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Centennial: Dixie State College celebrates 100th birthday

By Richard Briggs
On September 20, 2011

Sydney Sorenson | Dixie Sun

President Stephen Nadauld cuts the cake to celebrate the 100th birthday for Dixie State. As Dixie celebrates 100 years, the administration looks forward to the next 100 years as Dixie State University.

A fire truck carrying members of student government and President Stephen Nadauld raced by the pavilion next to the Udvar-Hazy School of Business, signaling the official start of the celebration.

Community members, students, faculty, staff and Ragin' Red began singing the Dixie State College school song, and the celebration of DSC's 100th birthday also began.

Nadauld took the microphone and talked about DSC's history. He told the story of Sam Brooks, the St. George man who was the first enrolled student of the college. Brooks slept at the steps of the college the night before Dixie opened to make sure he was the first student to be enrolled.

Ragin' Red members then tried to get audience members involved in singing the songs that have become their staple. Although most people in attendance were content to sit and watch Ragin' Red perform, there were a couple of students who joined in on the sing-along portion of the party.

Now, everyone associated with the college looks ahead to becoming a university a century later. From one student sleeping at the steps of the college in 1911 to 9,000 students busily pacing from 600 South to Tabernacle, the Red Storm still have distance to travel in their journey—distance larger than the picnic-table-sized cake served at the Centennial Birthday Bash.

"We've made the public declaration that we're going to be a university," Nadauld said. "That'll happen within the next five years. Beyond that we have to add master's degrees, and we have to continue to expand our offerings of baccalaureate degrees and associate degrees. We'll grow our student body from 9,000 to 12 or 15,000. We've got a lot of exciting plans."

Steve Johnson, DSC's public relations director, expressed his excitement for the next 100 years and the direction DSC is heading.

"The next 100 years looks fantastic with the continued addition of degree programs," Johnson said. "The next three to five years, the probability of becoming a regional state university. We close the chapter on 100 years tonight, and we're going to start a new century tomorrow. I don't want to use the cliché, ‘The future looks bright,' but I don't see this institution going anywhere but up."

Johnson said increasing enrollment continues to be the goal of the school going forward with a goal to reach 10,000 students next year.

Student Body President Mike Sheffield, a junior business major from St. George, said to never forget the past 100 years, but it's time to move forward.

"Let's tie a nice, big ribbon and bow on the first 100 years and really keep the traditions alive," Sheffield said. "I think it's time to truly set the standard for what's going to happen the next 100 years."

The groundbreaking and construction of the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building, and the addition of two criminal law degrees and a theater education degree, are signs that the standard is rising for DSC.

Nick Rhodes, student body vice president and a senior communication major from Bluffdale, said he expects "pure, sheer awesomeness" for the next 100 years of DSC. The changes taking place are just the beginning.

"I think this is really cool that the 100 years is right when we're trying to become a university," he said. "We're getting to a new generation and new excitement."


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