Expect The Great Initiative
WHAT IS EXPECT THE GREAT?
Expect The Great is a free conference for African, African-American and Black students in Utah focused on college and career awareness and readiness. This year’s theme is “Build. Invest. Connect. Empower.”
Expect The Great began with the leadership of then-Utah System of Higher Education Board of Regents Vice Chair France A. Davis, who sought an outreach event aimed at increasing college access, participation, retention, and graduation for the state’s African, African-American, and Black students and communities.
Regent Davis was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2008; he served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City from 1974 to 2019, retiring to serve as pastor emeritus under new pastor, Reverend Dr. Oscar Terrance Moses.
Expect The Great was one effort developed to contribute to former Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s goal to have at least 66 percent of Utah’s adults between the ages of 20 and 64 to hold a postsecondary degree or certificate by the year 2020. The work continues.
WHY IS EXPECT THE GREAT HELD ANNUALLY?
Expect The Great is designed to increase awareness about higher education and future careers to Utah’s Black community.
A PLACE FOR COMMUNITY
It is also a place for Utah’s African, African-American and Black high school and college students to connect in community. According to a 2019 estimate, the number of people who identify as Black or African American in Utah stands at 1.6%. For Black youngsters, such demographics can lead to feelings of racial isolation when very few people look like them in an educational setting. This conference is a safe space to build up, connect with, invest in, and empower our Utah Black students.
A PLACE FOR ASPIRATION & GROWTH
This conference brings Black students together with mentors and experts to foster and promote their positive well-being and career growth. It helps to set them up for success. The conference features a range of empowering sessions and presenters addressing critical areas such as student leadership and engagement, college and career preparation, financial aid and scholarships, and life after college.
A PLACE TO CELEBRATE
Even though the number of Utah residents who identify as African, African-American and Black is proportionally small, we must continue to create spaces where their contributions to Utah’s development and growth are duly recognized, encouraged and celebrated. Expect the Great offers one such opportunity to simultaneously encourage and celebrate these contributions and successes.
WHEN & WHERE IS THE CONFERENCE HELD?
The first Expect The Great event was held in 2011. Each year in either October or November, a different Utah higher education institution hosts the Expect The Great Event. This year’s event has been pushed to March because of the unprecedented events related to the 2020 pandemic. The following institutions have hosted the conference:
- 2021: Weber State University (March 26 & 27)
- 2020: (No conference due to pandemic)
- 2019: Utah Valley University (Oct. 4 & 5)
- 2018: Salt Lake Community College (Oct. 5 & 6)
- 2017: Westminster College (Oct. 28)
- 2016: University of Utah (Nov. 5)
- 2015: Weber State University (Oct. 10)
- 2014: Salt Lake Community College (Nov. 8)
- 2013: University of Utah (Nov. 16)
- 2012: Weber State University (Nov. 3)
- 2011: Salt Lake Community College (Oct. 15)
| Contact: Adrienne Andrews email@example.com