New SUU business building open for business

By Kelsey Keener

CEDAR CITY–The new Southern Utah University Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business building was unveiled on Aug. 27 during a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony.

The ceremony began with a flag ceremony performed by the SUU ROTC and the National Anthem, followed by a flyover by the SUU Aviation Program and a prayer lead by Pastor Nancy Pearson of the Community Presbyterian Church.

Chair of the Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business Greg Powell welcomed guests and audience members before introducing Chad Neilson, CEO of MHTN Architects; Joshua Haines, vice president of Layton Construction; and Justin Harding, Chief of Staff for the Office of the Governor in the state of Utah.

Neilson discussed the design of the building and said the primary focus of the design was to enhance student learning.

“It wasn’t very long ago that we sat down, MHTN architects and Southern Utah University, to go over and explore what the vision for this building is,” he said. “Many items were discussed during that meeting, but most importantly, the majority of the discussion was centered around ‘how can the building enhance student’s learning experience and campus life experience’? As you tour the building later today, you will notice that this Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business provides a state of the art learning environment for the students.”

Haines said that working with the SUU team and MHTN helped the project go smoothly and be finished ahead of schedule

“Ultimately, in order for us to really have a successful project, we needed folks with visions,” he said. “So I want to commend the SUU team–they had a vision right of the bat. To give you an idea of how good the SUU team was, our original schedule showed us finishing this building in December of 2018, so right now we’re four months ahead of schedule. We get the opportunity to really build dreams, but in order to have those dreams built, we need a set of plans and MHTN did a phenomenal job.”

Harding discussed the noteworthy accomplishment of the building being completed early and under budget and the commitment the building represents from SUU and the surrounding community.

Powell also introduced Gary Porter, Executive Director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation; Jay Francis, Executive Vice President  of Corporate Affairs and Miller Family Philanthropy; Mary Pearson, Dean of the Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business; Dixie and Anne Leavitt of the Dixie and Anne Leavitt Family Foundation; and SUU President Scott L. Wyatt.

Pearson discussed the business program at SUU the opportunities that the new building will provide for students.

“It is my great pleasure and really a dream come true to be participating in an event that marks the beginning of a new future for the School of Business at Southern Utah University,” she said. “The faculty, the staff, the students are extremely appreciative and excited about this new building and for the opportunity to create an even stronger business environment here at SUU. The structure of this building and the feel inside really communicate the quality of the programs we have here at SUU to our perspective students and to our corporate partners. And this is really going to be a place that elevates the level of respect that we have for our business leaders and for students to be able to take a look at business and free enterprise just a little bit differently than they did before.”

Following remarks, the name of the building was unveiled and the ribbon was cut.

The 42,000 square foot building was funded primarily by donations and features 15 classrooms, 38 offices, study spaces, an investment learning lab, an entrepreneurship lab and an incubator space.


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