Dixie State University now home of the Trailblazers
By Denise Nadal
April 11, 2016
DSU announces Trailblazers as new athletic identity, Brooks the Bison as mascot
ST. GEORGE, Utah — Dixie State University announced Monday afternoon that the institution is now home of the Trailblazers with Brooks the Bison ushering in this exciting era of Dixie history as the new mascot.
“The Trailblazer identity is perfect for our university because it embodies the Dixie Spirit that is rooted in the southern Utah pioneers’ legacy of hard work, perseverance and commitment to one another,” said DSU President Richard B. Williams, who revealed the new identity during an unveiling ceremony that kicked off Dixie State University’s 102nd annual D-Week. “The Dixie community has been blazing trails for a long time, and now our university’s identity reflects this.”
After being selected as a top identity by 5,000 participants in an online survey and emerging as a clear favorite in more than 50 focus groups, the Trailblazer identity was selected because it epitomizes the Dixie Spirit and embraces the region’s history in addition to advancing the institution’s academic mission. The strong, massive bison is an intimidating mascot, and because Dixie State is the only institution of higher education in the U.S. to pair the Trailblazer name with a bison, the new identity is unique.
“I am very excited for our new identity as it will allow current and former students and all of our fans to attach themselves to Dixie’s mascot again,” Dr. Jason Boothe, DSU director of athletics, said. “Throughout DSU’s history, we can find numerous Trailblazers in the classroom, in the community and in athletics. The Trailblazers that established this community, and thus, this institution paved the way for us to be here today. We as the current Trailblazers are establishing the future of the institution and its athletic teams as well as the entire community.”
The new identity is paired with the bison mascot because the burly beasts were America’s original trailblazers. Trails created as bison stampeded across the country were adopted by Native Americans and pioneers as hunting and warrior paths and assisted with the migration out west.
As for Brooks the Bison, he is named after Dixie’s original trailblazer, Samuel Brooks. The eager student spent the night on the steps in front of St. George Stake Academy on the eve of its opening in 1911 to be the first person to pay the institution’s $10 tuition and secure student status.
Beyond recognizing the university as a trendsetting institution, the Trailblazer identity is fitting for Dixie because of its nod to St. George’s blazing-hot climate. In addition to attracting students to southern Utah and its 300 days of sunshine each year, the warm
weather makes it possible for Dixie to offer students and community members opportunities to experience active learning and an active life.
Dixie State’s new identity and mascot were selected during a rigorous 17-month process. The motivation to change the institutional nickname and athletic mascot from Red Storm and Big “D” the Bull, respectively, stemmed from the desire to establish a strong brand and identity for the university — one of six goals central to the institution’s strategic plan. To accomplish this, Williams, Dixie State’s Identity Committee and Love Communications pored over a decade of research and sought community input via an online survey, interviews and focus groups.
“I cannot iterate enough how thrilled I am to be part of Trailblazer Nation,” Williams said, “and it’s our student, alumni and community trailblazers who make Dixie State University such a great place to be.”