SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It’s over, and Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox is relieved and hopeful for the future of Dixie State University.

After a grueling and research-heavy effort to arrive at a new name for the St. George-based university, the Utah State Legislature passed approving votes last week, clearing the way for the school to become Utah Tech University on July 1, 2022.

Asked for his thoughts during his monthly press conference, Cox referred to the experience that was had by the Snow College-loving community of Ephraim when the school added orange to its color scheme in 2012.

“I’ve talked about when we changed colors at Snow College and how divisive that was, and this is that times 1,000,” Cox, a Snow graduate, stated. “This has been incredibly divisive, it’s been a very, very long road, so many people have worked hard to try to get this in the right place. And so I think there was a little relief from everyone that at least that piece of it is over.”

Now, he says, it’s time for healing from those who were emotionally invested in the name-changing process, which included members of the public, some who protested vehemently against dropping the Dixie moniker. Cox noted that one of the compromises of the name change was to refer to the main campus of the school as the “Dixie Campus” for the first 20 years after the switch becomes official this summer.

In his view, the time was right for a change and the new name is fitting.

“This the right new name, and my hope is that this will be an exciting new era for that school, and for the people there that it can actually start to now reach its mission and reach the people it’s meant to serve.”

Cox is also looking forward to the questions about the school’s confusing name being a thing of the past.

“I got asked all the time, there was so much confusion around why we would have a school that’s a nickname of a nickname,” Cox said. “It didn’t make much sense. So I’m really hoping that this will be a chance for people to come together.”