General Beadle

DSU History

Dakota State University has enjoyed a long and proud history of leadership and service since its founding in 1881 as the first teacher education institution in the Dakota Territory.

For most of its history, DSU has been identified with teacher preparation, first as a normal school and later as a four-year public college. The University has had several different names, among them Madison Normal, Eastern Normal, and General Beadle State College. The name, Dakota State College, was adopted in 1969. On July 1, 1989, Dakota State College became Dakota State University. The University title was conferred on the institution by the South Dakota Legislature in order to better reflect its purpose in the total scheme of the state's higher education system. Prospective elementary and secondary teachers continue to be educated here. To this traditional emphasis, DSU added business and traditional arts and science programs in the 1960s and two health services programs, Health Information Management and Respiratory Care, in the late 1970s.

In 1984, the South Dakota Legislature and the South Dakota Board of Regents turned to Dakota State University to educate leaders for the information age. In response, Dakota State University developed leading-edge computer/information systems degree programs. The graduates of these programs enjoy enviable status in the national marketplace. As a leader in computer and information systems programs, DSU has pioneered the application of computer technology to traditional fields of academic endeavor. This thrust has led to the development of unique degree programs in biology, English, mathematics, and physical science.

In recognition of its pioneering academic programs and outreach efforts, DSU was selected as one of the ten finalists for the 1987 G. Theodore Mitau Award. The Mitau Award is peer recognition by the nation's largest association of higher education institutions, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, of the nation's top state colleges and universities for innovation and change.

More recently, Dakota State University has been named to Yahoo Magazine's list of the 100 most wired universities in the U.S. - ranking 12th on the list in 1998, 10th on the list in 1999, and 9th on the Baccalaureate II list in 2000. For two consecutive years, 2007 and again in 2008, Dakota State University in Madison is the best public baccalaureate college in the Midwest according to U.S. News & World Report's annual analysis of "America's Best Colleges 2008." Dakota State is ranked first in the category of Top Public Baccalaureate Colleges in the Midwest region.

Dakota State University continues to serve the needs of a changing society in its second century. In order to provide its academic programs to a broader audience, DSU has taken a step forward in distance education and offers courses and academic programs via Internet, the Governor's Electronic Classroom, and the Rural Development Telecommunications Network. As society's educational needs change, Dakota State University will continue to evolve to meet these needs with education, scholarship and service.

History of the College

  • 1881 - Dakota Normal School established by the Territorial Legislature on land donated by C.B. Kennedy.
  • 1902 - Name changed to Madison State Normal School.
  • 1921 - Name changed to Eastern State Normal School.
  • 1922 - First homecoming day called Pioneer Day. Athletic teams known as the Warriors.
  • 1926 - Eastern Alumni Organization established.
  • 1927 - Name changed to Eastern State Teachers College.
  • 1928 - Athletic teams officially named the Trojans.
  • 1937 - Statue of General Beadle erected on campus.
  • 1947 - Name changed to General Beadle State Teachers College.
  • 1955 - Homecoming celebration renamed Tutor Day (now known as Trojan Days.)
  • 1960 - Memorial Gymnasium (Fieldhouse) construction completed.
  • 1969 - Name changed to Dakota State College. President Richard Nixon visits campus to dedicate the Karl Mundt Library.
  • 1984 - SD Legislature mandated mission change at Dakota State. The new mission integrated technology across all areas of the curriculum.
  • 1989 - Name changed to Dakota State University.
  • 1999 - First master's program offered at DSU (Master of Science in Information Systems)
  • 2004 - DSU goes wireless with tablet computer initiative. DSU is named Center of Information Assurance by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • 2006 – March 5, DSU marks the 125th Anniversary of its founding. DSU given approval to offer a Doctor of Science in Information Systems degree program with first students accepted into program Fall 2006.
  • 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 – DSU named highest ranked comprehensive public college in the Midwest according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • 2008, 2009 –Campus residence halls undergo a major renovation. DSU becomes the home of the National Center for Protection of the Financial Infrastructure (a 2010 Research Center initiative), and the Center for the Advancement of Health Information Technology.
  • 2010 – Ruth C. Habeger Science Center undergoes $6.3 million renovation; DSU receives a $5.6 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to be used for the establishment of a Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) that will help health care providers across South Dakota to implement electronic health records and exchange information in a secure, private manner.

Last Updated: 6/7/12