This year marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of Southern Utah University. The founders were so driven by the empowerment of education that they built a university for all, and in return, the town contributed greatly to the institution.
One of the great advantages of our campus is the ability not to limit our studies to the classroom, but to promote a versatile education of the great outdoors. An outdoor scholastic opportunity is provided to students and the community at the Ashcroft Observatory.
The observatory’s long-standing tradition of community involvement continues as they focus on “community learning opportunities.” SUU, in collaboration with Visit Cedar City and Brian Head, is conducting guided experiences in celebration of SUU’s 125th anniversary. Although the observatory is open to the public every Monday night, Dr. Cameron Pace, associate professor of physics and director of the Ashcroft Observatory, provides two additional guided tours of the observatory to the community in honor of the celebrations. The first tour took place on Sept. 1, and the second will be held on Sept. 15.
Ashcroft Observatory tours offer a personalized experience, as guests can spend much more time with the equipment at Ashcroft than at other observatories. Past guests at the observatory enjoyed the small tour size of approximately 12 people. Guests also compliment the rotating roof and outdoor experience.
Abigail Reed, a university-certified tour guide, explained the importance of the tours in relation to the commemoration activities. “Anniversary tours help students and the community understand the history of SUU and why it is so unique,” Reed said. “It is vital that SUU students and alumni express the same resilience our founders once did.”
In continuation of the 125th anniversary events, the university will also hold guided tours of other locations and landmarks around Cedar City. The current locations listed will include:
- The SUU Repository on Nov. 3 and 17
- A digital tour of the Old Sorrel Trail on Jan. 19, 2023
- The Utah Shakespeare Festival on Feb. 2 and 16, 2023
- The updated Old Main building on Mar. 20, 2023
For more information about the events, visit the 125th Anniversary page on SUU’s website.
Article by: Brooklyn Rushton
Photo courtesy of Luke McKenzie