North Dakota State University

More than a century ago, March 8, 1890, to be exact, the first governor of North Dakota signed the bill creating North Dakota State University. Since John Miller's time the university has seen a few things come and go. Such as more than 308 quarters (and about a dozen semesters), More than 800 football games, some 65 homecoming queens, more than a century of Spectrum editors, and some 50,000 diplomas.

The Spectrum launched its first edition in 1896, with the somewhat cryptic intent of "acquainting the people of our state with what we have been doing along different lines of work." When the publication moved from monthly to weekly its mission was clarified somewhat: "increasing college spirit and patriotism among the students and increasing the interest of North Dakota farmers and tradesmen in experimental work." This may have been the university's earliest public relations course.

But as reflected in the Spectrum,the university's intent was clear: agriculture and applied studies. In fact the old A.C., as North Dakota Agricultural College was then called, was part of the federal Morrill Act's land-grant program designed to create institutions of higher education to serve first the practical needs of area residents. Becoming NDSU in 1960, the university still takes that role seriously, emphasizing the importance of service and commitment to the state.

Today the university has grown into a complex of eight colleges and the School of Education, offering 82 undergraduate majors, 48 master's degree programs, and 21 doctoral programs. At over 13,000, enrollment is near a historic high.

Top of page