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   Dixie Junior College     Pres. Arthur F. Bruhn

New President

Dixie Junior College Pres. Ellvert H. Himes

 

President Himes, made an attempt in early 1954, to bring about a separation of college and high school programs.  However, due to the statewide referendum concerning the fate of all junior colleges, the proposal was all but forgotten.  Arthur F. Bruhn became President of Dixie College in 1954, after Dr. Himes accepted the position of Dean of Students at Utah State University in Logan.  President Bruhn had come to Dixie in 1948 and taught Geology and Botany in the Science Department until his appointment as President.

President Bruhn was born in Parowan, Utah in 1916, and grew up in that area. He attended the University of Utah for three years and then went to BYU and in 1940 received his BA and in 1946 received MA.

 In the early years of his educational career he taught at Cedar Junior High, Parowan High School and served as Principal at Cannonville Elementary in Garfield County, before coming to Dixie.

He had a great love for the scenic beauty of the Southern Utah area and during the summer months he worked as a park ranger for the National Parks Service at Zion National Park and Cedar National Monument.  He was a fine photographer and writer and took the pictures for and authored the book, "Southern Utah's Land and Color".

 

The 1960 "Confederate" describes President Bruhn as Southern “Utah's Man of the Decade, whose untiring efforts are a standard among men. Loved by faculty and students alike, his dreams today are Dixie’s realities tomorrow.”

       In his message to the students of Dixie, in the 1962 yearbook, President Bruhn said:  "This was a year of retrospect, when as an institution we expressed our gratitude to all those who made our 50th anniversary possible.  It was also a year in which we stood upon solid foundations, which they laid and looked optimistically ahead to the newness of tomorrow.  In our gratitude and in our optimism, it is also important that we have been fully aware of the golden moments of each day.  From the standpoint of each of you, the equipment, the buildings, and the teachers were important only when you used your time here in activities which made you a better person ... These are the truly golden days.  If there have been enough of them, the year has been a golden one, not just for the College ... it has also been a golden one for you."

 Perhaps a more devoted President was not known at Dixie. Under his direction, Dixiana was finished and ready for inspection by Governor J. Bracken Lee, who had come down to inform President Bruhn that Dixie Junior College doors would have to be closed.  After the inspection and learning that Dixiana had been constructed entirely from community funding, and with no dollars from the State, the Governor said, "If this community wants Dixie Junior College that badly, they should have it."

 President Bruhn fought to retain Dixie Junior College as a State institution of higher learning and presented deeds to the new campus to Governor Lee.

 Dr. Ronald Garner of the Music Depart­ment remembers President Bruhn in this way: "Arthur Bruhn saved Dixie Junior College.  If it hadn't been for his presidency we wouldn't have a Dixie Junior College today.

 "He was the one, along with several others in the community, who had the foresight to recognize that we had to build a new campus, and through his efforts, the community was organized and influence felt to put together the powers that were necessary for the state to keep funding Dixie Junior College and keep it functioning.

President Bruhn had a dream about the way the campus should be built. When he died we had the Gymnasium, the Fine Arts Center, the Science Building and the Library.  That dream was on the way to becoming a reality."

 Loraine Woodbury, Professor Emeritus of Biology remembers President Bruhn as "one of the finest teachers. The students liked him, he was a hard teacher but was enthusiastic and I really enjoyed him as a teacher."

 Dona Parkinson recalls President Bruhn as a "tremendous teacher who had been on the faculty when he was made President. A lot of growth on the new campus took place during his presidency.

 "He was very interested in what was happening in Nevada with nuclear testing and fallout and would take students out to observe," Mrs. Parkinson concluded.

 In late 1963, President Bruhn was diagnosed as having leukemia and after six months of struggling and fighting the disease, he passed away on July 5, 1964.

 The Salt Lake Tribune, in an editorial on July 8th, made this tribute to President Bruhn: "President Bruhn's finest monument is Dixie Junior College at St. George which he headed for nearly a decade in preference to teaching opportunities at larger schools.  Progress at the College, still in the process of moving to a new campus, reflects the fighting spirit of its president. After assuming administrative work, he continued to teach classes in Geology and Botany and to crusade for preserving the natural wonders of the country, especially his beloved Southern Utah.

 The faculty at Dixie Junior College has decid­ed to plant a memorial grove in his name on the new campus.  This is most appropriate.  We hope other groups and in­dividuals will continue his good works."

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