Honored in the area of Public & College Service will be Cheri Bennett Atkin, a native of Lehi, Utah, who attended then Dixie College (1963-65) on a music scholarship and was active in tennis, choir, drama, and cheerleading. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University (1967) in sociology and went on to receive her master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Utah (1970). Never one to rest on her laurels, Cheri – while raising a large family – taught high school and later taught as an adjunct sociology professor at Dixie College. Her service through the years has been invaluable to both the college and community. Her organizational skills are unparalleled, and, coupled with her determination, have laid the foundation for many vibrant community organizations in existence today.
Cheri’s accomplishments are many. During the early 1990s, Cheri was the operations manager for the Huntsman World Senior Games (HWSG). As a board member of the Quality of Life Task Force, she was instrumental in securing a $25 million dollar recreational bond. Cheri organized and chaired United Way Dixie and was a founding member of Leadership Dixie. Her dynamic energy has resulted in her receiving numerous awards, including the 2003 Dixie State College Distinguished Citizen Award and the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce 1996 Woman of the Year Award. In 1997 she received the HWSG Achievement for Excellence Award, and in 1998 she was inducted into the HWSG Hall of Fame.
For seven years Cheri was a member of the Brigham Young University National Advisory Council (NAC), and since 2000 she has served on the Dixie State College NAC. Most recently, Cheri and her husband Ralph have dedicated their talent and energy to improving the quality of student life on the DSC campus. As co-chairs of the Centennial Campaign, they have transformed the campus through beautifying projects that enhance learning environments and student success. Such projects include the Centennial Paver Project, Atkin Tutoring Center, President's Loop and D-Circuit, Dan’s Cove, and several Memory Gardens.
Cheri has played a significant role in supporting her husband Ralph through the founding and success of SkyWest Airlines. Since 1996, she has been a certified legal assistant in her husband's law practice. Whether spearheading a committee, fundraising or volunteering, Cheri's efforts are incalculable, and include Reading Recovery, PeeWee Tennis, recreational facilities, hiking trails and the DSC track, to name a few. Cheri and her husband Ralph were married in 1966. They have eight children (all graduates of Dixie State College) and 16 grandchildren.
Honored in the area of Business will be J. Ralph Atkin, who is a fourth-generation resident of St. George. He is a graduate of Dixie High, Dixie State College (AS), Brigham Young University (BS), and Golden Gate University (MBA), and holds a law degree from the University of Utah. Ralph was elected Washington County Attorney, and has conducted a private law practice in St. George for over 40 years. He served as the Director of Economic Development for the State of Utah from 1990-92, and prior to that he served as chairman of the Utah Travel Council for nine years. He also served as a member of the Utah National Guard for 12 years and obtained the rank of first lieutenant. Ralph is the founder and retired chairman of SkyWest Inc., a public company which is the holding company of SkyWest Airlines (St. George, Utah) and Express Jet Airlines (Atlanta, Ga.). His influence has been far-reaching; he has created airlines in Europe (Austria 1995) and West Africa (Ghana 2005). He was a founding member of Café Rio, Inc’s board of directors and currently serves on the boards of SkyWest, Inc. and TruHearing, Inc.
Ralph served on the National Advisory Council (NAC) for the BYU Marriott School of Business 2004-11, and is a current member of the Dixie State College NAC. He is also a long-time member of the Dixie State Athletic Alliance (formerly the Colonels Club). He is the recipient of the 2010 Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. He and his wife Cheri have tirelessly served their alma mater as co-chairmen of the Centennial Campaign Committee and have been instrumental in securing the initial funding for the eight herald trumpets, in addition to securing funds for the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons, the Atkin Tutoring Center, the Udvar-Hazy School of Business building, the President’s Loop and D-Circuit, Dan’s Cove, the Dixie Paver Centennial Project, and seven memory gardens. Ralph was an adjunct business professor at Dixie State College for several years. Ralph played tennis at DSC, and was also an actor. One of his proudest accomplishments was receiving the Dixie State College Outstanding Actor of the Year Award in 1964-65 for his role as father in “Life with Father.”
Ralph holds a private pilot’s license (single/multi engine) and enjoys golf and traveling with family members. He and Cheri are the parents of eight children (all graduates of Dixie State College), and have 15 grandchildren.
