Community donations shape DSU campus

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From Bruce Hurst Field to the Whitehead Education Building, Dixie State University has a campus built on donations.

DSU received a $10 million donation toward renovating the football stadium from Legend Solar in April 2016. Although this is the largest donation DSU has ever received, it isn’t the only donation making a difference here on campus.

The majority of DSU buildings, both academic and athletic, were built because of generous donations from alumni and the community, said DSU Development Officer Lance Brown. Without these donations, DSU’s campus would look exceptionally different.

“All of the buildings with names, like the Burns, Gardner, or any of the others, wouldn’t have happened without donors,” Brown said. “If [the donors] wouldn’t have donated, we may not have received state funding for the buildings around campus.”

Iver Hurtado, a junior nursing major from Chicago, Illinois, said he thinks it’s great that the community around DSU rallies and embraces DSU’s growth toward becoming an elite school in Utah.

“I feel that [the stadium] was a great addition. You can tell that the university is trying to upgrade its buildings,” Hurtado said.

Brown said that for a donor to get their name on a building, they must donate around 25 percent of the total building cost.

“We still haven’t sold naming rights to the new Health and Wellness Center,” Brown said. “This is a $50 million building, and it would really be a slam dunk at this upcoming legislature if we could stick a name on [the building]. We are only looking for about $3 million for that, which is a great opportunity for someone looking to leave a legacy gift.”

The new Health and Wellness Center would include not only a recreation center but also an academic space housing health science classes, athletic training, and other similar programs, Brown said.

“It’s incredible that this community believes in making DSU better and more qualified, and in adding more class options for people with different majors,” said Hailey Brodale, a sophomore general studies major from Santa Clara. “I’m excited for the new changes on campus. I think the new building and stadium will increase DSU’s enrollment.”

Brodale said that the amount of donations around campus says a lot about DSU.

People tend to give to their passions, which is why academic and athletic donations are so common, Brown said. They don’t part with their hard-earned dollars unless it’s something that they’re passionate about or something that makes sense to them. Each person that donated to a specific department felt some sort of affinity for them.

“It’s great that our school has been shaped so much by donations,” said KaitLynn Carnahan, a sophomore nursing major from Hurricane. “I love that education is so important to the people that support DSU.”