Honors program receives grant with hopes to expand opportunities for DSU honors students

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Dixie State University’s honors program was awarded a $500,000 grant to help the experience of honors students on campus. 

The grant was awarded to the honors program by Dr. Craig Booth, a DSU alumnus and local medical practitioner. He said he wants to find ways to support the university and to leave a legacy for his family by granting this money to the honors program.

Representatives from the honors program hope to one day have an honors house or a floor of a dormitory dedicated to the honors program. 

“We’re not shy,” Mark Jeffreys, honors program director and department chair for interdisciplinary arts and sciences, said. “We intend to build something here that other universities will be envious of when we’re done. This grant is a huge first step in doing that.”

Booth said probably the top students of each high school in St. George don’t come to DSU and usually choose to attend a school in northern Utah. He said he wants this grant to entice more students to come to DSU.

“The university is new,” Booth said. “It will take us a number of years to grow up, and the more motivated students we can get to come here, the sooner the university will become more substantial.”

Honors program adviser Beth Axelgard said she hopes to create a student-centered program, and the money from the grant will help honors students’ experience at DSU.

“This money will go toward scholarships but not in the traditional sense,” Axelgard said. “It will be for grants that will allow [students] to study abroad or field study opportunities.”

Axelgard said the money will also be used to help develop unique courses for honors students they would otherwise be unable to take.

Some of the courses offered in the honors program are honors seminars, including contemporary issues, introduction to great works, honors junior seminar, and senior thesis, according to the honors website. Maintaining a 3.5 GPA is one of several requirements to be an honors student.

Jeffreys said the grant will be used to help better the experience on campus for honors students.

“The primary goal is to enrich the experience of honors students on this campus to the point that [the university] is an attractive destination for the very best students and our local community,” Jeffreys said.

Jeffreys said strategizing for the grant money for the honors program is still an ongoing process.

Students who are interested in the honors program and who qualify for it should contact Axelgard at [email protected]