University News

Mayor Gerald R. Sherratt to Receive an Honorary Doctorate Degree from SUU

Published: May 01, 2007 | Category: Special Events

Southern Utah University selected Cedar City Mayor, Gerald R. Sherratt to receive an honorary doctorate degree of Public Administration.

His degree will be conferred during the 108th annual commencement exercises on Saturday May 5, 2007 in the Centrum Arena.

Sherratt’s roots are in Cedar City, where he graduated Cedar City High School in 1949 as “Man of the Year.” He began his pursuit for higher education at what was to become SUU, receiving an associate’s degree. He then continued his formal education at Utah State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education administration. Later, Michigan State University awarded him a Ph.D. in administration of higher education.

His career path began as an officer in the United States Air Force. Following his leave from the Air Force, Sherratt became the advisor to student activities at USU. From there he went on to be named staff associate in the division of student services at the University of Utah. One year later he returned to USU to serve in numerous administrative capacities until 1982 when he became the 13th president of Southern Utah State College.

During his 15 and a half year stay as president, Sherratt guided the school’s enrollment from 1,800 to nearly 6,000 students, attained university status, adopted master’s programs, expanded facilities, including the construction of 10 major buildings, organized the Utah Center for Rural Life, designated SUU as headquarters for the Utah Rural Development Center, upgraded athletics to NCAA Division I status, and founded the Utah Summer Games.

Following his long tenure in education Sherratt was elected as the Mayor of Cedar City, a position where he has declined compensation, putting the funds back into the city he serves.

Already in his second term of office, Sherratt has seen the city’s greatest growth, consistently lowered property taxes, promoted a city building program, advanced construction of a railroad line, attracted some eight new manufacturing plants, actively pursued bringing in fiber optics, and increased regional sales. He also developed tourism by promoting Festival City USA, adding five new festivals, and improving parks and recreation through the city.

Throughout his life Sherratt has served as a member of the board of directors of the Salt Lake City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, chairman of the board of directors for the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Utah Summer Games and the American Folk Ballet, and a member of the board of trustees for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics. He currently serves on the Governor’s Board of Business and Economic Development.

He is a member of the Utah Educators Hall of Fame, the Utah Tourism Hall of Fame and in 1997 had his name placed on the Southern Utah University Library.

It is due to these life experiences and knowledge that Sherratt was selected to receive this honor.

Commencement will begin at 9 a.m. with the selected keynote and student speakers, awarding of honorary doctorate degrees and other special recognitions. Following which graduate degrees and certificates will be awarded during individual college convocations. For more information regarding SUU’s commencement ceremonies, visit

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