Past Presidents


1911-18 – HUGH M. WOODWARD, President

Known as the “Father of Dixie”, he was the pioneer president. Under his leadership, the original Administration Building (of pink sandstone) and the Gymnasium were constructed on Main Street in downtown St. George. Through his efforts, approval was given in 1916 for the establishment of Dixie Normal College. This guaranteed two years beyond high school courses offered at the St. George Stake Academy.

He believed in the phrase “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” He was held in high regard by the community.
Enrollment during his tenure: 15 to 122 students

1918-20 – ERASTUS S. ROMNEY, President

While he was President, the St. George Stake Academy became known as Dixie Normal College, offering 60 hours of college work. Character building was considered to be the primary duty of the college, as well as maintaining high standards of scholarship and efficiency. He was President only one year and one semester. His early death during the flu epidemic of 1920 ended his dreams for Dixie.

He was well known for arousing enthusiasm in students like none other, and wisely directing his efforts during his tenure.
Enrollment during his tenure: 15 to 20 students

1920-23 and 5. 1927-33 – JOSEPH K. NICHOLES, President

The College won what amounted to accreditation during his presidency, and Dixie Normal College became Dixie Junior College. In January of 1931, he received a letter from the LDS Church Commission of Education stating that all junior colleges were to be terminated. He had a mind for finance, and since the college was destitute, his talents were needed and used. His firm leadership allowed the college to continue under State control. He had an amazing ability to inspire students with self-confidence, and his great desire was to see young people rise above their potential by setting an example for them to emulate.
Enrollment during his tenure: 21 to 130 students

1923-27 – EDGAR M. JENSON, President

A methodical, precise and professional leader, he initiated a program for teacher training. He organized and supervised the program, training teachers who served Washington County and the surrounding area for many years (some serving a lifetime). As a skilled artist, many of his paintings are in homes of longtime residents of St. George. He created the Art Circle and Art Gallery at Dixie College.
Enrollment during his tenure: 50 to 94 students

1933-38 – B. GLEN SMITH, President

While he was President, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints relinquished control of Dixie Junior College, turning it over to the State of Utah. No financial support was offered, and the faculty took salaries in hay, wood, nuts, fruit, and anything parents and students could contribute for tuition. He offered strong leadership and operated in a smooth and efficient manner under stress and unfavorable circumstances, proving himself indispensable to Dixie College in its fight for continuance.
Enrollment during his tenure: 142 to 180 students

1938-50 – GLENN E. SNOW, President

He was known for his close-knit faculty and his and their dedication. Dixie College had just come through a period of starvation, and he was instrumental in putting the college back on its feet. He began the move to get Dixiana constructed, determined to have a women’s dormitory, especially after learning an LDS Stake President in Nevada has asked bishops not to send girls to Dixie College as there were no suitable living accommodations.He was the first man west of the Mississippi to be added to the Board of Directors of the National Education Association, based in Washington, D. C., and became President of NEA in 1947-48.
Enrollment during his tenure: 67 (WW II) to 304 students

1950-51 – MATHEW M. BENTLEY, President

Mathew Bentley was known for holding Dixie College together while faced once more with its doors being closed. He was keenly knowledgeable and diligent, and a financial wizard as well, handling every facet of administrative responsibility. Those who worked with Mathew say the one year he was president was the most pleasant of the years at Dixie to that date.
Enrollment during his tenure: 240 students

1951-54 – ELLVERT H. HIMES, President

He was the President who brought the concept of a community college to Dixie, and his great contribution was the vision of a new campus and finding the area for Dixie College to expand. He organized a campaign not only to solicit donations to finish Dixiana dormitory, but for the new campus, which he determined would be a campus of beauty.
Enrollment during his tenure: 167 to 193 students

1954-64 – ARTHUR F. BRUHN, President

Perhaps a more devoted president was not known at Dixie. Under his direction, Dixiana was finished and ready for inspection by Governor Bracken Lee, who had come to St. George to inform President Bruhn that Dixie College doors would have to be closed. After the inspection, and learning that Dixiana had been constructed entirely from community funding with no dollars from the State, the Governor said, “if this community wants Dixie College that badly, they should have it.” President Bruhn fought to retain Dixie College as a State institution of higher learning and presented deeds to the new campus to Governor Lee. While he was President, the move was made from the downtown campus to the present campus at 225 South 700 East.
Enrollment during his tenure: 214 to 355 students

1964-76 – FERRON C. LOSEE, President

President Losee was known as the “Builder of the Dixie College Campus.” He opened doors in Salt Lake City that previous presidents were not able to do and established a working relationship with Governor Calvin Rampton, convincing state officials he could give Dixie the new direction it needed. He changed the image of Dixie from a small campus with an enrollment of 383 students (Spring 1964) to a campus covering 89 acres with an enrollment of over 1200 students.The name of the College was officially changed from Dixie Junior College to Dixie College in 1970.
Enrollment during his tenure: 524 to 1204 students

1976-80 – WM. ROLFE KERR, President

His unique strength spearheaded the Cooperative Education work program with local businesses, brought about salary increases for the faculty, and promoted closer ties between college and community. He had a keen understanding of human nature, and his distinct leadership changed the word “competition” to “cooperation” between Dixie College, Dixie High School, the Washington County School District, and in areas of his service.

