Latter-day Saint Life

How a Latter-day Saint from ‘the slums’ found the gospel and became this university’s first female president

Astrid S. Tuminez smiles to the crowd at the public meeting of the Board of Trustees where she is introduced as the seventh President of Utah Valley University in Orem on Friday, April 20, 2018.
Photo: Adam Fondren, Deseret News

More than 7,000 miles and the world’s largest ocean separate Astrid S. Tuminez’s birthplace in the Philippines from her adopted home of Orem, Utah. But mere geography can’t aptly describe the massive distance this Latter-day Saint convert has traveled.

She was born in 1964 into a family of seven children with few obvious advantages.

No matter. In boxing parlance, she quickly mastered the art of “punching above her weight.”

Her unlikely journey from the impoverished slums of Southeast Asia to becoming president of Orem’s Utah Valley University was fueled by smarts, hard work, gospel faith, good fortune, more hard work, and the timely support of many friends and mentors along the way.

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