Aline W. Skaggs BUILDING

Aline Wilmot Skaggs (1926-2015)

Located immediately east of the South Biology Building, the Aline W. Skaggs building was built on the site of the old gymnasium building, later known as the dance building. Also demolished for the construction was a small brick building that formerly housed the University of Utah's seismograph and a small, wooden ex-Army building moved to the site following WWII. James Ehleringer was the department chair at the time and instrumental in overseeing the project.

The building is named for Aline Wilmot Skaggs, a philanthropist whose aim was to alleviate human suffering. The ALSAM Foundation is named in honor of L.S. ”Sam,” Aline’s husband, and was for decades, instrumental in supporting a variety of causes and organizations. In addition to its signature donation to the Aline W. Skaggs Biology Building (ASB), the Foundation has made significant donations to the University of Utah, The Scripps Research Institute, numerous colleges of pharmacy across the Western United States, and many other organizations.

Often credited as the father of the modern super drug-store chain, Sam Skaggs took over his family’s Idaho grocery store business after his father’s death in 1950. Skaggs grew the business from a regional industry leader into American Stores, which at one time was the third largest food-and-drug chain in the country.

Mr. Skaggs died in 2013 at the age of 89. Aline, a Boise native who loved animals — especially her beloved poodles and a pet deer, “Lafena,” as well as horses—was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the U in 1990. She is remembered by her four children as an excellent golfer, an avid bridge player, an outstanding cook, one who loved reading, and enjoyed country music, especially her favorite, the gospel-infused The Oakridge Boys. She passed away in 2015.

Detail of glass window in ASB cell bridge.

"This building has the best coffee shop on campus. The shop is called Brio and is student-owned."

Though designed primarily for research, the new building includes two large lecture halls, the largest is where the Frontiers of Science, the U's longest-running lecture series, is regularly staged.

"The best place to study is a quiet, sunny, area called the 'cell bridge' which links ASB to the South Biology Building.  Students are able to write with dry-erase markers on whiteboards and on the windows of the bridge."



  • The windows of the cell bridge between South Biology and ASB are actual images of plant cells.
  • When neurobiologist and former Mario Capecchi Endowed Chair Sophie Caron first arrived in 2015 as assistant professor at U Biology, her lab was set up in the ASB. Some of her equipment was so large and so heavy that workers had to dismantle some of the intricate windows of the "cell bridge" to lift the equipment to the second floor.
  • In 2020 both of the lecture halls, 210 and 220 were re-designed and re-furbished with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment which allows for a hybrid participation of seminars and other lecturers both in-person and digitally through remote broadcast.
  • In Fall Semester 2021 the first in-person seminars at the School reconvened since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the newly-retrofitted lecture halls, providing socially-distanced seating and access for tuning in remotely.



Loudest Stadium … according to science

‘Life of Tree’ Returns to Life in the Crocker Science Cntr.


Crocker Science Center

Thatcher Building

Henry Eyring Building

Cowles Building

South Biology

Fletcher Building