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Utah's "Dixie"

An alumni entry in the 2014 Homecoming Parade at Dixie State University

With debates around the Confederate flag making headlines, one professor is again questioning the name of Dixie State University in Saint George. Dannelle Larsen-Rife teaches there, but says the name makes the school look bad. Defenders say “Dixie” isn’t about racism, it’s a recognition of the pioneers who settled the 19th century Mormon “Cotton Mission.” So Thursday, we’re asking how Southern Utah got its name, what role race and politics may have played, and what these Confederate symbols mean today.


  • W. Paul Reeve, Associate Professor of History, University of Utah
  • Ronald Coleman, Retired Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Utah
  • Gerald Webster, Professor and Chair of Geography, University of Wyoming
  • Dannelle Larsen-Rife, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Dixie State University
Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.