Welcome to the era of Dixie State University.
Gov. Gary Herbert inked his name onto the official document declaring university status for Dixie State during the Saturday morning signing ceremony.
“[Today] is a day to motivate us, to inspire us,” Herbert said. “[I hope it] gives us the vision necessary…to really concentrate our efforts to have excellence here at Dixie State University.”
The timing of this might have shocked some people since it came faster than expected.
DSU President Stephen Nadauld said he, Utah State Sen. Stephen Urquhart, and Utah House Rep. Don Ipson noticed something that changed the original plan of Dixie earning university status toward the summer of 2013.
“We realized if we made just a little change in the language of the bill, then a fun thing would happen,” Nadauld said. “That allowed the governor to sign the bill immediately as opposed to wait a month…after the session.”
Nadauld said during his ceremony speech that this means students who are graduating this semester will have the university stamp on their diplomas. The audience erupted at Nadauld’s announcement at the ceremony meeting.
Before the signing portion of the event, speakers took a few minutes to make remark about the importance of this day. Each one talked about the importance of Dixie’s history and the foresight from the people who established the institution.
“Here today is the cultivation of that vision of over 150 years of the coming of Dixie State University,” Nadauld said. “The fulfillment of that vision is really an emotionally stirring thing to think how they must feel to what we have built standing on their shoulders.”
Students even got some credit for this milestone.
“We have had the support of the students,” Nadauld said. “Without them, none of this could have been possible.”
The governor also took notice.
“I am very impressed with the students here,” Herbert said.
Steven Caplin, chair of the DSC board of trustees, also talked about how the institution has emerged as a leader of degrees.
“Dixie College grants more degrees per public dollar than any other public institution in the state by a margin of 2-1,” He said. “We can easily conclude that education at Dixie is both a good deal and a big deal.”
Urquhart then introduced an initiative by Herbert to get 66 percent of adults in Utah to have a secondary education degree by the year 2020.
“That will set us up for an incredible future in this state,” Urquhart said. “In this part of the state, we are going to do more than our fair share of getting to that 66 percent goal.”
Herbert said he has many educational goals for Utah, and the results will continue to be benefitial.
“Education opens the door to opportunity,” He said. “It gives us options in life, and more opportunity in the market place.”