SUU is turning 125

Southern Utah University is turning 125 years old and the Alumni Association is hosting a week full of events to celebrate. 

This will be a commemoration of our past, a celebration of our current success, and an opportunity to focus on our future,” said Mindy Benson, SUU interim president. “We’ve come a long way in 125 years. And the best is yet to come.”

Founders Week at SUU happens each March as a way to pay tribute to the past and look forward to the future of campus. This year, students, alumni and the community are invited to celebrate Monday, March 21, to Saturday, March 26. 

“Founders Week is a chance for campus and community to celebrate the history of SUU,” Coordinator of University Events Kenton Pope said. “It will be a big celebration year and this is a week full of events to kick it all off.”

Monday, March 21

On Monday, March 21, Tony’s Night will be held in the Gilbert Great Hall of the Hunter Alumni Center from 7-9 p.m. Attendees will watch filmed recreations of theatre and movie scenes. Students have filmed and submitted these and will have a chance to win prizes. 

Tuesday, March 22

On Tuesday, March 22 at 11:30 a.m., attendees are invited back to the Great Hall for a Howard R. Driggs Memorial lecture. Dr. Allen C. Guelzo, the Senior Research Scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University and Director of the James Madison Program’s Initiative in Politics and Statesmanship, will be presenting his lecture entitled “Ten True Lies About Abraham Lincoln.” 

Also on March 22, the SUU Native American Student Association will host an Indigenous Cultural Showcase at 3:30 p.m. in the Student Center Living Room. The event will feature performances from both SUU and Dixie State University’s NASA and attendees will enjoy food and activities from indigenous cultures. 

Wednesday, March 23

On Wednesday, March 23, Lunch on the Main will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. To collect their free lunch, students are invited to walk around campus to stations where free food will be offered along with stories about SUU’s founding.

“I love Lunch on the Main,” Pope said. “It is a great way to learn about the history of SUU.” 

Thursday, March 24

On Thursday, March 24, “Wood You Like to Be a Lumberjack?” is on the Upper Quad at 4 p.m. This lumberjack-themed event will offer axe throwing, wood burning, wood chopping and a beard contest. 

Thursday night at 6:30 p.m., there will be a Founder’s Award Banquet in the Great Hall. For more information and RSVP details check the Founder’s Week site

Friday, March 25

The highlight of the week, however, will occur on Friday, March 25. SUU’s 125th Birthday Bash. The event Pope described as “a miniature version of Forever Red” will take place at the student center from 7-9:30 p.m. and will include live music, food, activities and more. There will then be a dance from 9:30 p.m. to midnight in the America First Event Center. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members are invited to attend. 

“I am most excited about the 125 birthday bash because it is the kick off to next year,” Pope said. He shared that the Alumni Association is trying to plan and execute 125 events in the upcoming 2022-23 academic school year.

Saturday, March 26

Founders Week will end Saturday, March 26, with SUU Softball versus the University of Northern Colorado. The game will be at noon at the Kathryn Berg Field.

More information about SUU’s 125th birthday can be found here. Pope also recommends students prepare for Founders Week by watching Back up the Mountain, a docudrama about how the founders of SUU came together to build the campus T-Birds enjoy today.


Article by: Callie King-Stevens

Photo courtesy of SUU Alumni Association