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History of SUU

The dramatic account of SUU founders provides an example of fortitude for today’s modern university experience. In 1897, the newly organized Utah Legislature called for the hurried establishment of a teacher training school to provide for the region’s emerging pioneer settlement communities.

With no time to lose, Cedar City residents organized winter lumbering expeditions and began pouring labor and resources into the project. Negotiating harsh storms while hauling timber from nearby mountains using only wooden wagons, the first building was dedicated in 1898, meeting the state’s mandated deadline. Now known as Old Main, the university’s first building stands as an inspirational legacy of fortitude, determination, and community triumph.

SUU Campus

Academic Excellence as the University of the Parks™

Southern Utah University’s campus offers a serene and peaceful backdrop to purposeful study and academic exploration. The 130-acre, tree-covered landscape is punctuated by an architectural blend of modern and historic buildings, 1.3 acres of flower beds, and a public art display that weaves campus together in story and metaphor. A safe, residential campus allows students to create lifelong friendships in conjunction with their academic endeavors.

SUU Location

Study in the heart of a natural paradise – Cedar City, Utah

SUU is located in the world’s best backyard. Thanks to its close proximity to several outdoor recreation destinations and educational partnerships with the National Park Service, SUU is the only designated University of the Parks in the U.S. Within reasonable distance, students enjoy spectacular hiking, biking, water recreation and once-in-a-lifetime outdoor adventures.


A Reputation of Excellence

Southern Utah University proudly offers world-class, project-based learning opportunities where students gain professional experience before entering the job market. Here, students come to explore their interests and prepare for meaningful careers and life experiences in a safe, caring and affordable community. SUU’s commitment to providing relevant, experience-based and personalized education has garnered a variety of national awards and recognition

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“Studying at SUU not only changed my life, but it also helped me experience a new learning environment. I feel more confident towards my future. At SUU I can actually be who I am and better. The school gives me the opportunity to meet people who can impact my life and be who I really want to be: A Leader.”

Carine Kessie // Cote d’Ivoire // Business Management

Key Facts

Diversity and Inclusion

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) exists to validate the multiple identities present on our campus, while integrating the voices and experiences of marginalized people.

Building the Future

Through its multiple and integrated roles as classroom, laboratory, and community center, SUU serves as a touchstone for experiential education leading to personal growth, civic responsibility, and professional excellence.

Arts and Culture

In our increasingly complex and challenging world, the arts create possibilities of discovery and joy.