Dixie state college of utah

Dixie State University
Established September 19, 1911
Type Public[1]
President Stephen Nadauld
Academic staff 423
Students 10,000[2]

St. George, Utah, United States
37°5′43″N 113°34′40″W / 37.09528°N 113.57778°W / 37.09528; -113.57778Coordinates: 37°5′43″N 113°34′40″W / 37.09528°N 113.57778°W / 37.09528; -113.57778

Campus Suburban
Colors Red and Blue
Nickname DSU (formerly DSC), Red Storm
Mascot Big D (formerly Rodney Rebel)
Website www.dixie.edu

Dixie State University (formerly Dixie State College) is a public university located in St. George, Utah, United States.


The institution was started by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) on September 19, 1911, as St. George Stake Academy. In 1916, the academy, which is located in a region that was called "Utah's Dixie" by Brigham Young, became Dixie Normal College, and then in 1923 the name was changed to Dixie Junior College. In 1933 the LDS Church discontinued its support of the college, and the local citizenry had to maintain the school until the State of Utah began supporting it as part of the state's higher education system in 1935.[3] In 1970, the school became Dixie College, then in 2000 it became Dixie State College of Utah when the Utah State Legislature authorized the college to offer baccalaureate degrees. When the school first opened its doors, there were only 42 students. In 2000 when the college became a four-year college, enrollment had reached approximately 7,000 students.

On September 7, 2007, Dixie State College Board of Trustees members announced that Dixie State College of Utah would petition the University of Utah to become the University of Utah—St. George.[4] The proposal was approved by the Dixie State College Board of Trustees on October 7, 2007, and by the University of Utah Board of Trustees on October 14, 2007. The two institutions formed a task force to define the parameters of an enhanced affiliation, to be approved by both Trustee boards, the Utah State Board of Regents, and the Utah State Legislature. The process was expected to be complete in 2009.

Due to local concerns[5] and the refusal to abandon the "Dixie" name and "Rebel" mascot, the idea of merging Dixie State College into the University of Utah was abandoned.

In 2011 a bill was drafted for the review of the Utah State Legislature and the Utah State Governor to support Dixie State College's transition to university status.[6]

In 2012 and 2013, the institution became a focus of local and national media attention concerning the name for the institution as a university.[7] The institution's close association with the Confederate South documented in the school yearbook, The Confederate,[8] from the 1950s through 1993 was scrutinized, including students appearing on parade floats and at school activities in blackface in the 1960s (during the Civil Rights Movement) through 1993 and the proud display of the Confederate flag at many school events. The school also named student dorms after plantations.[9] The school adopted the Confederate imagery in 1956 with the mascot "Rodney Rebel" and displayed a large statue of a Confederate soldier on campus through 2012. The statue was removed in December, 2012, after students, faculty and community members protested the name "Dixie" in front of the statue in December, 2012, bringing attention to the association with the Confederate South.[10]

The institution contracted with a local advertising firm, Sorenson Advertising, to investigate names for the institution as a university [11] and found that alumni overwhelmingly supported the name "Dixie" while less than half of faculty/staff supported the name "Dixie." The report was highly criticized for its methodology. At one point, the institution publicly considered an apology for the association with the Confederacy and "other controversial imagery",[12] but in the end the institution denied any knowledge of racist behavior stating, "No one on this board or in this administration is aware of any racial discrimination in our past.".[13] Sorenson Advertising recommended a name other than "Dixie" if the school wanted to expand recruitment beyond the local community. The same day the Trustees voted in favor of the name "Dixie" the school president said he hoped "to attract an increasing number of international and out-of-state students who pay higher tuition than in-state students".[14] The NAACP also spoke out against the name "Dixie".[15]

In 2013 the Legislature changed the status of the institution from a college to a university and named it Dixie State University. Governor Gary Herbert signed the bill into law in a ceremony on campus, calling the new university into existence on February 16, 2013. Pres. Stephen Nadauld of Dixie State University and others recognized this step as the fulfillment of the dream of the original Latter-Day Saint pioneers of the area to have a university for their communities in the area.

