History Of Dickinson State University

  Early DSU 

Dickinson State University began on June 24, 1918 where 104 students attended the first classes at the Dickinson Normal School. The newly established school had no buildings, so classes were held at Dickinson High School under the direction of Dickinson School District Superintendent Peter S. Berg. This was the first official action of the Dickinson Normal School.

The sessions were free of charge to the 104 students who attended, although they paid their own room and board. Subsequent classes were held at the historic Elks Building until May Hall was completed in 1924. The push to create a Normal School at Dickinson stemmed from the intense need in rural areas for qualified teachers. In the early 1900s, fewer than 25 percent of the teachers in the western half of North Dakota were certified to be teachers.