On the last Thursday in March, the sun rose on the eastern horizon at roughly a quarter past seven. The high ridge line above the East Ogden Bench would cast its continuous shadow on the city for another hour. Daybreak revealed that an overnight dusting of snow had fallen on mountain peaks above Ogden. On the Weber State University campus, almost 3,000 students from around the world were enjoying a splendid Utah morning for the first time.
The occasion for their first trip to Ogden was the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) that WSU was hosting. Students from across the country and five foreign countries came to the WSU campus to share their research and artistic creations. That morning, the visiting students heard from the Nobel Prize winning geneticist Mario Capecchi. On subsequent mornings, the students would learn from the award-winning author Anne Fadiman and the noted ethnobotanist Paul Cox.