History Book provides glimpses into Dickinson State University’s past

“The College on the Hill: The Story of Dickinson State University” is was released in the fall of 2003. Authored by Winifred Stump-DeLong, former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the university, “The College on the Hill: The Story of Dickinson State University” will provide readers with 200-225 pages of text and an additional 30-50 pages of color and black and white photos chronicling the history of Dickinson State University.

Stump-DeLong’s book adds to the story of Dickinson State University at both ends of the time spectrum. Starting in 1907, “The College on the Hill: The Story of Dickinson State University” follows the university’s existence throughout its history and into the modern day. Where the book’s timeline overlaps with Ozzie Belsheim’s text, Stump-DeLong makes use of additional research and documentation not previously available to add additional scope to the story.

“I have chosen to call this book a ‘story’ of Dickinson State, rather than the ‘history’ of the university,” writes Stump-DeLong in the book’s introduction. “What we call ‘history’ comes to us from many sources. It is not surprising, therefore, that there are as many interpretations of an event or series of events, as there are witnesses. There can never be the definite telling of the facts. That is why I would like the readers of this book to think of it as a story about Dickinson State. Not because it is fiction, but because it is an account of actions that have been filtered through the prism of time.”

Readers of the book will enjoy previously unpublished information regarding the university’s earliest days spent in the Elks Building in downtown Dickinson. For instance, Stump-DeLong quotes the following information regarding the old business office on the second floor of the Elks Building, penned originally by Maude Klinefelter:

“The President occupied the southeast corner of this room where his brand new rolltop desk was placed. A swivel arm chair and letter file completed the furnishings of that office. The southwest corner of the same room was occupied by the secretary, whose only equipment was a typewriter desk and a re-built Underwood typewriter. To this equipment was added a gong with a long string attached. This gong was mounted on the wall in the hallway just outside of the office door, there in the Elks Building. Every 45 minutes, it was the duty of the secretary to arise from her chair, go to the hallway, and pull the gong string three times to announce the dismissal of classes.”

Also detailed within the pages of the book are the words of former Dickinson State University President R.C. ‘Cam’ Gillund, who proposed dropping the longtime Savages mascot of the university in 1973, placing Dickinson State University some 2-3 decades ahead of what is today a growing national trend. In recalling that moment, Stump-DeLong quotes from President Gillund’s remarks.

“I have recommended to the State Board of Higher Education that the nickname Savages, Indian theme, slogans, symbols and rituals be discontinued. As an institution of higher learning, it behooves us to exercise a leadership role which works toward helping to solve the problems relating to social and human understanding. We pride ourselves at Dickinson State College in promulgating the worth and dignity of the individual regardless of race or creed.”

The final version of “The College on the Hill: The Story of Dickinson State University” is available for purchase. Take advantage of the Sale and order your History book for only $25

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Dickinson State University Alumni and Foundation
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