CEDAR CITY — Former Southern Utah University President Gerald R. Sherratt has died the university announced through a press release Friday.
“It is with deep sadness that Southern Utah University shares the news that former President Gerald R. Sherratt passed away today in Orem, Utah, due to health complications,” the release states.
“He was the greatest promoter the University ever had,” said current SUU President, Scott L Wyatt. “His mark is everywhere on campus, the city and the state.”
As a Cedar City native, and graduate of the Branch Agricultural College in 1951, Sherratt’s homecoming in 1982 to serve as the 13th president of then Southern Utah State College (SUSC) was greeted with enthusiasm and excitement.
Sherratt served as president until 1997 and was an influential leader, visionary and advocate for the school.
Sherratt’s passion and dedication are responsible for the institution’s largest period of growth, including an enrollment increase from 1,800 to more than 5,500 students during his tenure.
He also successfully lobbied the Legislature for university status and in 1991 SUSC turned into Southern Utah University under Sherratt’s guidance.
In his 16 years at the helm, Sherratt built 16 new buildings, a building a year. He helped launch the Utah Summer Games and elevated the athletic program to the NCAA Division I status.
“The SUU family mourns the loss of a great leader, mentor, friend and visionary,” said Vice President of Advancement Stuart Jones. “Jerry left an indelible legacy upon our campus, community and state. He will be dearly missed.”
After serving as SUU’s President, Sherratt became Cedar City’s mayor in 2001 and served two terms. During his time as mayor, he launched new projects and festivals and even trademarked the name, Festival City USA for Cedar City.
At the time he left office, he said he had a close family of about 25,000 people.
Details for Sherratt’s funeral, to be held in Cedar City, will be released later.
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