Sunderland Foundation Donates $50,000 to Construction Management Program

OGDEN, Utah – A prominent cement company's generosity has helped lay the foundation for increased learning opportunities at Weber State University.

The Parson Construction Management Technology program at WSU has received a gift of $50,000 from the Sunderland Foundation of Overland Park, Kan. The private foundation was established by the Sunderland family, which has led Ash Grove Cement Company since 1907.

The funds will be used to purchase 32 wireless, laptop computer workstations for classes offered in the WSU Wadman Learning Center.

Photo by Theresa Herbin/University Communications
Eddie Cooper (second from left), Ash Grove Cement’s regional sales manager, shakes hands with Warren Hill, dean of the College of Applied Science & Technology, after presenting him with a check for $50,000. The gift from the Sunderland Foundation will be used to purchase laptop computers for the Parson Construction Management Technology Program at Weber State University. Jack Parson Jr.(left), Chairman of Staker & Parson Cos., and Scott Parson (right), Vice President for Staker & Parson Cos., also attended the event.

"This is our way of supporting the Parson program's efforts to educate people in the construction industry so we can create and keep jobs in the state of Utah," said Eddie Cooper, Ash Grove's regional sales manager. He added that Ash Grove has enjoyed a close relationship with Parson's Construction for years.

Scott Parson, vice president of Staker & Parson Cos., said the gift will allow students to benefit from modern technology that is becoming increasingly important in the field.

"Employers regularly use technology, and this will allow students to immediately test software programs and applications in the classroom and apply what they've learned," Parson said.

Warren Hill, dean of the College of Applied Science & Technology, said the classroom technology is a selling point for prospective and current students alike. He said the program attracts students from all along the Wasatch Front and southern Idaho. Last year, increased demand led WSU to offer construction management courses at Salt Lake Community College.

WSU offers associate's and bachelor's degrees in construction management. More than 190 students are enrolled in the program, including 142 pursuing a four-year degree. Students receive practical, hands-on experiences in construction science, business and management.

Incorporated in Missouri in 1882, Ash Grove Cement Company has operations in nine western states, including a plant in Leamington, Utah, and a sales office in Salt Lake City that serve the Utah/Nevada region.  In addition, an Ash Grove subsidiary, Materials Packaging Corporation, operates in the Salt Lake City area. 

With an annual production capacity of more than 7.8 million tons of cement, Ash Grove is the fourth-largest cement manufacturer in the United States, and is the largest American-owned cement company.


Scott Parson, Vice President, Staker & Parson Cos.

Lance Latham, Director of Communications & Public Affairs,
Ash Grove Cement Company 

John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 ·