Dixie State University
Utah - United States
When students arrive at Dixie State University campus in St. George, Utah, they can enjoy an inviting landscape with fountains and statues, athletic fields, two gymnasiums, and many well equipped classroom buildings, computer laboratories, two theaters, an art gallery, two concert halls, dormitories and a student center with a food court, a book store and a dance hall. A fine library is at the center of campus, with a park on each side. There are two other parks, the Encampment Mall and the O. C. Tanner Fountain Plaza. It is a walking campus with parking for cars on the perimeter. Above all, there are professors, about 175 of them plus adjunct teachers, and vibrant students—about 10,000. Together they are engaged in the excitement of learning.
This is quite a contrast to the initial condition of the site in 1963 when the enrollment was 385 college students. They had just moved to the new campus from the one downtown built in 1911. When they arrived at the 700 South location for the new college there was no landscaping or parking, no student center or athletic fields. Girls recall that they wore tennis shoes to get through the dust to the buildings—the Gym, the Fine Arts Center, the first phase of the Science Building and Home Economics building—then they changed to regular shoes and carried the rubber ones. The Shilo Dorm, a small cafeteria and a furnace were also in place. It took a decade for the students, townspeople, faculty and staff to plant grass and trees. What a change today—and what changes are coming in the future!
The story of Dixie University on the old campus includes two decades of belonging to the LDS Church system of academies from 1911 to 1933. During that time there were about 25 faculty members who taught high school juniors and seniors as well as college freshmen and sophomores on the four-building campus on the town square.
During those years a tradition was begun to involve the students in college government as well as a vibrant social life--dances, clubs, choirs, band, orchestra, theater, field trips, debate team trips, and painting the “D” on the hill. Athletics were important on both the high school and college levels and the teams were both called “Flyers.” The colors were blue and white and they traveled to meet teams at Snow College, Ricks, Weber, Cedar City and even Eastern Arizona.
In 1926 the LDS Church decided to close most of its academies because public high schools were coming into existence. The church chose to create high school seminaries next to them instead of maintaining their own academies. By 1933 it became Dixie’s turn to be closed. It was a traumatic crisis for the southern Utah community. Delicate negotiations with the state legislature made it possible to transfer the college to the state in 1935 but the local citizens had to pay the costs of keeping the college alive from 1933 to 1935. They did that through donations and labor, continuing the tradition of supporting the college.
In 1935 the State Board of Education took over financing the college and high school. There were about 200 college students and about the same number of high school students. The board wanted the two split, with the high school coming under the direction of Washington County. The community resisted. They felt they needed the two to be together to provide a good-sized student body for the many social and academic programs. Also the county did not have the funds to build a new high school.
There were a couple of close calls between 1935 and 1963 when various state leaders proposed closing the college, but they were outmaneuvered because the local citizens were doggedly loyal to the college and willing to donate to keep it alive. Finally the local citizens, particularly the Dixie Education Association, raised the funds to purchase four blocks of land on 700 East and 100 South for a new campus. They presented that land to the state that in turn agreed to fund a few buildings for a new campus there. In 1957 the gymnasium was finished and by 1963 four other buildings were ready for college students with the high school students remaining on the downtown campus.
Core Theme 1: A Culture of Learning
Dixie State University promotes a campus-wide culture of learning; delivers excellent teaching; and prepares knowledgeable and competent students who achieve their educational goals.
Core Theme 2: A Culture of Values
Dixie State University invests in a culture of values which include service, citizenship, diversity, ethics, and collaboration.
Core Theme 3: A Culture of Community
School of Education
Department of Education
Department of Family & Consumer Science
Department of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
School of Business
School of Humanities
University level Composition
Professional Technical Writing
History and Political Science Department
English as a Second Language (ESL)
American Sign Language (ASL)
Social & Behavioral Sciences Department
IELTS - 6.0
TOEFL – 61