Top 15 University News Stories from 2015

Published: December 29, 2015 | Author: Jessica Young | Read Time: 4 minutes

SUU 2015 in reivewBefore we usher into the New Year, it’s time for a retrospective of 2015. It has been a year of great achievements for SUU, but also great loss. The largest wave of new students flocked to campus, exceptional academic ranks lauded our name, and athletic trophies hoisted by SUU athletes.

Here is a roundup of 15 of the biggest stories (in no particular order) from Southern Utah University’s Office of Marketing Communication.

SUU Leads the Pack in Enrollment Growth
According to the Utah System of Higher Education annual enrollment report released, Southern Utah University exceeded Utah’s public colleges and universities average 2 percent enrollment bump with a 16 percent growth over last year.

Thunderbirds Top List of NFL Prospects in Utah
In April of 2013, SUU had its first draftee into the NFL when the San Diego Chargers selected quarterback Brad Sorensen in the seventh round. Sorensen seems to have opened the floodgates for T-Birds looking to make the jump to the professional league, now with three players projected to be drafted next April.

SUU Declared Most Outdoorsy School in the Nation
Southern Utah University claimed the official title of 2015-2016 National Outdoor Champions. The Outdoor Nation On Campus Challenge declared SUU as this year’s winner, awarding SUU with the coveted title of The Most Outdoorsy School in the nation.

SUU Ranks Best in the West 10 Years Running
In its just released collegiate survey, “2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” The Princeton Review identified Southern Utah University at the top tier of colleges and universities across the nation that it “considers academically outstanding and well worth consideration in your college search” by region.

Football Coach Ed Lamb Accepts New Position with BYU
A new era of football at Southern Utah University is about to unfold as Ed Lamb has accepted the assistant head coach position at Brigham Young University, who in eighth season lead the Thunderbirds to be the Big Sky Conference champions for the first time in 2015, going 7-1 in league play, and finished the regular season ranked No. 17.

SUU Mourns Loss of Two Instructors in Plane Crash
The Southern Utah University community mourns the loss of two aviation instructors who were involved in an accident Monday, October 5 during a routine flight in a Cessna 152, owned by Upper Limit Aviation.

West Point Director Take the Helm as SUU Athletic Director
SUU finalized the appointment of Jason Butikofer as athletic director for the Thunderbirds to begin August 17, 2015. Butikofer comes highly qualified from Army West Point where he was senior associate athletic director, he developed strategic partnerships with vendors while supervising seven sports programs.

Final Farewell to the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s Adams Theatre
On the campus of Southern Utah University, the Utah Shakespeare Festival dimmed the lights in the Adams Shakespearean Theatre for the last time Saturday, September 5 and transferred the light to the under-construction Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre.

SUU Professor Unearths Secret to “The Dawn of Humanity”
In May 2015 researchers huddled around tables and bright lights, all analyzing 1,500 newly discovered fossils in South Africa. Fossils that are said by National Geographic will “add a new branch to the family tree.” Among the handpicked researchers was Southern Utah University biology professor Kim Congdon.

Advancing STEM Opportunities for Southern Utah Girls
Girls are constantly being bombarded by what they should be interested in; consequently girls lose confidence in their science and math abilities. These unfortunate stories have motivated Shalini Kesar, SUU associate professor of CSIS, to empower young girls interested in STEM to pursue math and science classes and apply what they have learned.

SUU Announces $7.5 Million from Dixie and Anne
Holding back his emotions at the conclusion of Southern Utah University’s Founders’ Day celebration Thursday, March 19, President Scott L Wyatt announced the largest single gift in the history of SUU’s — $7.5 million from the Dixie and Anne Leavitt Foundation.

Alumni Thomas Burr Elected President of National Press Club
Thomas Burr of The Salt Lake Tribune was elected Friday as president of the National Press Club, the world's leading professional organization for journalists. Burr, a Utahn who has served as a Washington correspondent for the Salt Lake City newspaper since 2005, will assume the presidency Jan. 15.

Shakespeare Evicted by Forthcoming Prairie Dog Sanctuary
With construction underway for the new Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts, Southern Utah University will be demolishing the beloved Adam's Memorial Theatre. Filling the void this treasured theatre will leave, University administrators are proud to announce the Hertig Prairie Dog Sanctuary & Education Center (April Fools!).

Reenactment of ‘Old Sorrel’ Brings SUU Back Up the Mountain
Donning fake beards and period clothing, a posse of professors, administrators and staff from SUU gathered on the Brian Head slopes as snow machines recreated a blizzard. To the passerby, this scene caused confusion, in the next minutes, a reenactment of the founding of SUU unfolded.

SUU Alumna Perfect Ingredient in Broadway-Bound Musical
Serving up a sweet slice of Broadway once again, Southern Utah University alumna and Tony Award nominee Keala Settle stars in the now Broadway-bound musical “Waitress, A New Musical”, currently playing at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

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