Board of Trustees
Dr. Christina Juarez Durham
Chair, Dixie State University Board of Trustees
Dr. Christina J. Durham was appointed to the DSU Board of Trustees in 2013, and was named Board Chair in July of 2014.
Vice Chair, Dixie State University Board of Trustees
David Clark was appointed to Dixie State’s Board of Trustees in May of 2012, and was named Board Vice Chair in November of 2013.
Clark is currently the Southern Utah Regional Vice President for Zions Bank, for which he has worked for more than 35 years. He has also been an active member of the St. George Rotary Club and was recognized as a Rotarian of the Year in 1998. In addition, Clark represented Utah's 74th District (Washington County) in the State House of Representatives from 2001-12. In 2006, he was elected to serve as majority leader and in November of 2008, he was voted Speaker of the House.
A resident of Santa Clara, Clark and his wife and high school sweetheart, Nan Nielsen Clark, have four children and 10 grandchildren. He received his Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Brigham Young University where he played football under legendary coach LaVell Edwards. In addition, he also holds degrees from the National Commercial Lenders Graduate School and the Pacific Coast School of Banking. In 2010, Clark served as DSU’s 99th Commencement speaker and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree as part of the ceremony.
Julie Bangerter Beck
Julie Bangerter Beck was appointed to the DSU Board of Trustees in 2012.
Beck, who was inducted into the Dixie State University Hall of Fame in the area of Public & College Service in 2007, was a performing member of the famed Dixie College Program Bureau, a member of the executive council and marched with the Rebelettes during her time at Dixie. She went on to complete her education at Brigham Young University. As a full-time homemaker, Beck has been active in many educational and community efforts. She has been a leader in parent teacher associations, school district advisory councils, music teacher associations, community celebrations and local politics.
In addition, Beck has served in leadership roles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, most recently as the Church’s Relief Society General President, a role she held for five years until her release this past April. As part of her responsibilities, she was a member of the Church Board of Education and the Board of Trustees of four Church universities; and was on the Executive and General councils for Welfare and the Perpetual Education Fund of the Church. In addition, Beck served on the Church’s Young Women General Board and as First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency.
Born in Granger, Utah, Beck moved to Brazil at the age of four with her family when her father, Elder William Grant Bangerter, was called to preside over the Brazilian Mission for the LDS Church for five years. A resident of Alpine, Utah, she and her husband, Ramon P. Beck, are the parents of three children.
Washington County School District Superintendant Larry Bergeson was appointed to the DSU Board of Trustees in 2014.
A native of Driggs, Idaho, Bergeson was appointed WCSD superintendent in 2013, after serving six years as principal at Dixie High School (2007-13), and previously as principal at Hurricane Middle School from 2001-07.
Prior to his arrival to southern Utah, he worked 15 years as an educator in Wyoming, where he was a teacher and special education director, and served eight years as principal at Lyman HS. Bergeson began his career in education at Preston (ID) HS, where he taught for four years.
Bergeson attended Utah State University, where he played basketball and earned Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Special Education. He also received an Administrative Endorsement from the University of Wyoming. From 1998-2001, Bergeson was a member of the Wyoming High School Athletics Association Board of Directors, and was on the Utah High School Athletics Association Executive Committee from 2010-13.
Larry and his wife, Terry, have four children and four grandchildren.
Elisabeth Rhodes Bingham
Elisabeth Rhodes Bingham was appointed to the DSU Board of Trustees in 2009.
Elisabeth is a noted humanitarian and patron of the arts. She is the co-founder of Humanitarian Experience for Youth (see www.hefy.org) a non-profit international humanitarian aid organization that every year offers hundreds of teenagers the opportunity to work in over ten different countries. She is also the Co-founder of the Ashby Foundation that provides educational and employment assistance to the people of Cape Verde, West Africa. Together these two organizations have provided more than 400,000+ hours of community service.
Elisabeth is active in the community and DSU. In addition to her Trustee role, she serves on DSU's National Advisory Council (past chair). She is on the Board of Directors for Tuacahn Center for the Arts and Tuacahn High School, the first charter school in Utah. She has also served as a board member for Dixie’s Art Invitational and has been involved in other community positions including Fine Arts Commissioner for the city of Cupertino, CA.
Elisabeth loves music and was a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices choir conducted by Gladys Knight. She has sung with Lieto and the Southern Utah Heritage Choir, both local community choirs. She has moonlighted as a viola and violin teacher and played in several university and community orchestras.
