Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed House Bill 61 on Saturday, which elevated the school to university status. The transition began in 2011, when the Utah Legislature began considering the school's request to become a four-year institution.
The proposal didn't meet with much opposition -- except for the side issue of the school's name, "Dixie." Some believe the name reflects the bigoted history of the Confederate south. However, in January 2013 administrators concluded that the Dixie name was not offensive and that it would remain.
However, officials did entertain the possibility of changing the school's name. After extensive research, administrators arrived at four possible names for the school when it became a university: Dixie State University, St. George University, Utah Dixie State University, and Utah Dixie University. Dixie State University was officially chosen as the name on Jan. 18.
Dixie State University President Dr. Stephen D. Nadauld said the faculty is excited about the new diplomas that will be given out in May -- which will say 'university' on them.
Founded in 1911, Dixie State University has undergone a series of name changes. It began as the St. George Stake Academy before switching to other names, including Dixie Academy, Dixie Normal College, Dixie Junior College, Dixie College, and ultimately Dixie State College.
- Four possibilities for Dixie name change (1/9/2013)
- Dixie State College decides to change nothing (1/18/2013)