ST. GEORGE – As part of Dixie State College’s Centennial Celebration, Dr. Douglas D. Alder, 14th President of DSC, will discuss his book “A Century of Dixie State College of Utah,” as part of the 28th-Annual Juanita Brooks Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 23rd, at 7 p.m., in the historic St. George Tabernacle. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The Juanita Brooks Lecture Series, which was established at Dixie State College by Obert C. Tanner for the purpose of perpetuating the great writing of southern Utah in the tradition of Juanita Brooks, is an annual part of the St. George Tabernacle’s Weekly Music and History series.
President Alder’s presentation will include stories of the life on the old campus next to the Tabernacle where the college existed until 1963. The book includes interviews with students who attended there in those early days. He will tell about two challenges that nearly closed the old campus. Then the story will go on to the new campus that opened in the fall of 1963 with 380 students. The evolution of the campus to a four-year college and an enrollment of 8,700 students will be detailed as well as two more near-death crises.
Dr. Alder will select from the scores of stories about the college, its students, activities, faculty and staff. These include the emergence of such things as the Hansen Stadium, the original Dixie Center, the new Eccles Fine Arts Center and the Encampment Mall. The transition into a community college and then into a bachelor’s granting curriculum will be described. Those attending will understand why the college has survived and why it is central to the new economic development of southern Utah.
Following the lecture, Alder will be available to meet patrons and answer questions at a reception held downstairs in the Tabernacle. The book is available at Deseret Book Store, Christensen’s, and at both DSC Bookstore locations at the DSC Gardner Student Center and at the DSC College Store at 1037 East 100 South.
Dr. 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.
Juanita Brooks, who served on the Utah Board of State History for 28 years, was a long-time professor at then-Dixie College and became a well-known author. She is recognized, by scholarly consent, to be one of Utah’s and the LDS Church’s most eminent historians. Her total honesty, unwavering courage and perceptive interpretation of fact, set more stringent standards of scholarship for her fellow historians to emulate.