ST. GEORGE — The final week to submit nominations for a new nickname and mascot for Dixie State College is under way.

Since mid-August, administrators have collected thousands of ideas, presenting three winners each week. So far, student nominations have been narrowed down to 12 — soon to be 15 — finalists, with Red Bulls being ruled out due to potential copyright infringement with the makers of a popular energy drink.

"This is a positive turning point in Dixie State's history, and my hope is that the campaign continues to gain momentum and carry us through to the final announcement during D-week in April," said current Dixie State Student Body President Brock Bybee. He heads up a naming committee that hopes to find a name that reflects the pioneer heritage, traditions, values and work ethic of the region.

Dixie State's trustees last year voted to retire not only the "Rebel" nickname and "Confederate" identity adopted in the 1950s, but also the name of Dixie State College in the midst of possible University of Utah affiliation.

A name change has been a controversial topic for both schools involved in the affiliation discussions, as well as community members.

From more than 3,000 submissions, final possibilities for the St. George school include the Pioneers, Scorpions, Coyotes, Heat, Reds, Diamondbacks, Redhawks, Suns, Blazers, Red Devils and Roadrunners. Three additional winners will be named next week.

Many of the names were submitted by multiple people. Winning nominators receive $100 for their submissions. Submissions can be made online at www.dixie.edu/mascot.

Dixie State officials are inviting current students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members to participate in the renaming process.

The nomination portion will end Wednesday and voting begins Oct. 11, when the top 10 will be selected. Voting for the top three will be conducted from Nov. 14 through Dec. 12 and a final winner will be selected by March 5.


E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com