Dr. Kerr dreamed of an educational, cultural, recreational facility to be built through the joint efforts of Dixie College, Washington County and the State of Utah. As a result of this dream, the Dixie Center was completed after his administration in 1987.
Enrollment during his tenure: 1343 to 1589 students

1980-86 – ALTON L. WADE, President

The magic of Alton Wade was that he could communicate with everyone, and will forever be remembered for his magnetic personality, positive attitude and administrative expertise. With clear vision and a keen sense of humor, he became the essence of the “Dixie Spirit”. A man who caught the vision of the Dixie Center, and as chairman and executive director of the Dixie Center Administrative Control Board, skillfully moved the concept into reality with a ground-breaking on April 2, 1985. The Center has been called a prototype of similar ventures soon to become nationwide. Under Dr. Wade’s administration, computerization was introduced across campus. The Hansen Football Stadium & Track and the Dixie Bell Tennis Courts were built while he was President.
Enrollment during his tenure: 1790 to 2191 students

1986-93 – DOUGLAS D. ALDER, President

“An Academic Climate” was the slogan for the campus during Douglas Alder’s tenure. He emphasized the importance of academic rigor. During his administration, the Val A. Browning Learning Resources Center was built to house developmental education as well as music and computer laboratories. The College expanded aqnd increased its number of educational offerings, particularly the Elderhostel program for senior citizens. Dr. Alder received the 1991 Governor’s Award in the Humanities for his work in organizing conferences, lectures and book groups dealing with history, literature and public issues throughout the state.
Enrollment during his tenure: 2201 to 2963 students

1993-2005 – ROBERT C. HUDDLESTON, President

Tremendous growth occurred, student enrollment soared, and an average of $3 million in private donations was raised annually under the Huddleston administration. Huddleston oversaw the transformation from Dixie College to Dixie State College and the offering of the first baccalaureate programs. Dixie athletics won four national championships during his tenure. He established a community education television channel, increased faculty salaries, and supervised the building of the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center, business and student services buildings, a seven-acre encampment mall, athletic facilities, and the Hurricane campus.
Enrollment during his tenure: 3014 to 6945

2005-08 – LEE G. CALDWELL, President

During Caldwell’s administration, the college received approval to offer 7 new baccalaureate degree programs and experienced a jump in enrollment, including an increase in upper division enrollment, thanks in large part to the new bachelor degree offerings. A number of other programs were implemented including the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) satellite academy, and the establishment of a new United States Army Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC). Caldwell worked tirelessly to improve the academic landscape and economic development opportunities for Washington and Kane Counties. For his efforts, he was named Executive of the Year by the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce.
Enrollment during his tenure: 6114 to 6443

2008-14 – STEPHEN D. NADAULD, President

Nadauld’s tenure at Dixie State included an unprecedented 30 percent increase in enrollment, the addition of 15 baccalaureate degree programs, the hiring of faculty members with doctorate degrees, and an increased number of graduating students. As Dixie State celebrated its centennial in 2011, Nadauld oversaw the construction of the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons, the Edward H. and Idonna E. Snow Science Center, memory gardens, several athletic additions and upgrades, and the University Tower. Thanks in large part to Nadauld’s effort, on February 16, 2013, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert signed HB61 into law, granting Dixie State university status.
Enrollment during his tenure: 6443 to 8350

2014-present – RICHARD B. WILLIAMS, President

Dr. Richard B. Williams was announced as the 18th President of Dixie State University on July 17, 2014. Prior to his arrival to Dixie State, Williams served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Indiana State University. Previous to his appointment as provost, Williams was the founding Dean of ISU’s College of Nursing, Health and Human Services, for which he led the development of six new degree programs designed to address the state’s critical shortage of healthcare workers.

Williams had also served as an associate dean of the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa, where he was a faculty member, executive associate director of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services, and chair of the Division of Athletic Training. At UNI he helped create a private-public partnership between the local hospital, medical community, and university that resulted in the construction of a two-story human performance center that served the surrounding rural communities.

A native of Brigham City, Utah, Williams holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Lifestyle Management from Weber State University, a Master’s degree in Athletic Training from Indiana State, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University.


Edward H. Snow, Thomas P. Cottam, George F. Whitehead, James G. Bleak, David H. Cannon, Arthur F. Miles, David H. Morris, John T. Woodbury, David Hirschi