“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Huron in Beadle County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

History of Huron College / Huron University

History of Huron College/Huron University Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, June 26, 2021
1. History of Huron College/Huron University Marker
1883 - Presbyterian University of Southern Dakota was born on "Rattlesnake Hill" in Pierre SD with Rev. Thomas M. Findley as President.

1884 - College renamed Pierre university over next 14 years financial support fell below the starvation point - Pierre university must close.

1898 - The Presbyterian Synod of South Dakota met in Huron and voted to move the college from Pierre to Huron and consolidate with Scotland Academy under the leadership of John L. Pyle - $5,000 was raised by the citizens of Huron to purchase the Royal Hotel s the site for the college - the name was changed to Huron College.

1900 - Chicago & Northwestern Railroad set aside four lots which would be donated to the College if it could show "reasonable effort" toward building on them.

1904 - Elizabeth Voorhees dormitory dedicated - gift by Ralph Voorhees of Clinton, NJ.

1907 - Voorhees Hall, the main building for the campus, was dedicated at a cost of $120,000.

1914 - The college held its first annual Paddle Day and Indian ceremony.

1915 - Huron College gained accreditation by the North Central
History of Huron College/Huron University Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, June 26, 2021
2. History of Huron College/Huron University Marker
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Association - debate and oratory had great prominence at the college. 1922 - The name of the Huron College athletic teams changed to "Scalpers".

1925 - Opening of the gymnasium/auditorium Sousa's Band was one of the first concerts.

1933 - 50th Anniversary - College had 219 students, offered 175 courses, endowment was approximately $1,000,000 and campus contained four buildings.

1942 - Football suspended - enrollment dropped to 108 - first aid classes organized.

1943 - Enrollment was at the lowest point since the early 1900's with only 74 full-time students.

1953 - McDougal Hall women's dormitory opened at a cost of $450,000 - called the finest in the Midwest - Dr. Daniel E Kerr named college president and served until 1968.

1958 - 75th Anniversary - Five buildings on campus with value of over $1,000,000 - $1,000,000.00 operating budget of $330,000 - successful alumni include Native Americans and South Koreans - fielded winning teams in athletics - debaters won state and national honors.

1961 - New residence for men - Churchill Hall was completed for $290,000.

1963 - Ella McIntire Library completed for $300,000.

1965 - A $200,000 addition to Churchill Hall was constructed.

1967 - North & South Kerr Residence Halls were finished for $540,000.

Central Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ruth VanSteenwyk, June 26, 2021
3. Central Park
- Campus Center building erected at a cost of $900,000.

1971 - Enrollment peaked at 673 students.

1973 - Fine Arts Center dedicated at a cost of $900,000.

1974 - Enrollment stable but College operating in the red - endowment had been depleted - Huron Presbyterian Church mortgaged its property to give the College $150,000 in desperately needed cash.

1978 - McDougal Residence Hall, built in 1953, was sold to Huron Area Senior Center - enrollment stabilized at between 300 - 350 students.

1982 - Huron College Foundation organized as a separate stand-alone entity with William Churchill as board chairman to raise funds for the College.

1983 - 100th Anniversary - Huron College celebrates with 315 students enrolled and 10 buildings on campus - Al Neuharth, CEO of Gannett Corporation and founder of USA Today gave the commencement address

1984 - Presbyterian Synod of Lakes & Prairies officially dissolves relationship with Huron College.

1984 - College avoids closing when Huron citizens overwhelmingly enact a sales tax to buy Fine Arts Center for $1,300,000 and lease it back for $1 - Trustees contract with Midwest Educational Systems Inc to manage College and Dr R John Reynolds named president - Trustees assumed the responsibility of paying off College debt with proceeds from the sale of Fine Arts
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1987 - Midwest Educational Systems exercises option to purchase Huron College $1 after Trustees retire the $1,000,000 debt.

1990 - Huron College sold to Templeton brothers of Landsdown University in London England - a campus in London is established - name was change to Huron University.

1991 - Sioux Falls Campus established and opened with 55 students.

1992 - A renovated Voorhees Hall reopened after being closed for 10 years.

1992 - Huron university ownership transferred to a former member of the Japanese Diet - a campus in Tokyo is established - Huron University has campuses on 3 continents.

1993 - Newly constructed $1,500,000 Sports & Recreation Center opens

1996 - NCA Commission notifies Huron University officials that accreditation will end on December 31 because of governance issues.

1997 - Huron University becomes a campus of Colorado Technical University on January 1 - name of athletic teams changed to "Eagles".

1999 - A group of University administrators formed NEWCO and raised capital from local investors to buy Heron University.

2001 - University sold to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe - over 600 students on Huron Campus - 200 students on Eagle Butte campus - name is changed to Si Tanka University.

2005 - University closed in May following graduation
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ceremonies in the Methodist Church.

Lasting Legacy - The restored $2,000,000 endowment of the Huron University Foundation will provide educational opportunities in perpetuity for Huron area students attending accredited post-secondary educational institutions.

Campus Redevelopment

2007 - City renovates Fine Arts Center and creates Huron Community Campus for accredited institutions to offer post-secondary education.

2009 - Huron Public School buys Sports Center.

2011 - Central Park redevelopment project initiated-demolition of campus buildings except Campus Center & Fine Arts Center is completed.

2012 - Renovation of the Campus Center building is completed and the building is the new headquarters of Huron Community Campus and Huron Parks & Recreation - Splash Central Water Park and Central Park construction begins.

2013 - Redevelopment completed - dedication and grand opening of Central Park and Splash Central officially ends one era and begins another.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education. A significant historical year for this entry is 1883.
Location. 44° 21.445′ N, 98° 13.071′ W. Marker is in Huron, South Dakota, in Beadle County. Marker is on Illinois Avenue Southwest. Marker is located in Central Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 818 Illinois Ave SW, Huron SD 57350, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Huron College (a few steps from this marker); William E. Ferguson Square (a few steps from this marker); Huron Public Library (approx. Ό mile away); Campbell Park Historic District (approx. Ό mile away); Dr. Paul H. Hohm (approx. 0.4 miles away); Dr. Howard L. Saylor, Jr. (approx. 0.4 miles away); Welcome to Legacy Park Garden! (approx. 0.4 miles away); Dr. Jeffrey S. Wheeler (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huron.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 6, 2021, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 350 times since then and 305 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 6, 2021, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 8, 2022