Months of research culminated in the big reveal of Dixie State College’s potential new name Wednesday night.
Erik Sorenson of Sorenson Advertising gave the firm’s recommendations via the public presentation at the Cox Auditorium. The agency’s top four recommendations for the school’s name as it transitions into a university are Dixie State University, University of St. George, Utah Dixie University, and Utah Dixie State University.
Sorensen said the name “Dixie” is not exclusively tied to the Confederate South, and he said it is much easier for a college representative to explain to an outsider why this area of Utah is called Dixie than for the community in St. George to understand why “Dixie” was removed from the name.
“To avoid potential misperceptions regionally and nationally, the term ‘Dixie’ needs to separate itself from the historical strife of the Confederate ‘Dixie,’” Sorenson said. “It is critical that the institution defines what Dixie truly is and takes steps to show what Dixie means in the minds of the stakeholders.”
Steve Johnson, DSC director of public relations, said the process was something that needed to happen.
“It was good to see a healthy debate and discussion about…whether ‘Dixie’ should stay in the name,” he said. “I think there are some things that are in this institution’s past that needs to be addressed, and probably will be addressed, once we take that next step in terms of what that final name will be.”
DSC’s administration will present the name recommendations to the board of Trustees on Jan. 18 for a final vote at the local level. The board of Regents and the Utah State Legislation will then vote on the name and university status. Dixie Sun News will report from the Trustees meeting, and more information will be reported on as it comes available from the Regents and Legislative meetings.
Feedback on the name change recommendations, plus the full report of Sorenson Advertising’s findings, can be found at http://www.dixie.edu/namechange.