For months, the school has been contemplating a name change due to the racial stigma the word "Dixie" carries. To some, it represents the Confederate South and the rampant slavery associated with it. And although 'Dixie' stands for something different as far as the college is concerned, many residents have voiced their opposition to the moniker and some have flat-out demanded it be changed.
Months ago, an advertising agency conducted an extensive study to determine what impact the name 'Dixie' has on the community. Earlier this month, the agency concluded that 84 percent of those surveyed held a favorable opinion of the word and preferred it remain in the school's name. The survey included opinions from St. George residents, Dixie alum, and current students.
The agency submitted a list of four possible names for the school when it elevates to university status: Dixie State University, University of St. George, Utah Dixie University and Utah Dixie State University.
The school was established in 1911 as the St. George Stake Academy. It first incorporated the name 'Dixie' in 1916.
The announcement by the Board of Trustees was met with applause from many of those in attendance Friday morning. Also, the board approved the school's move to university status during Friday's meeting. Next, the school will submit the proposal to the Utah Board of Regents, which will vote Jan. 25.