To: Sen. McKell, M.,
Subject: Vote YES to Change Dixie State University's Name
As an employee of Dixie State University, I am writing to urge you to vote yes to change Dixie State University’s name.
Having worked at the institution since 2014, it has been incredible to have a front-row seat to witness the growth this institution has achieved. This growth is not only impacting the lives of our students and their families, but also the Washington County community and workforce of the entire state. Under President Williams’ amazing leadership, we have added 111 academic programs and increased student enrollment by 41% in five short years. To me, the most incredible aspect of this growth is that we have made incredible “active learning. active life.” educational opportunities available to anyone seeking to better their life — first-generation college students, nontraditional students, and those who may not have excelled in high school — as Dixie State is an open-enrollment institution.
It would be a shame to let all this hard work and success be hindered in the future by an antiquated name that is saddled with the history of representing those who supported slavery. While I completely understand that is not what “Dixie” means to Southern Utahns, the students we are trying to recruit from outside of the region may not comprehend that. As hard as all of us at Dixie State University work to offer our students second-to-none educational experiences, I’d hate for a single student not to take advantage of this opportunity because of our name.
I understand the love for Dixie’s heritage. In fact, I embrace it myself. I just think we can do so without retaining a university name that will affect the institution’s ability to do our job to recruit and consequently educate the students of Utah. I agree that it is important to honor and preserve Southern Utah’s history, but we cannot do so at the expense of our students.
Thank you for your consideration and dedication to doing the right thing for our students and the future of Utah.