SUU Honors the Power of Place Through Five Founder’s Stories

Published: September 15, 2022 | Author: Kol Gibson | Read Time: 2 minutes

Inauguration Academic Convocation; Power of PlaceAs Southern Utah University looks to a new, exciting chapter with the inauguration of 17th president Mindy Benson, it also seeks to honor its rich history. The Academic Convocation Power of Place tells the story of five of SUU’s founders whose bright vision, dedication, and hard work shaped the University and transformed it into the place it is today. The convocation will be held on Thursday, September 22 at 11:30 a.m. in the Gilbert Great Hall of the R. Haze Hunter Alumni Center on the campus of SUU.

Power of Place

More than just a point on a map, a place consists of the unique social, sensorial, and experiential qualities that give meaning to the different locations in life. This sense of place is what makes SUU special in the hearts and minds of its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community.

William Wallace Flanigan

Presented By Dr. Briget Eastep, executive director of Outdoor Pathways

With a vision of the region’s natural beauty, William Wallace Flanigan brought trees and vegetation from surrounding hills to the original College Hill, setting the scenery for what has now become one of the state’s most beautiful campuses.

Fred C. Adams

Presented By Derek Charles Livingston, interim artistic director, Utah Shakespeare Festival

A favorite theatre professor and founder of the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival at SUU, Fred C. Adams’s vision for the Festival led to national prominence and international acclaim.

Annie Spencer Milne

Presented By Alexa Lord, SUU Women’s Basketball

Annie Spencer Milne’s avid passion for personal expansion brought refinement to the fledgling Branch Normal School. She came bringing gifts of music, art, elocution, and women’s physical education–introducing women’s basketball–and enhanced the very atmosphere of learning.

Roy L. Halversen

Presented By Mckay Pollmann, SUUSA student body president

Professor Roy L. Halversen graced the community, the school, and the lives of countless students with his inimitable commitment to music and the arts. The tradition of excellence he helped establish remains an institutional hallmark to this day.

Bessie Peck Dover

Presented By Paige Raw, SUUSA senate international representative

Bessie Peck Dover was a highly-skilled woman who conquered multifaceted assignments. Her primary focus was the nourishment and care of individual students from all over the world. Her efforts laid the groundwork for the success of thousands of international students.


All students, faculty, staff, alumni, community, and friends are invited to celebrate SUU’s rich history and bright future with the inauguration of President Mindy Benson which will be held during Homecoming Week. Join the University for a week of traditions, old and new, happening September 19-24, 2022. Learn more about the Presidential Inauguration at

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