About Southern Utah University

History of SUU

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 College
1953-1969 College of Southern Utah
1969-1990 Southern Utah State College
1991-present Southern Utah University

Past Presidents

Complete history of all SUU presidents