ST. GEORGE — The decision by former KSL news anchor Dick Nourse to make Dixie State College his academic home is attracting financial support from an old friend.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation has donated $75,000 to help pay for the estimated costs for the start-up, operation, renovation and scholarship fund for a new Dick Nourse Center for Media Innovation.

"We are thrilled to receive this generous donation," said Christina Schultz, Dixie vice president of advancement. Presenting the check to Dixie was Greg James, vice president and general manager of KSL-TV and Salt Lake Digital Media.

"The philanthropy of the (LDS Church) foundation and the commitment of Bonneville International Corp./KSL will make it possible for Dixie State College to become a significant center for communication education in our region."

Nourse, who retired from KSL in November, said he was honored to play a role in developing the new media communications program on campus named after him.

"I'm excited to be part of the campus," Nourse said when he first announced his collaboration with the college.

Nourse also will head the creation of a national advisory board that will include media professionals from around the country. The board is expected to advise college officials and help develop a strategy for the new Dixie communication program.

The new media center is expected to provide hands-on training in all facets of the industry including print, electronic media, television and radio broadcasting and digital film production.

Dixie officials said the center would be housed in the remodeled Jennings building on campus. The new comprehensive communication degree features three emphases: human communication, mass communication and digital film. The mass communication tracks will include print, communication technology, public relations and electronic media.

Dixie officials also announced a people-to-people initiative with potential students from the remote central Asian nation of Tajikistan, located north of Afghanistan.

"Having an opportunity to include students from different countries and cultures to our campus will add to the diversity and different worldviews our students can experience," said York Butler, Dixie financial aid director.

Butler recently traveled to Tajikistan to present that nation's minister of education with two-year Dixie scholarships for tuition and housing to be used by two of that country's students.

"I thought it would be a great idea to first offer a couple of scholarships and that in turn, those students coming to Dixie State would talk to their friends and families to encourage others to follow," Butler said, adding the southern Utah college is only the second American school to offer scholarships to Tajikistan citizens.

The first institution was the University of Montana, he said, which now enrolls more than a dozen Tajikistan students.

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