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Walk through the main gate

NDSU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to walk through the university main gate on Tuesday, Aug. 27. The gesture is part of a signature event that helps celebrate the new academic year during Welcome Week. Welcome Week is scheduled for Aug. 24-30. 

People are invited to enjoy muffins and donuts provided by Gate City Bank from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. before walking through the entrance.

The main gate at NDSU has a long and colorful history as one of the university’s most recognizable structures. The following is a brief history of the iconic gate:

NDSU Main Gate


NDSU President John H. Worst helps break ground for the brick, sandstone and granite gateway. The original plan called for four pillars connected by panels and an ornamental seal, backed by grillwork.

The gate was completed in November at a cost of about $2,000.


Haile Chisholm, NDSU blacksmith and instructor of metal works, forged the wrought iron gate. Chisholm was 85 years old and still working at NDSU. He later received an honorary degree from the university as a Master of Artisans.


A gate sign spanning the length of the main entrance’s pillars was reintroduced for campus announcements. 

The main gate was the main roadway and entrance into campus for several decades. The roadway ran from the corner of 12th Avenue North to the front steps of Old Main.


The road through the main gate was replaced with a pedestrian path and grassy mall.


The gate was severely damaged during a large tornado that hit the north side of Fargo. News reports from The Spectrum noted: “Gone too is the gate that marked the original main entrance to the campus on the artistic iron work of which Haile Chisholm, then the college Smithy, worked so long and so lovingly.”


The current decorative gate was installed with its entryway welded shut.


The newly refurbished front gate was reopened in October. New additions to the area included a 10-foot-wide, brick-paved sidewalk and landscaping. The gate and entrance improvements were created by NDSU architecture and landscape architecture students.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
Campus address: Old Main 204
Mailing address: Dept 6000 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU University Relations