President’s Colleagues to discuss Dixie State University’s history and growth
By Jyl Hall
October 24, 2018
The next installment of the President’s Colleagues of Dixie State University meeting series will feature Dr. Richard Whitehead, former executive director of institutional advancement, speaking on working alongside five institutional presidents and being part of the university’s growth.
Whitehead will present “When You Come to a Crossroads, Take It!” at noon on Nov. 5 in Lecture Hall 156 of Dixie State’s Russell C. Taylor Health Science Center, located on the Dixie Regional Medical Center campus at 1526 East Medical Center Drive. The meeting is free and open to the public.
During his presentation, Whitehead will speak about the growth the university experienced during his tenure, including the formation of the National Advisory Council, the creation of the Dixie Invitational Art Show and the new programs and buildings that resulted from the institution’s first capital campaign. Additionally, he will discuss the creation and development of Southern Virginia University, where he served as vice president of advancement and later as acting president.
Whitehead, who practiced dentistry and oral surgery for 29 years, has had a long history of dedication to Dixie State. He raised funds for Dixie College on a volunteer basis from 1971 until 1988, when he was hired part time to chair the Dixie College Capital Campaign. In 1993, he became a full-time employee of Dixie College still practicing dentistry one day a week. In 1997, he left dentistry to devote his total attention to Dixie College, where he served as the executive director of institutional advancement.
During his tenure at Dixie State, Whitehead headed efforts that raised more than $30 million. Additionally, he has served as co-founder of the National Advisory Council, president of the Alumni Association, a member of the Board of Trustees and president of the Dixie College Foundation. In 1985, Whitehead received the institution’s Distinguished Citizen Award, and in 2000 the Utah State Board of Regents awarded him with an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.
Born and raised in St. George, Whitehead graduated from Dixie High School and received an associate degree from Dixie College, a bachelor’s from Brigham Young University and a doctor of dental surgery from Creighton University School of Dentistry. Today, he serves as a university ambassador at SVU and a member of the Executive Advisory Council at Rocky Vista University Medical School.
The President’s Colleagues of DSU, established more than 20 years ago by former DSU President Douglas Alder, is a group of retired professors and other professionals who live mostly in the Washington County area. Alder, who also started DSU’s Honors Program, organized the group as a way to increase academic activities on campus.