Lawmakers have approved Dixie State College's bid to become a university and stick with its traditional name despite concerns about racial insensitivity.
The Utah State Senate approved the measure Wednesday morning on a 26-0 vote. The house approved a bill earlier 68-6.
Last month the Utah Board of Regents also approved the name change and university status.
Bill sponsor Representative Don Ipson, Republican from Saint George, called the move a "key economic driver" for southern Utah, saying that the university classification would draw more students from in and out of state.
Dixie has been a nickname for the Saint George region since the 1800's, when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent pioneers, including former slave owners there to grow cotton.
The bill now awaits the governor's signature.