The oil portraits of three figures who were prominent in Southern Utah University's history will be unveiled at the Founders Day banquet, Friday, March 12.

Portraits of George William Decker, Daryl Chase and Gwyn Clark have been completed by Russian-born artist Galena Perova, who currently resides in Salt Lake City. The paintings will become part of the permanent collection of noted SUU figures that are on display in the Steve Gilbert Great Hall.Decker was SUU's fourth "director," a title that was used until the institution became an independent four-year college in 1965. As a teenager, Decker accompanied the famous Hole-in-the-Rock expedition that settled Bluff in southeastern Utah. He attended the University of Utah and accepted a teaching appointment at the new Branch Normal School, Cedar City.

He served as the director of the school from 1904-13, when it was transferred to Utah State University's control and became Branch Agricultural College. During his tenure, Decker personally transplanted many trees to the then barren campus, beginning its landscaping tradition. After the transfer to USU, Decker returned to farming in the Parowan Valley and continued to be active in the Iron County School District.

A native of Nephi, Chase earned a doctoral degree from the University of Chicago in 1936. From 1934-36, he taught at the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City. After serving as an LDS Institute director in Wyoming and Arizona, he returned to Utah as the Institute director at Utah State University. In 1945, he became dean of students at USU.

Following the death of Branch Agricultural College Director H. Wayne Driggs in 1951, Chase was appointed as the new director of the southern Utah school. Under Chase's administration, the school officially had its name changed to the College of Southern Utah. In 1954, he also became president of USU and continued to administer both schools until 1955, when Royden C. Braith-waite became the director at SUU.

Clark taught at SUU from 1950 to 1974 and was one of the institution's most venerated faculty members. She earned a bachelor's from USU and a master's from the U. In 1962, she earned a doctoral degree from the U. and became one of the first, if not the first, women faculty members at SUU to have a doctoral degree. During her tenure, Clark rose to become chairwoman of the elementary education department.

Following her retirement in 1974, she continued as a professor emeritus, directing the school's Title II program. She was selected as the baccalaureate and vocational commencement speaker in 1975. At SUU's 1991 commencement, Clark was honored with an honorary doctoral degree from the institution to which she had devoted a lifetime of service.