On Friday, Sept. 24, faculty, students and community members gathered at the R. Haze Hunter Alumni Center to witness President Scott Wyatt and his wife, Kathy Wyatt, say goodbye to Southern Utah University.
SUU’s Interim President Mindy Benson started the festivities with a speech about how much President Wyatt has done for SUU and Cedar City as a whole.
After faculty and staff gave their speeches in honor of the pair, the Wyatts shared a few words with those who attended. Mrs. Wyatt wanted to thank those who came, and said how much she and her husband would miss Cedar City and SUU.
Wyatt started his speech with praise for the institution’s new leader, saying, “She’s already flourishing in the role, and I am beyond glad that she was chosen for this position. I cannot wait to see how she continues to lead SUU in the future.”
Wyatt received both a custom SUU Rodeo Team jacket and a Big Sky Conference championship ring before leaving. At the end of the event President Benson presented Wyatt with his portrait, which will hang in the Hunter Conference Center Great Hall next to all other former university presidents.
Wyatt only had one request when it came to his Great Hall portrait, he wanted the students to be a part of it.
“When I was approached by the artist, and he asked me what I wanted my portrait to look like, I told him I wanted the students to be in the portrait,” Wyatt said. “It looks like my wish has come true.”
Benson concluded the ceremony saying that she hoped to follow in Wyatt’s footsteps and be a wonderful leader to the students and faculty of SUU for the next six to nine months.
“I bet that it will be longer than nine months,” Wyatt replied.
Wyatt closed the festivities with reassurance that he and his wife will be back as much as they can and that he will cherish the memories they have made in Cedar City.
“My heart will always be here with SUU,” Wyatt stated.
Wyatt became the President of SUU in 2013, and in seven and a half years has had many accomplishments including reducing student fees, increasing scholarships and introducing a $9,000 online bachelor’s in general studies.
President Wyatt’s new role is with the Utah System of Higher Education, filling the position of senior executive director of Statewide Online Education.
Story and Photos by: Reese Whitaker