Since 2011, the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce has been hosting The Pillar of the Valley Award, honoring individuals who have made remarkable contributions to the Utah Valley community. The gala that has been held for the past three years is a large social events with attendees from key Utah business and important civic and church leaders. This year the chamber honored two “pillars” Elder Dallin Oaks and the late Ray Noorda. These men were chosen because of their timeless contributions that continue to better the Utah Valley community.
Elder Dallin Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Provo native who entered the work field sweeping in a radio repair shop. Since then he has graduated from Brigham Young University and attended law school at the University of Chicago. He has served as a law clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court as well as professor of law at University of Chicago and held positions at University of Michigan Law School. Later, Elder Oaks served as the president for BYU for nine years and moved on to Utah Supreme court for three years until he accepted a calling to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in April 1984. On March 28, Elder Oaks was honored not only for his extraordinary duties to the community but also his loving dedication to his family. Musical numbers were performed in his honor by his daughter, Jenny Oaks.
The late Ray Noorda of Novell was also honored as the other Pillar of the Valley. Ray Noorda is responsible for organizing the team that developed the Novell NetWare software system. His legacy lives not only in Provo but internationally as a technology giant. In 1995, he was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame. Noorda is survived by his wife Lewena Taylor and five children.The gala was filled with classical musical numbers, honors and awards, exceptional food, and delightful members of the Utah Valley community.