With the wonderful announcement just in of the state legislature approving the construction of a new Teacher Education building on the campus of Southern Utah University, the excitement and motivation behind the campaign to refurbish Old Main has been given an extra boost.
In 2003, Old Main was vacated due to seismic safety and dysfunctional utilities. The SUU Advancement team has been enveloped in a campaign for the past several months to raise funds to save Old Main.
SUU was founded on a teaching program and the original and continuing venue for it was Old Main. Now, at 107-years-old, the icon desperately needs major renovation. SUU remains today to be primarily a teaching University, and facilities equal to our superior teacher education academics are necessary to continue cutting-edge training.
The state allocated three million dollars in Capital Improvement funding to restore Old Main. However, 1.5 million additional dollars are needed to complete remodeling to the level this emotional icon of campus deserves, as well as that of the legacy of the founders.
The upgraded Old Main will house the faculty, staff and administration of the College of Education. The integration of the Old Main and the new Teacher Education building projects is an economical one. The two facilities will increase the University’s capacity to produce more teachers to meet burgeoning state and national demands. Substantial savings in construction and operating costs will be realized. Blending state-of-the-art classrooms and labs with historic Old Main will enhance SUU’s ability to attract more of the best and brightest to the teaching profession. “The Old and the new,” SUU President Steven Bennion, states, “will stand together at the heart of campus as emotional icons representative of SUU’s successful history and bright future. The two structures will serve one powerful purpose of preparing teachers.”
He continues, “The story of the founding of this great Institution is one of inspired vision and unflagging commitment. The founders’ sacrifices leave us a legacy that must not be forgotten, and truly propagate our motto of Learning Lives Forever.” From the very beginning, teacher education has been the heart and soul of the University. The founders and early teachers believed deeply that knowledge and wisdom were among the most elevating principles in life. Now, in preservation of its heritage, SUU is asking for another significant commitment from the community.
Alumni, friends and families of the University, relatives of the founders, staff, faculty, students and any of all communities are invited to be part of this fantastic milestone in SUU’s storied history. To make a donation, call Lori Blackner in the SUU Advancement Office at 865-8436.
Through its more than 100-year history, Southern Utah University has evolved from a teacher training school into its current role as a comprehensive, regional university to 6,000 students from across the globe. It serves the southern region of Utah and contiguous counties in surrounding states with undergraduate and graduate programs in six colleges. People of the region look to the University for outreach services, culture, economic and business development, higher learning, regional history, public affairs, major academic specialties, and significant entertainment and recreation. Accentuated by the notable, economic value of its services, SUU's hallmark is its quality staff, faculty and academics.