Utah State Capitol Building

The Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service

The Leavitt Center is run by students for students. Our center provides an important service on Southern Utah University's campus as an interdisciplinary hub for leadership training, citizenship education, humanitarian service, and public policy research. The center assists the university in accomplishing its mission and promoting its core values: academic excellence, social responsibility, experiential learning, community involvement, and personal growth.

"Public service is a remarkable way to devote oneself, whether it's in politics or in science or art or business or engineering, there's politics and policy involved in all of it. If students can leave with a sense of how to navigate that, they'll be more successful in whatever field they choose."

Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services

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Leavitt Center History

The Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service was founded November 16, 1996 by Craig Jones, a political science professor at SUU, who envisioned the center as a place for students to become involved, active citizens. The Leavitt Center aims to provide an open environment for all students on SUU’s campus no matter their political affiliation. As a non-partisan center, the students, Director, and Board of Advisors work to maintain the legacy of the center, all while providing a copious amount of opportunities for all those who seek out a chance to become involved. The Leavitt Center was founded on four fundamental principles that form the foundation of the Leavitt Center’s purpose, which are, leadership, citizenship, research, and service.

Four Pillars of the Leavitt Center


Leadership is intended to broaden a student’s career and professional opportunities by providing internship and leadership experiences.


Citizenship is designed to increase political participation by promoting citizenship awareness.


Research allows students to explore public policy issues and begin to understand the world of politics.


Service is to support volunteerism by providing opportunities for humanitarian service.

Mission Statement

The Leavitt Center is a non-partisan, interdisciplinary organization dedicated to preparing students to serve as responsible and educated leaders in a democratic society.