The primary campus of Dixie State University is located in St. George, Utah, with the Hurricane Education Center campus extension located in Hurricane, Utah.


The University offers baccalaureate degrees in Accounting, Biology, Business Administration, Communications with emphases in Digital Motion Picture Production, Mass Communication, and Human Communication,[16] Computer and Information Technology, Criminal Justice, Dental Hygiene, Elementary Education, English with emphases in English Education, Literary Studies, and Professional and Technical Writing, Family and Consumer Science Education, History Education, Integrated Studies, Music, Music Education, Nursing, Psychology, Theatre, and Secondary Licensure. The administration of Dixie State University is working to provide more baccalaureate degrees.

Associate degree offerings include Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Science in Business, Associate of Pre-Engineering and Associate of Science in Criminal Justice as well as Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education, and Associate Degrees of Applied Science in Automotive Mechanics, Early Childhood Education, Health Science, and Marketing. Also, certifications in nursing, medical radiography, Automotive Mechanics, Dental Hygiene, Marketing, and Visual Technology are also available.


Dixie State competes in NCAA Division II as a full member of the Pacific West Conference and as a football-only member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The team name is the Red Storm. Previously when the school competed in Junior College athletics Dixie State teams used the team name the "Rebels".

Raging Red Show Choir

The Raging Red Show Choir is a goodwill and showcase performance group composed of students that was started in January 2009.[17] Raging Red has performed throughout Utah, in parts of Nevada and Arizona, and is performing at the 2010 World's Fair in China. The group is directed by Merilee Webb and performs a variety of different styles of music, including hip-hop, spiritual, and broadway, and stages scenes from popular films and/or television programs.

For the 2010 World's Fair, their program included the song "Belle" from Disney's Beauty and the Beast, "For Good" from the Broadway production of Wicked, a medley of Muppet music and skits from The Muppets and Sesame Street, as well as a dance mix of seventies classics. Each song includes solo performances by members of the choir and almost always require improvisation at some point.

In April, 2010, Raging Red opened a show for Jon Schmidt as a fundraiser for their trip to China the following month, which was in part funded by the students.[18]

Raging Red is based on the idea of "making your box bigger," as opposed to stepping outside of it, or, making yourself comfortable with doing things you wouldn't normally do without violating your personal standards or pretending to be something you aren't. Students that are involved in Raging Red are encouraged to be examples in the community and to other students, as Raging Red is a recruiting tool for Dixie State.

Merilee Webb has a Master's in Music Education from Brigham Young University Provo, where she was selected "Most Outstanding Musician" in 1983 and teaches in Salt Lake and Saint George.[19] Merilee has served as Associate Director for "Young Americans," where she met Raging Red's then-future choreographer, Mackenzie Koehler, a student at the time.

Box office

Dixie State University Box Office is located in the Cox Auditorium (aka the Avenna Center) in between Tennis Courts and the Smiths Computer Center. The Box Office is the main ticketing center for events on campus including sports, music, theater, and dance. Although the main office for the Box Office is in the Cox Auditorium there are offices in various buildings:

  • Cox Auditorium: Celebrity Concert Series, Concerts, Dance, Choir, Dixie's Got Talent, Music
  • Eccles Black Box: Theater
  • Eccles Main Stage: Theater, Dance
  • Eccles Concert Hall: Choir, Band
  • Hansen Stadium (East and West sides of the stadium): Soccer, Football, Outdoor concerts, Senior Games
  • Cooper Field: Softball
  • Burns Arena (East and West sides of the gym): Basketball, Concerts
  • Gymnasium (aka Old Gym): Volleyball

Notable alumni

See also


External links

  • Dixie State University of Utah official website
  • Dixie State University of Utah official athletics website
  • Computer and Information Technology Department of Dixie State University
  • Dixie State University Box Office
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