Posted on December 16, 2020

Utah College Votes to Nix Confederate-Tied ‘Dixie’ from Name

Associated Press, December 14, 2020

A university in Utah voted Monday to drop “Dixie” from its name — an example of the nation’s reexamination of the remnants of Confederacy and slavery.

Dixie State University’s Board of Trustees unanimously recommended the name change after reviewing the results of a study that showed some employers in other states expressed concern about the Dixie name on graduates’ resumes. It also said nearly two-thirds of people in the college’s recruiting region associate the name Dixie with the Confederacy.

“I don’t know how we justify saying we are an open and inclusive university if we maintain anything that brings up visions of a racist, Confederate history,” board vice chairwoman Tiffany Wilson said at the meeting.

The recommendation was made to the state’s Board of Higher Education and must be approved by the Republican-controlled state Legislature.

The university in St. George about 300 miles (480 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City had faced scrutiny in the past over its name but had resisted changing it. The area was nicknamed Dixie, a reference to Southern states, when settlers with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many of them from the South, tried to make it into a cotton-growing mecca in the 1800s.

Supporters say the name is important to the area’s heritage and is separate from the history of slavery. {snip}


{snip} In 2009, the school’s nickname was changed from the Rebels to Red Storm. A statue depicting a soldier on a horseback waving a Confederate flag with one hand and reaching out to a wounded soldier with the other was removed in 2012.