Continued Learning students donate $1 million to Dixie State University’s Geology program

By Stacy Schmidt

After taking a geology class from DSU’s Institute for Continued Learning, Denis and Diane Lyman were inspired to help others better understand and appreciate the “marvelous laboratory” surrounding us. Their resulting $1 million donation to grow DSU’s Geology program will make a difference in the lives of students for generations to come.

The Lymans are lifelong learners with an obvious passion for education. They exhibit an unparalleled enthusiasm for the wonders of our world, for learning new things and, perhaps most importantly, for passing on their unquenchable thirst for new knowledge and learning to the next generation.

“A love of learning can be infectious,” said Denis. “Get all the education you can because it’s the most valuable asset you are ever going to have!”

The Lymans said both sets of their parents fostered in them a deep sense of value for education. And they haven’t stopped learning since. They also believe in giving back and want others to catch their passion for learning and experience Southern Utah’s unique surroundings to the fullest.

“Education totally lifts you,” Diane said. “It’s like when I got glasses at age 8. I suddenly could look at the world around me in a whole new way. I could actually see the granules of dirt beneath my feet.” She likened this experience to learning about our surroundings, specifically geology. “The more you know about things, the more you notice everything in a more meaningful way.”

The Lymans’ donation will enable the University to hire additional faculty and expand the number of active learning experiences for DSU students.

“It’s a huge deal,” said Dr. Eric Pedersen, dean of DSU’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology. “This means students will get to learn in the outdoors surrounded by some of the best geology in the world.”

The Lymans will be recognized for their generosity at a reception being held on Thursday, May 30, at 2 p.m. in the Zion Room on the fifth floor of the Holland Building on campus. In addition, once built, the geological center in the new Science, Engineering & Technology building will be named after them.

DSU faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited and encouraged to attend the reception to hear from the Lymans and learn more about the impact of their generosity on the university and its students.

“Denis and I always aim our giving at education,” Diane said. “It’s divine nature. Be smart, celebrate each day, and earn your way so you can help others.”