Published September 2, 2023

Share your Dakota Hall memories

Written by
The Dakotan
| The Dakotan
Dakota Hall on the campus of Minot State University. (Photo: submitted)
Dakota Hall on the campus of Minot State University. (Photo: submitted)

Minot State University release

MINOT – Minot State students are looking for your memories from Dakota Hall.

Built in the early 1930s, Dakota Hall is slated for demolition in Summer 2024. Due to deteriorating conditions, Minot State was awarded funding in the 2023 legislative session to demolish the building, turning its former location into green space.

“Dakota Hall has housed many generations of students over the decades as the institution changed its name from Minot State Teachers College to Minot State College and finally to Minot State University, and also changed from a mostly female student population to one more evenly balanced,” said Bethany Andreasen, professor of history. “Recognizing the history of a building of which many alumni hold fond memories is important, particularly as the building will no longer be standing.

“While many aspects of student life remained the same over the years, others changed dramatically. The stories of Dakota Hall’s residents will reveal a great deal about the changing nature of the Minot State experience.”

Andreasen’s History of North Dakota class will delve into the project, gaining experience in historical research and investigating yearbooks, newspaper coverage, photographs, and the memories of former students.

“The students who are involved in this research will have the opportunity to experience the excitement of local history research,” Andreasen explained. “When a research topic is centered close at hand, they are able to view it from a different perspective. The documents and photographs that they gather and analyze connect to a building that they have personally seen, and the stories provided by former Dakota Hall residents will bring that history to life.

“Sometimes, individuals have a tendency to view history as something that is separate from them. Hearing the memories of people who were part of the past will help them realize that all our experiences are part of what one day will be labeled as history.”

The materials gathered by the class will become electronic presentations, ultimately being shared with the public at speaking events and online.

According to “When Dreams Came True: A Centennial History of Minot State University, 1913-2013” by Jonathan Wagner and Mark Timbrook, “completed in 1932 and located east of Old Main, the campus’ second dormitory, named Dakota Hall, significantly augmented the existing on-campus housing offered by the originally dormitory, Pioneer Hall.

“The college’s newspaper celebrated the new facility as a ‘lovely home’ exuding a ‘happy, modern atmosphere.’ With all its latest conveniences, Dakota Hall made dormitory life the envy of most homemakers. ‘When lights out comes,’ The Red and Green asserted proudly, ‘all one has to do I open the closet door and out swings a comfortable bed all ready for occupancy, even to the extra blanket.’ Living in the dormitories was comfortable and relatively cheap. Dormitory women paid $16 a month for room and board, seven days a week.”

To share your Dakota Hall memories, visit https://oer.MinotStateU.edu/projects/dh/ or email Andreasen at bethany.andreasen@MinotStateU.edu.

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