New Centennial book chronicles DSC history

ST. GEORGE – Just in time for Dixie State College’s Centennial Homecoming celebration, DSC has released A Century of Dixie State College of Utah, which chronicles the evolution of the institution from its beginnings as an LDS stake academy in 1911, to a four-year state college on the cusp of becoming of regional state university.

Dr. Douglas D. Alder, former DSC president and professor emeritus, is the author of the 415-page book filled with interesting facts, photographs and historical accounts depicting the history Dixie College, including campus construction, special events, activities, athletics and student life through the years.

Alder noted the book also explores how the college survived and grew through three different educational systems, beginning with LDS Church sponsorship from 1911-1933, followed by being under the auspices of the Utah Board of Education from 1935-1969, to the institution’s current status with the Utah State Board of Regents since 1969.

“For half of its history, the College was so small that many state leaders felt it should not continue to exist,” says Alder. “That is the reason that until 1963, Dixie consisted of college and high school students and faculty so it could be big enough to maintain programs.”

Alder says that A Century of Dixie State College of Utah describes the story of Dixie College as one of struggle and amazing survival, serving as a celebration of Dixie reaching the century mark while overcoming several near misses when the college could have been closed.

“One message of the book is that the College existed largely because of the initiative of many local residents over the first century,” Alder said. “These residents gave their time, money and property, guaranteed debts and built buildings. One constant in all this throughout the century is the sacrifice and dedication to Dixie, and that sacrifice and dedication still goes on today.

“Since 1964, the College has grown steadily as it changed its role to become a community college,” Alder went on to say. “Over the last 10 years, Dixie’s enrollment growth has been stunning. It’s no longer a question of whether Dixie should continue to exist. Now the question is how soon will it be a university?”

Alder began the writing the book three years ago, with much of the work compiled through archived records located at the DSC Val A. Browning Library. Alder noted that the book would not have happened without the help of many collaborators, including his wife and editor Elaine Alder, DSC historian Dan Watson, fellow DSC professor emeriti Dr. Andrew Barnum and Paul Crosby, DSC assistant professor of visual technologies Ron Woodland, DSC Vice President of Administrative Services Stan Plewe, and the DSC Browning Library staff. Alder also paid tribute to DSC President Dr. Stephen D. Nadauld and Randy Judd, DSC Executive Director of Auxiliary Services for their assistance in the project.

A Century of Dixie State College of Utah is available for purchase at the Dixie State College Bookstore, the Dixie State Store, the DSC Alumni Office, Christensen’s, Deseret Book and Little Professor Book Center. A Century of Dixie State College of Utah can also be ordered online at For more information, please contact Randy Judd in the DSC Bookstore at 435-652-7641.

About the Author: Dr. Douglas D. Alder received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Utah, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1966. He did research for his doctoral dissertation on a Fulbright Fellowship in Vienna, Austria. Alder taught European History at Utah State University from 1963 to 1986. He was then appointed president of Dixie College, serving in the capacity until 1993. He remained at Dixie after his presidency, teaching history full-time until 1999. From 2002 to 2009, Alder he returned to Dixie State as an adjunct professor. Since then he has been doing historical research and writing. He is married to the former Elaine Reiser and they have four grown children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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