Expect The Great originally began through the visionary leadership of Reverend France A. Davis, as a priority under Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s goal of ensuring 66 percent of Utah’s adults between the ages of 20 and 64 would attain a postsecondary degree or certificate by the year 2020. 

The programming, while focused on African, African American, Black students is open to all and stands as an effort to close attainment gaps and support Governor Cox's vision of One Utah Thriving where access to education is a vehicle for creating strong families, strong communities, and a strong Utah.



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.


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.


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 opportunity to simultaneously encourage and celebrate these contributions and successes.



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. The following institutions have hosted the conference:

  • 2023: Southern Utah University (October 27 & 29)
  • 2022: Snow College (March 25 & 26)
  • 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: officeofdiversity@weber.edu