Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
A plaque recognizing the contributions Annie Atkin Tanner has made to the southern Utah literary community and Dixie State University students specifically was dedicated in the university’s Holland Centennial Commons on Monday afternoon.
Commissioned by Tanner’s last surviving child, Jordan Tanner, and his wife, Pat, the plaque honors Annie Atkin Tanner, who was born in St. George and was a member of Dixie Academy’s first graduating class in 1913. Mrs. Tanner, a prolific and talented writer, accompanied her zoologist/entomologist husband on trips into the field and wrote poetry and stories surrounded by the very nature that inspired her.
During the ceremony, Jordan Tanner also presented President Dr. Richard B. Williams with a $25,000 endowment to go toward the Annie Atkin Tanner Memorial Poetry Scholarship Fund.
Dr. Vasco M. Tanner established the scholarship fund in 1972 in memory of his wife after she passed away. Each spring, the scholarship fund awards prizes to first, second and third place finishers in the annual Annie Atkin Tanner Memorial Poetry Scholarship contest. Poems that are submitted by students to The Southern Quill, a literary journal that includes poems, short stories and artwork, are automatically considered for the prizes. The editorial staff of the Southern Quill reviews the entries, identifies the strongest contenders and sends them to the Tanner family, who selects the winners. Produced each spring, the student-edited journal has been in circulation since 1951 and includes submissions from southern Utah residents of all ages.
The plaque aptly hangs in the Frank & Alice Holland Center for English Studies, the center of the English Department, where students study, give presentations and work on group projects. Students majoring in English at Dixie State develop writing skills that are useful in numerous professions and broaden their understanding of the complex relationship between the aesthetic and intellectual aspects of literature and the cultural environment in which important literary works were produced. English majors can choose from four emphasis options: Creative Writing, English Education, Literary Studies and Professional & Technical Writing. For more information about Dixie State University’s English Department, visit www.dixie.edu/english.