A Steadfast History

SUU is built upon the actions of hardy founders who sacrificed their health, properties, and businesses for the privilege of hosting an institution of higher education. Their goal was to enhance educational accessibility for underserved populations. Their determination and tenacity still resonate today.

This dramatic account of SUU founders provides an example of fortitude for today’s modern university experience. In 1897, the newly organized Utah Legislature called for the hurried establishment of a teacher training school to provide for the region’s emerging pioneer settlement communities.

With no time to lose, Cedar City residents organized winter lumbering expeditions and began pouring labor and resources into the project. Negotiating harsh storms while hauling timber from nearby mountains using only wooden wagons, the first building was dedicated in 1898, meeting the state’s mandated deadline. Now known as Old Main, the university’s first building stands as an inspirational legacy of fortitude, determination, and community triumph.

Historical School Names

SUU Timeline graphic