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U President Taylor Randall gavels Utah Senate into session

When the gavel came down in the Utah Senate on Jan. 17, it wasn’t Senate President Stuart Adams calling the body to order.

In what appears to be a historic first, University of Utah President Taylor Randall conducted the Senate’s 2023 opening ceremonies, including the swearing-in of both re-elected and newly-elected senators.

“What an honor to preside as president pro tempore of the Utah Senate on the opening day of the general session,” Randall said.

Many of the senators Randall swore in had ties to the U, including Jennifer Plumb, Nate Blouin, Stephanie Pitcher and Karen Kwan. He also swore in Adams, another U alum, to continue serving as senate president.

“May I take a moment on behalf of the citizens of Utah to thank you for making this a remarkable and prosperous state,” Randall said. “Your careful and wise deliberations over the next 45 days no doubt will make it even better. I express my deep appreciation to all of you.”

Randall was joined by his father Reed Randall, who is one of Adams’ former professors. Adams graduated from the U with a bachelor’s degree in business finance.

“I did not like accounting until he showed me how it could be used to make decisions,” Adams said. “Professor Randall, you changed my life. Thank you, and thank you for raising a wonderful talented son.”

Randall will present the university’s priorities to the Utah Legislature’s Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee on Jan. 25.