Elisabeth is a Cum Laude graduate of BYU and holds a Master of Education degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University. Prior to having a family, she was employed as the Director of Cancer Control for Central Massachusetts. Elisabeth and her husband are the parents of four children. Elisabeth is active in her church and served several times as the president of the women’s as well as the young women’s organizations.
Hal Hiatt currently serves as DSU Alumni Association President and has served on the DSU Board of Trustees since 2010.
(Bio coming soon)
Gregory J. Layton
Gregory Layton was elected to be the Student Body President of Dixie State University for the 2014-15 academic year.
Layton enrolled at DSU during the 2010 fall semester. He has served with DSUSA since 2012 as a committee member, and was the vice president of academics for the 2013-14 academic year prior to his election as DSUSA president last spring. In addition, Layton served as a staff writer for DSU’s Dixie Sun newspaper.
Greg hails from Holladay, Utah, and is a 2007 graduate of Cottonwood High School. He is an English major with an emphasis on professional and technical writing. Layton plans to attend law school following his graduation from DSU. Layton enjoys sports of any kind and competes in multiple sports through DSU’s intramural program, St. George City’s recreation leagues, and the Utah Golf Association. He loves boating, cycling, lifting, card games, and anything fun.
Jon Pike has served on the DSU Board of Trustees since 2009, and served as Board Vice Chair from April 2012 to November 2013.
Pike was raised in Salt Lake City and received a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Utah and an MBA from Westminster College. Jon has been with Intermountain Healthcare/SelectHealth for 23 years.
One of the highlights of Jon’s career has been working as project manager for the construction of the new hospital, which opened in 2003. He currently works for the health insurance division of Intermountain Healthcare, SelectHealth, as their Regional Operations Director in Southwest Utah.
In November 2013, Jon was elected Mayor of St. George City, after having served on the St. George City Council since 2007. In addition, Jon serves on the boards of the Children’s Justice Center, Dixie Care and Share, Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic, Dixie Applied Technology College, St. George Arts Commission, and as the chair of the Fifth District Judicial Nominating Commission. Jon previously served as a board member and as board chair of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce.
Jon loves music, water & snow skiing, motorcycling, and walking or biking on St. George’s many trails. Jon and Kristy have five children ranging in age from 21 to 9: Katie, Abby, Ben, Mary and Libby.
Gail Cooper Smith
Gail Cooper Smith was appointed to the DSU Board of Trustees in 2011.
A seventh generation native of Utah’s Dixie, Smith was born in St. George and raised in neighboring Washington. Following her graduation from Dixie College, she completed work on her Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education at Brigham Young University. Smith excelled as a college athlete and was a member of Dixie’s first Women’s ICAC basketball team, and is credited in making the winning free throw to bring home the championship trophy from the BYU Invitational. Later Smith taught both high school and junior high school, and coached basketball at Centerville Junior High.
In 1995, Dixie State awarded Smith an honorary doctorate. In 2000, she was enshrined into DSU’s Hall of Fame and was inducted in the inaugural class of the Dixie State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. The mother of six is also the author of the book, Shadow Fall: Reflections on Nurturing Family Values. She is married to Hyrum Smith and was instrumental in starting the Franklin Day Planner business with her husband. She and Hyrum are the parents of six children. She says that her children are her claim to fame. Her children say that her family is where her greatest work has been achieved.
Thomas Wright was appointed to the DSU Board of Trustees in 2014.
A native of Park City, Utah, Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah with two Bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Russian. Wright currently serves as president and principal broker of Summit Sotheby’s International Realty. He was also a top-producing sales agent with Prudential Utah Real Estate and marketing director for Coldwell Banker Premier Realty prior to joining Summit Sotheby’s. Wright has been a national speaker in the real estate industry, speaking to large and small groups on all facets of the business.
Wright is active in many civic organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors for the United Way, which serves Salt Lake, Summit and Davis Counties, and was recently recognized with one of the organization’s highest honors for its efforts to dramatically change the delivery of early education in Utah. He also serves as Chairman of the Utah Republican Party and was a member of the Republican National Committee.
He is an avid amateur golfer and a member of Glenwild Country Club in Park City. While in high school, he help lead his team to the Maryland state golf championship. Thomas played collegiately at the U of U and participated in several major NCAA tournaments, many of which were won by Tiger Woods. Thomas enjoys traveling the world, which has included a three-week African safari, a two-week golf excursion in Scotland and an Arctic Circle fishing adventure.
Thomas and his wife Caroline are the parents of three daughters and one son.