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A black-and-white photo of the first building on the Crookston campus.

In 1906, a solitary building made up the University's campus in Crookston. This first building consisted of three floors-the dining hall, cooks's quarters, and heating plant on the first; classrooms on the second; and nine dormitory rooms and a bathroom on the third. The building is no longer standing; in its place is Dowell Hall.

UMC turning 100

From eNews, April 7, 2005

First it was a residential high school with classes in home management, and eventually it became the only university campus in North America to offer baccalaureate programs in natural resources aviation and law enforcement aviation. In a span of 100 years, the University of Minnesota's presence in Crookston has certainly grown. Last Wednesday (March 30), campus officials unveiled a centennial logo to prepare the University and Crookston communities for the start of a yearlong celebration.

"The events surrounding the centennial [will] recognize our pioneering efforts in education and research that have had such an impact on Minnesota and the world," says Joe Massey, chief executive officer of the Crookston campus. "We are looking at this [celebration] as an opportunity to recognize those pioneers and showcase the great things planned for our next 100 years."

The centennial symbol encompasses the logo of UMC's predecessor, the Northwest School of Agriculture--with its grains of wheat on each side of a crest of gold--and the official UMC logo above the number 100, to symbolize the foundation of a century of education and research excellence. The official centennial kickoff will take place this summer on June 24 and 25, and special events to celebrate the occasion will run through commencement in May 2006.

Making a mark in the northwest corner The University's presence was solidified in the northwest region of Minnesota when it opened the Northwest Experiment Station in 1895 and the Northwest School of Agriculture in 1906. On land donated by railroad magnate James J. Hill, the University offered classes in agriculture, home management, and business through the school and conducted research on swine, turkeys, sunflowers, plums, and the effects of hail damage, among other things, at the experiment station.

In 1963, the University of Minnesota Bureau of Field Studies urged the University administration to phase out the high school curriculum and introduce two-year college-level programs.

Stan Sahlstrom was hired as provost in 1965 to direct the establishment of the new higher education institute. According to The University of Minnesota 1945-2000, Sahlstrom wrote the first catalog and designed the first brochure, and he traveled throughout northwest Minnesota promoting the college. The Crookston Technical Institute opened in fall 1966 with 184 students, more than had been anticipated.

Sahlstrom led the campus until 1985 when Donald Sargeant was appointed provost, and subsequently, chancellor. In 1993, the Crookston Technical College (the name was changed from technical institute to technical college in 1969) became the University of Minnesota, Crookston, a four-year baccalaureate-degree-granting institution that provided all its faculty members and full-time students with a laptop computer-making it the first higher education institution in the United States to earn the label "Laptop U."

In June 2002, Sargeant turned over the reins of the campus to Velmer Burton. And when Burton left, Joe Massey was named chief executive officer in 2004.

For updates on centennial-related events, see

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