Bryce Canyon, SUU’s East Campus, Celebrates Its Centennial

Published: June 09, 2023 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 2 minutes

President Mindy Benson gives award to Gayle PollockYesterday (June 8, 2023) Bryce Canyon National Park celebrated its 100th year. The Centennial Celebration included a special ceremony with Utah Governor Spencer Cox and other dignitaries, birthday cake in the Visitor’s Center, and a special concert with The Piano Guys on the rim of the canyon.

“As the University of the Parks, Southern Utah University is deeply committed to furthering our ties with Bryce Canyon National Park today, and for the centuries to come,” said SUU President Mindy Benson. “We are thrilled to celebrate the centennial of Bryce Canyon and recognize the innovative educational partnerships we share.”

For over a decade, SUU has referred to Bryce Canyon National Park as its east campus. And every five years, the two entities renew the Alliance for Education, a partnership to conduct research, create transformational learning programs and engage students through conservation crews and internships. This partnership furthers both entities in serving the region by protecting park resources and providing enhanced visitor opportunities while educating students about park resources through high-impact experiential learning opportunities.

During the celebration, President Benson recognized Gayle Pollock, executive director of the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association. Pollock was instrumental in creating the partnership between Bryce Canyon and SUU and has a long history with the University including serving on SUU’s Board of Trustees and being an alumnus of the University.

“Gayle is a big thinker, ideas man, and believer in the transformative power of hands-on educational experiences,” said President Benson in her address. “He has also been the driving force behind this event tonight and we couldn’t do this without his partnership and support.”

Bryce Canyon was originally established by President Harding on June 8, 1923 and administered by the U.S. Forest Service to preserve the “unusual scenic beauty, scientific interest, and importance.” On June 7, 1924, Congress established Utah National Park with the stipulation that all state and private land within its boundaries must first belong to the United States. On February 25, 1928 "Utah National Park" was changed to "Bryce Canyon National Park". Conditions of the 1924 congressional bill were met later that year, and Bryce Canyon National Park was officially established on September 15, 1928.

A variety of virtual and in-person activities and events will occur in Bryce Canyon National Park throughout 2023 to celebrate the park and surrounding area.

Located in the world’s best backyard, SUU is the University of the Parks® because of its unique location, innovative academic programs, amazing recreational opportunities and outdoor career preparation. From classrooms to canyons, SUU offers once-in-a-lifetime outdoor educational adventures.

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