Honored posthumously in the area of Social Science & Humanities will be Antone R. Bowler, who was born in nearby Gunlock, Utah, and was a 1933 graduate of Dixie College. While at Dixie, he was on the boxing team, and Captain of the Debating Team, winning the Cox Outstanding Debator Medal three times. With an admitted penchant for living on the edge, and in the depths of the Great Depression, he took his bride on a bus to start their new life together in Washington, D.C., arriving with $90 in his pocket. He found work with the Federal Housing Administration, newly created by the U.S. Government to radically change home ownership and create a new mortgage banking industry. Antone was instrumental in formulating loan approval and housing standards for the nation, eventually becoming Senior Underwriting Supervisor.
Bowler served on the War Productions Board, where he and other national leaders determined where scarce resources were to be allocated during World War II. After moving his family to Denver, Colo., in 1944, he co-created a mortgage banking company, which he ultimately owned and presided over. This marked the beginning of a stellar career in the private mortgage lending industry, where he labored until his retirement some 30 years later. Antone served as President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Denver, and was recognized in 1975 as the Mortgage Banker of the Year. He was truly one of the local and national pioneers in that industry. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and golfer, and was the constant companion and husband to his dear wife, Cola, for 62 years. He and Cola were the parents of one daughter and two sons.
Honored in the area of Science & Technology will be Dr. William Patrick McCafferty, a native of Murray, Utah, who graduated from Dixie College in 1965. While at Dixie College he served on the Associated Men Students Council, was President of the X-Club, was selected as the Outstanding Biology Student, and graduated with honors. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Utah in 1967 and 1969, respectively, and returned to Dixie College as Assistant Professor of Biology from 1970-71. In 1971 he received his Doctor of Entomology Degree from the University of Georgia. From 1971-2011 he was employed as Professor of Entomology & Director of the Entomological Research Collections at Purdue University.
McCafferty has published over 400 scientific articles and monographs on the taxonomy and ecology of aquatic insects. As an internationally known aquatic entomologist, he has regularly acted as a freshwater environmental consultant to both government and private agencies. McCafferty has published three books; his first, Aquatic Entomology, defines the sub-discipline of aquatic entomology and its applications, and through the integration of science and sport, has fostered scientific angling for the catching of trout by fly fishermen. McCafferty has authored the description of 312 new species and the comprehensive understanding of approximately 800 mayfly species. He and his wife Nadine are the parents of three children and have eight grandchildren.
Honored in the area of Fine & Performing Arts will be A. Delmont Truman, traveled south from his hometown of Enterprise, Utah, to attend Dixie College, where he served as student body president in the 1950-51 school year. After serving his country in the Korean conflict, he attended Brigham Young University, graduating in 1957 with a degree in Agriculture. It was at BYU where he met his wife, the former Karol Kuhn.
Music and entertaining have been an integral part of Delmont's life. He was an avid participant in musicals and choirs at Dixie College. In 1961, Delmont was one of the first to perform the musical “Promised Valley” in the newly constructed Graff Theater on the Dixie State College campus. One of Delmont’s theatrical highlights was performing throughout the western United States in productions of "It's a Miracle" and "March Across Our Land."
A life-changing experience came when Delmont was invited by former St. George “Singing Mayor” Marion H. Bowler and Dixie College Assistant Professor of Music Roene B. DiFiore (Mrs. “D”) to sing the beloved songs of Dixie. This trio formed what eventually became known as the Program Bureau (the PB), which entertained locally, nationally, and internationally. Today, Delmont continues to sing with former Program Bureau members. His signature song “Are You From Dixie” is the highlight of alumni gatherings and class reunions.
For more than ten years Delmont’s rich baritone voice sang the National Anthem prior to each home basketball game in the old Dixie College Gymnasium. Since 1947, he has sung at more than 1000 funeral services. Delmont dedicates his time by serving as a member of the Dixie State College Alumni Board and was a former member of the Dixie College Foundation. The Truman Garden at the DSC Wade Alumni House is a tribute to this wonderful man often referred to as Mr. Dixie Spirit. He and his wife Karol are the parents of four children and have 14 grandchildren.
Additional details of the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of the these five Hall of Fame honorees will be given at the Founder’s Day Assembly.
The Hall of Fame was introduced at Dixie State College in 1998, at which time 18 individuals were inducted as charter members. The photos and plaques of this year’s inductees will join the past 81 inductees on the Wall of Fame located in the Avenna Center on campus.