SUU to host guided tour of the Great Hall for 125th anniversary

Southern Utah University is holding a guided tour of the campus’ Great Hall to celebrate the university’s 125th anniversary.

The event will take place on Thursday, Dec. 1, starting at 7 p.m., and will have a second tour on Thursday, Dec. 15 at the same time. The tour will start and end in the Great Hall of the R. Haze Hunter Alumni Center, located on the north end of campus.

The tour will spotlight the hall’s many portraits that have been dedicated to those who have left their mark on SUU.

Paula Mitchell, one of the tour guides and an SUU archivist, explained how the university decides who gets a portrait hung in the hall.

“It is my understanding that there is a committee of senior administration that decides on who is honored to be in the Great Hall,” Mitchell said. “This person is someone who has had a significant impact on the university whether it is working with students or shaping the future of the university. It could be physically such as William Flanigan, who was a groundskeeper, or behind the scenes such as Dixie Leavitt, who helped the university be its own institution.”

Mitchell also believes that the event is essential for students and faculty to attend because of the historical value of what is being presented.

“I think that when we understand a little history of the institution, it helps us to connect with the institution and have respect for those who care so deeply and are so passionate about a place,” Mitchell said. “We then become passionate about that place and want what we do to reflect well on the place that now is important to us. It binds us to a place and helps us feel that we belong to something good.”

Aside from the Great Hall tours, SUU has a wide variety of upcoming events planned involving the 125th anniversary, such as:

— The 125th Anniversary Holiday Concert, Dec. 2
— The Piano Guys Concert, Dec. 10
— Old Sorrel Digital Trail Guided Tour, Jan. 19
— Utah Shakespeare Festival Guided Tour, Feb. 2
— Old Main Guided Tour, Mar. 20

The times for the remaining events will be announced as the dates get closer. For more information on the 125th anniversary of SUU, visit the university’s official website.

Story and Photos by: Luke McKenzie