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ST. GEORGE — The name change for Dixie State College has brought a lot of controversy and anticipation. The name was officially changed to Dixie State University on Friday during a meeting of the Board of Trustees.
St. George-based Sorenson Advertising researched different names for the school and the impact they would have on the community. The extensive results of its survey proposed four names based on local, state and national appeal — Dixie State University, University of St. George, Utah Dixie University and Utah Dixie State University.
An overwhelming 83 percent of respondents — made up of students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members — said the controversial "Dixie" title could or should be part of the school's name.
However, Dixie opponents, including the NAACP, argue the term invokes a negative association with racism and slavery. But, the Sorenson advertising CEO argued that the community associates the name with volunteerism, compassion and a pioneer heritage.
The Dixie State student body president said that he wanted "Dixie" removed from the name, but that he would vote for the voice of the student body. The majority wanted to keep "Dixie" in the name with only 17 percent saying to remove it.
The overall vote in the Board of Trustees meeting was unanimous in favor of Dixie State University.