Dixie State President speaks at convocation

ST. GEORGE — Dixie State University President Dr. Richard B. Williams and DSU first lady Kristin Williams will address DSU students, faculty, staff, and the community at the seventh annual University Convocation Sunday at 7 p.m., in the Avenna Center Cox Auditorium on the DSU campus. The convocation is free to attend and DSU T-shirts will be given away to attendees while supplies last. Light refreshments will be served at a reception following the event.

The convocation’s theme, “Our Traditions … Our Future,” will also hear remarks from DSU Student Association President Gregory Layton. In addition, Dixie State alum and 2010 Miss Nevada, Alana Lee, will deliver an inspirational address to DSU students as they begin the 2014-15 academic year.

In addition, a number of St. George-area clergy representatives will be in attendance, along with local government leaders, DSU administration and Board of Trustees. The program will also include inspirational songs and performances by students and faculty from DSU’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. Richard Williams served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Indiana State University. Previous to his appointment as provost and VP, Richard Williams was the founding dean of ISU’s College of Nursing, Health and Human Services, for which he led the development of six new degree programs designed to address the state’s critical shortage of health care workers.

Richard Williams also served as an associate dean of the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa, where he was a faculty member, executive associate director of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services, and chair of the Division of Athletic Training. At UNI, he helped create a private-public partnership between the local hospital, medical community, and university that resulted in the construction of a two-story human performance center that served the surrounding rural communities. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in lifestyle management from Weber State University, a master’s degree in athletic training from Indiana State, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from New Mexico State University.

Kristen Williams has worked in the physical therapy field for more than 21 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy at the University of Utah in 1993, and a master’s degree in exercise science at Northern Iowa in 2007. The Williams are parents of five children – Bailee, 18, Elly, 15, Braden, 13, Peyton, 11, and Rowen, 8.

Alana Lee graduated from DSU with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication in 2013. A former Miss Dixie Homecoming Queen, in 2009, she was crowned Miss Nevada in 2011 and advanced to the 2012 Miss America Pageant, becoming the first DSU student to ever compete at the storied pageant. Since her graduation, Lee has returned to her hometown of Las Vegas, where she operates her own marketing consulting firm and works as a licensed realtor.

Gregory Layton enrolled at DSU during the 2010 fall semester. He has served with DSU student association, also known as  DSUSA, since 2012 as a committee member, and was the vice president of academics for the 2013-14 academic year prior to his election as DSUSA president last spring. In addition, Layton served as a staff writer for DSU’s Dixie Sun newspaper. Layton hails from Holladay, Utah, and is a 2007 graduate of Cottonwood High School. He is an english major with an emphasis on professional and technical writing. Layton plans to attend law school following his graduation from DSU.

DSU President Emeritus Dr. Stephen D. Nadauld introduced the convocation as a new campus tradition in 2008, as a way to establish a four-year culture at Dixie State, noting at the time that these types of nondenominational gatherings go on at other college campuses throughout the country and have an inspirational flavor to them.

Event details

  • What: Seventh annual University Convocation, “Our Traditions … Our Future” | Reception to follow
  • When: Sunday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Avenna Center Cox Auditorium, Dixie State University campus, 225 South 700 East, St. George, Utah

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