A Steadfast History

The 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

1897-1913

Branch Normal School

1913-1953

Branch Agricultural School

1953-1969

College of Southern Utah

1969-1990

Southern Utah State College

1991-present

Southern Utah University