Alfred C. Emery served as the ninth president of the University of Utah. Emery dedicated his professional life to the U and the College of Law, with a career at the university spanning 40 years. Emery received his BS and JD degrees from the U, then served with the rank of lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He joined the U in 1947 as a lecturer in the College of Law, then held the Sterling Fellowship at Yale Law School before returning to the U, where he became a full professor in 1956.
Emery held several administrative positions prior to his appointment as president, including acting dean of the College of Law, university vice president of academic affairs and provost. Emery was known as a strong supporter of faculty governance and an advocate for academic freedom. Throughout his university career, he was active on several committees, including the Academic Senate, Academic Policy Advisory Committee and the Publications Council. During his tenure as president, he helped create university regulations to protect and strengthen freedom of speech on campus.
An educator at heart, Emery returned to teaching law after stepping down as president and remained on the faculty until 1989. After his retirement, he was named distinguished professor emeritus of law. The prestigious Alfred C. Emery endowed professorship in the U’s S.J. Quinney College of Law was created in his honor to recognize outstanding teaching and academic leadership. One of the university’s most historic buildings on Presidents Circle was renamed in his honor in 1980.