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ST. GEORGE — A brand new digital learning center opened today on the campus of Dixie State College. The Holland Centennial Commons is named after Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Dixie State recently has seen a 60 percent increase in students. The growing enrollment has required a lot of changes on campus.
The Holland Centennial Commons will provide new learning opportunities for students. It's a state-of-the-art digital learning center, a library with very few books.
Student Angela Miner said, "It's awesome. I love it. It's beautiful and students can come and enjoy their time and do their homework."
It also honors one of the college's most accomplished graduates. Elder Holland resisted having his name attached to the building but relented when Dixie State convinced him it would benefit his alma mater.
"I'll agree to all of this if this can be for every student," Elder Holland said. "This building needs to represent and be a tribute to and be a service to every student who ever came here or will ever come here. On that basis, because I am all for students, we've been willing to lend our name."
This building needs to represent and be a tribute to and be a service to every student who ever came here or will ever come here.
–Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Both he and his wife, Patricia, are graduates of Dixie. Together, college leaders believe the Hollands will inspire students to achieve their dreams.
Dixie State President Stephen D. Nadauld said, "He has inspired a generation and we want his name to inspire generations in the future. We want a young person to come into this building and say, ‘Who is this man for whom this building is named and why is he important in this community?'"
The Holland's son Matt, who is now the president of Utah Valley University, could not be prouder of this honor for his parents.
"It was a wonderful moment for both my father and my mother. They are both products of this institution. They both leave a legacy. It was a tribute and a wonderful moment for them as a couple and us as a family," he said.
- 5 stories
- 170,000 square feet
The building was dedicated by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church, who recognized Elder Holland's lifelong effort of encouraging education.
It was a day Elder Holland says he will never forget.
"We're indebted to every single person who has labored and worked and been so kind, and extremely and embarrassingly generous today," Elder Holland said.
The new building is expected to give Dixie State a boost as it transitions from a college to a university.