On a March day in 1883 a group of pioneers from all sections of Dakota
Territory assembled on the present site of State College to break
ground for the erection of a building. The Territorial legislature had appropriated$20,000 to build the College. This marked the beginning of what is
today South Dakota's largest institution of higher education.
It was a day of celebration; there was thanksgiving for the progress already
made in the new territory, and there were prophetic visions of the
future. In the best oratorical style of seventy years ago they announced
those visions, bravely predicting a college of several buildings and possibly
500 students. Few of these pioneers of 1883 lived to see the enrollment of
2300 in 1947, but many of them did live to see their predictions exceeded.
Surely no one in 1883 could foresee the present development of college activities, both on the campus and throughout the state. But they did see
the need of their day, they did have dreams for meeting that need, and they
did take action to bring those dreams into reality. This is a continuous process
and must be continuous if progress is to result. Succeeding generations
have built and must build onto their dreams, just as they were building
upon the dreams of twenty years earlier that led to establishment of a Land
Grant College in each state under the act signed by President Lincoln in 1862.
South Dakota State College
Engineering, Division of, "70 Years of Engineering 1884 - 1951" (1955). State, University and Departmental Histories. 5.