ST. GEORGE Utah
Dixie State College is taking its first step to giving up its formal name and “Rebel” mascot as a condition of its affiliation with the University of Utah, which says its doesn’t want to be associated with stereotypes of the Old South.
Dixie College President Lee Caldwell told his board of trustees Friday that he set up a task force to create a new nickname.
The school already has scrapped most Rebel references and discarded the Confederate battle flag at sports events.
Dixie State will have to become the “University of Utah at St. George” if merger talks succeed, Randy Dryer, the U.’s chief trustee, as said.
Caldwell appointed historians Lyman Hafen and former Dixie State President Douglas Alder to a panel that will ” design the language of what we stand for.” Hafen and Alder are each to appoint another member.
The name “Dixie” hails from efforts by early Mormon pioneer settlers to grow cotton in the region. Locals insist it has nothing to do with racism or slavery, but school trustee Chris Roybal conceded most outside Utah wouldn’t understand the nuance.
Dixie trustees will revisit the name changes again Jan. 25, Board Chairman Shandon Gubler said.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com
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