SUU Founders Week to include lecture on Mormon and Muslim commonality, other events

Composite image | Photo of Provost Bradley J. Cook courtesy of Southern Utah University, Hunter Conference Center courtesy of Southern Utah Tourism Summit, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — To honor the school’s history and traditions, Southern Utah University is celebrating its annual Founders Week with a variety of events and lectures this week.

Sponsored by the SUU Alumni Association, Founders Week is celebrated all week long through various events paying tribute to the determined and ambitious men and women who sacrificed so much to establish the institution. 

“I like the tradition of Founders Week, something we have celebrated since 1925, and that we take time to remember our original founders and those who have sacrificed for SUU through the years,” ” Ron Cardon, director of the Alumni Association, said in a press release from SUU.

Along with the Alumni Association, the Student Programming Board is helping create events that focus on involving students in the celebration of SUU.

One of the main events of the week will be Provost Bradley J. Cook’s delivery of the Howard R. Driggs Memorial Lecture in the Hunter Conference Center on Wednesday. The talk will be about the commonalities between Mormon and Muslim religions and will likely be Cook’s final public lecture at SUU.

Titled “Mormons and Muslims: A Kinship of Two Traditions,” the lecture will examine areas of convergence and commonality between the two religions, including their similar origin stories, persecution histories, shared values and areas of common concern.

In a time when groups are most often defined by their differences, starting at what they have in common is the best way forward for engendering mutual respect, deepening cooperation and engendering affirmative gratitude for each other,” Cook said.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Throughout the years, the Howard R. Driggs Memorial Lecture has presented many esteemed scholars, including Robert F. Bennett, Joseph J. Ellis and Joshua Fredenburg. The Howard R. Driggs Memorial Lecture was established in 2009 to honor Driggs, who served on the first faculty at SUU.

Cook has served as the seventh SUU provost and a professor of history since 2009. During that time, he has focused on establishing SUU as a national leader in student-centric, highly engaged learning environments, and in internationalizing the university, according to the press release. He was recently selected as the 17th president of Snow College.

Other Founders Week events

  • Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Lunch on the Main, including founder stories and lunch for students | Locations: Library Plaza, Library Entrance, Centurium, Founders Monuments at Old Sorrel, Old Main and the Sharwan Smith Student Center.
  • Wednesday, 11 a.m. | Howard R. Driggs Memorial Lecture by Dr. Bradley J. Cook | Location: Gilbert Great Hall, Hunter Conference Center, 301-557 W. University Blvd., Cedar City.
  • Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. | Founders Dinner and Awards. Distinguished Service Awards presented to Mike Richards and Brad Cook, and Anne Judd posthumously inducted into the SUU Hall of Honor | Admission: RSVP at 435-865-8656 | Location: Gilbert Great Hall, Hunter Conference Center, 301-557 W. University Blvd., Cedar City.
  • Thursday, 7:30 p.m. | Country music concert featuring Brett Young | Admission: Tickets are sold out but please check tbirdtickets.com the day of the concert for tickets that may open up based on final stage set-up and line of sight | Location: America First Event Center, 351 W. Center St., Cedar City.
  • Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Campus Beautification Day | Admission: Check-in at Sherratt Library | Location: Campus-wide | 7-9 p.m. | SUU 90’s Throwback Dance Party | Location: Sharwan Smith Student Center Ballroom, 351 W. University Blvd., Cedar City.

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