1989

Maxine Grimm, 1989-present

COMPILED BY: W. Glen Fairclough, Jr., July 1990


Appropriations Report, 1988-1989.

Centennial Commission Annual Reports; December 1, 1988, and December 1, 1989.

Deseret News, "Centennial commission seeks full-time staff," 14 October 1990, p. B15.

Laws of Utah, 1988 (Chapter 118), Commission created.

Laws of Utah, 1989 (Chapter 137), Centennial Act amended, duties expanded.

Utah Code Annotated, 1953, 63-70-1 et seq.

Utah Legislative Report 1989.

Page Last Updated July 2, 2003.