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Dixie Junior College  Pres. B. Glen Smith

New President

Dixie Normal College  Pres. Joseph K. Nicholes


In 1933, President Nicholes left St. George for BYU.  Accord­ing to his son Henry, “He only accepted the offer to go to BYU to teach because he knew of no other way that he would be able to get his nine children educated beyond the junior college level, with the Great Depression in full swing.”

    Nicholes became a Professor of Chemistry at BYU and was there the remainder of his teaching career. 

After President Nicholes left Dixie, B. Glen Smith was appointed President.  He had been involved in education for 19 years as a teacher and administrator before coming to Dixie.  He had served as a high school principal in Arizona for one year and in Idaho for three years.

 Brigham Glen Smith was born in July 1896 in Spanish Fork, Utah.  He started school in September 1902, in a little red schoolhouse just one block from his home. He attended high school there and was selected as Valedictorian of his graduating class in 1915. 

 In 1918 he graduated from BYU with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in English and minoring in Music.  He earned his Masters Degree also at BYU in 1923 with a major in Philosophy of Education and a minor in Educational Administration.

 He did graduate work at the University of Cincinnati and while there was nominated to membership in Phi Delta Kappa, the National Honorary Educational Fraternity.

His first teaching position was in St. Johns, Arizona, where he also served as principal for one year.  He then filled the same position at Teton High School in Driggs, Idaho.

After he earned his Masters Degree in 1923, he came to Dixie College to head the Education Program to prepare students to be elementary teachers.

B. Glen married Willdee Gynn in October 1926. They had no children and in 1943, she died at the age of 47.  He later married Ruth Jackaman in July, 1948.

As the weeks passed in early 1933, it was evident to the Dixie Administration that Commissioner Merrill was in favor of closing the school altogether, while others favored transferring the school to the state system.

The bill authorizing the transfer of Dixie College was passed in March 1933, by a majority of 14 to 7 in the Senate and 51 to 8 in the House of Representatives, but with no state appropriations for two years.

The LDS Church, the community, the faculty and the students rallied to gather goods in kind to keep the College open for two years until a State appropriation was finally achieved.

During that period, community support was organized through a group known as the Dixie Education Association. They came to the rescue to finance the transition period. The officers included William O. Bentley, Orval Hafen, Mathew Bentley, Wilford W. McArthur and B. Glen Smith. They undertook many projects to promote education, including the building of a women’s dormitory (Dixiana) and acquiring various kinds of equipment and property.

The citizens of St. George and the Dixie area recognized this move as one of the "most vital moments in the development of this territory, since the settlement of the territory, since the Dixie Mission in 1861."

 On June 16, 1933, with President A.W. Ivins of the First Presidency officiating, the St. George Stake deeded the College property to the State of Utah.  The value of the buildings and equipment amounted to $205,695.

Even though the legislation to keep the College alive passed, there would be no State money to operate the College for two years.  Thus, the crisis was far from over.

A large public gathering was held in the St. George Tabernacle and reported in the April 6, 1933 Washington County News:  "Following a lengthy discussion of events which led up to the present emergency, it was made public that all of the support necessary to maintain the College during the next two years will be forthcoming through the patriotic whole hearted support of local business people, citizens and alumni members."

Certainly many people in the Dixie College community deserve thanks for all the time and effort put forth in the effort to keep Dixie Junior College alive.  Foremost on the list must be College President Joseph K. Nicholes and members of the Stake Presidency, W. O. Bentley, President, W. W. McArthur, First Counselor, Orval Hafen, Second Counselor, B. Glen Smith who succeeded Nicholes as President and Mathew M. Bentley, College Treasurer.  These men had to sign a pledge with the State Government to be responsible for the financing of the College for two years.

Following the transfer from the Church to the State, the College immediately came under the control of the Utah State Board of Education with no financial support from the State for two years because of Governor Henry Blood's policy to absolutely not raise expenditures for any reason between sessions of the State Legislature, and they met only every two years.

 All faculty members, the administration, and staff members during this two year period, often took part of their wages in commodities such as garden products, hay, grain, animals, etc. When money was desired they in turn, would sell the items they had in the bartered surpluses for the cash needed.

In response to the lack of State funding for two years, the Dixie Education Association was organized to pull together local funding efforts devised to help keep the College operating.

The DEA was a nonprofit organization set up to aid education in Utah's Dixie and specifically for the growth and benefit of Dixie College.  The president, treasurer and registrar represented the College on the Association. They were joined by several public-spirited citizens from St. George and the surrounding communities.

During the two years (1933-1935) the DEA helped fund teachers salaries and provided scholarship assistance to students.

In a 1932 College publication, President Joseph K. Nicholes is quoted as saying, "Dixie is more than a school.  It is a community enterprise.  It is a cultural center.  It has been developed through the self-sacrifice of the people."

 This Statement reflects the thinking of the overwhelmingly large part of the people of St. George regarding "their" school and where they stood with regard to keeping the school alive. 

Soon after the State System took over, the academic structure was organized into four divisions: the Division of Biological Sciences that included Agriculture, Mechanic Arts, Home Economics and Physical Education; the Division of Humanities, made up of Art, Band and Orchestra, Vocal Music, English and Foreign Languages; the Division of Physical Science which included Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics and Physics; and the Division of Social Science, made up of Business, Education, History, Political Science and Sociology.

 The cooperative relationship which had always existed between the College and the community, along with that hard to describe feeling always termed as "The Dixie Spirit", were forces which pushed everyone into action to support the school during this two year period of no State financial support.

 As the class of 1933 graduated from Dixie Junior College, according to Dr. Edna Gregerson's Doctoral Dissertation, there had been a total of 831 high school graduates and 317 College graduates from Dixie between 1911 and 1933. 

 In addition, 504 students had gone on to attend 45 different four-year colleges or universities elsewhere in the United States and Europe.

President Smith offered leadership and always operated on a smooth and efficient basis even though he was often under great stress and pressure.  Under the most unpleasant financial crises and circumstances, he proved himself indispensable to the College.

It was during this administration that football became a part of the regular athletic activities at the College.

Several building projects were accomplished during President Smith's administration.  They included improvements on the Auditorium, the construction of the Mechanical Arts Building, modernizing the Home Economics facilities, the building of a greenhouse and tennis courts.  A $10,000 donation from The Carnegie Institute to help establish a Library was secured. The Mechanical Arts or Industrial Arts Building was located east of the Science Building and was used for Industrial Arts, Crafts and Auto Mechanics. 

When the College became a State institution in 1933, plans were formulated for 6-4-4 education system in St. George. In 1935 President Smith went to the State to have the school conduct its programs on a 4 year junior college basis with no real separation between high school and college.  The State eventually accepted the proposal and it went into effect in 1936.

 Because of limited enrollments in both divisions, there were several advantages to this system.  Some classes such as Music, Drama and Art, were conducted on a joint basis.  Without combining the programs, there was some question if they could have been supported or justified on an individual basis.

 There were some disadvantages as well, namely administrative problems in scheduling and following two different school calendars at the same time.

 Following his five-year term as College President, B. Glen Smith resigned the office of President and became the Registrar and also returned to the classroom.  In 1952, he quit all teaching except Psychology and Education Orientation and served as Chairman of the Counseling Services until he retired in 1961.

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