Mindy Benson is currently serving as the interim president at Southern Utah University. Benson has progressed at SUU through a variety of positions, including director of student life and leadership and executive director of alumni relations.
The Utah Board of Higher Education unanimously named Benson as interim president of Southern Utah University to take effect on July 26, 2021. Benson is the first female to serve in the presidential role for the institution.
As vice president for Alumni and Community Relations, Benson oversees Alumni Relations, Regional Services, Utah Center for Rural Health, Business Resource Center and Small Business Development Center, Southern Utah Museum of Art, and Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games. She’s responsible for a variety of community outreach projects, alumni engagement, workforce development, economic growth, community leadership trainings and special events.
During her time at SUU, her primary focus has been to connect and engage with institutional stakeholders who are often overlooked. Benson has strengthened the University's ties to its alumni network, along with creating deep and lasting relationships with community members and leaders in rural Utah. She is also actively involved in the community and region by serving on the Cedar City Historic Downtown Economic Development Committee, Bryce Canyon National History Association Board, SUU’s Community Advisory Board and Rocky Vista University Executive Advisory Council.
Along with her University responsibilities, she is a professional event consultant and planner, with experience producing hundreds of productions, concerts, events and political inaugurations nationally. She is a Cedar City native whose ties to the University go back generations. Benson earned her bachelor’s degree in zoology and her master’s in communication from Southern Utah University.
Industry Expertise (3)
Areas of Expertise (16)
Higher Education Community Patnerships
Alumni Relations in Higher Education
Event Planning, Concerts
Event Planning, Presidential Inaugurations
Event Management & Production
Event Planning Curriculum
Event Planning, University Commencement
History of Southern Utah University
Outreach in Rural Communities
Southern Utah University: B.S., Zoology
Southern Utah University: M.A., Communication
- Rocky Vista Executive Advisory Council
- Cedar City Historic Downtown Economic Development Committee
- Bryce Canyon National History Association Board
- SUU’s Community Advisory Board
Media Appearances (5)
SUU's New Interim President will Become the First Woman to Hold the Title
Deseret News online
The Utah System of Higher Education announced its choice for Southern Utah University's interim president, who will become the first woman to serve in that role at the school. Mindy Benson, current vice president of alumni and community relations for the university, will serve as president until the search for a new president concludes, which leaders anticipate will happen by spring of 2022.
SUU History day; a faith-promoting founding and a symbol of community spirit
St George News online
To Vice President for Alumni and Community Relations Mindy Benson, the Branch Agricultural College (BAC) was a center of culture and education, not only for Cedar City and Iron County, but also for the surrounding communities.
Looking back at the origin of SUU 120 years later
A popular statue on campus honors “Old Sorrel” and the men that made the trip that saved the university. Mindy Benson, SUU vice president, alumni and community relations, believes that story, more than a century later, is a perfect example of the relationship between the small school and the town of a little more than 30,000.
SUU bringing concerts back to Festival City
The Spectrum online
“The concert industry as a whole changed over the last decade and with the changes people just weren’t seeing concerts,” said Benson. “But President Scott Wyatt and many others working on the projects realized both the campus and community life could use a boost.”
$48,000 Scholarships to Families of SUU Alumni
LDS Living online
Southern Utah University, in Cedar City, Utah, is prepared to gift families of out-of-state alumni $48,000 in scholarship to pass on their Thunderbird legacy to the next generation. “We are thrilled to offer this as a benefit to all SUU students who have earned an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree at the University,” said Alumni Relations Executive Director Mindy Benson. “This really adds value to an SUU diploma, and our alumni are the best ambassadors for our school already, so we hope they take advantage of this great opportunity.”
Southern Utah University honors owners of Ruby’s Inn with Distinguished Service AwardSt George News
“Southern Utah University is proud to recognize the Syrett family for its uncommon warmth and hospitality in welcoming people from all over the world to Garfield County and Bryce Canyon,” Mindy Benson, vice president of alumni and community relations, said. “The Syrett family and SUU share a common link as each was built by courageous and hardworking pioneers who expand the horizons of others and have succeeded in the face of daunting barriers.”
Event Planning: Writing and Teaching the First Event Curriculum at Southern Utah UniversitySUU Communication Department
This project examines how an Event Planning Curriculum was designed, written and taught for the first Event Planning course at Southern Utah University. Event Planning is becoming a growing field within the study of Communications. This course was designed so students could have the basic event planning skill they would need to enter the work force and be considered for an event job.
COMM 4600 Event Planning
Discussion of contemporary communication topics varying by semester.
HRHM 4700 Event Planning
Specialized topics in Hospitality Management for students to extend beyond core curriculum.
COMM 6240 Event Management Internship
Students intern with professor and plan an event during the school year.