While the weather outside has not quite felt like spring, we are indeed in that calendar season. Spring is an exciting time on campus. Our students who are in their final semester have started countdowns to graduation. Those festivities are right around the corner, with the 2024 Commencement planned for Saturday, May 11.

In addition to planning for ceremonies that signify the end of the academic year, campus has been busy hosting events. We have welcomed numerous groups to campus of all ages.

Hosting the Marketplace for Kids event on March 6 for the region’s 5th graders was an experience filled with enthusiasm and a profound sense of community spirit. This was more than just a gathering; it was a celebration of learning, creativity, and the boundless potential of our youth. Through this event, we hope to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders who will have a positive impact on the Dickinson community and the region alike.

Dickinson State University was thankful to host our speech meet on March 8, as it provided an invaluable opportunity to showcase a commitment to fostering academic excellence. Welcoming talented students, coaches, and spectators from across the region not only enriched the vibrant atmosphere of our campus but also allowed us to demonstrate our dedication to supporting extracurricular activities that promote personal growth and intellectual development.

Hosting the regional speech meet reaffirmed DSU's role as a hub for educational events that inspire collaboration, creativity, and a lifelong love for learning. We were honored to play a part in facilitating this enriching experience for all participants and look forward to continuing to be a welcoming host for future events that promote education and personal growth. We thank the many volunteers who made this event possible.

DSU hosted its second annual National History Day in North Dakota Western Regional Contest on March 13. National History Day in North Dakota is a project-based learning program that emphasizes critical reading and thinking skills, research, analysis, and the drawing of meaningful conclusions. Held in the DSU Student Center Ballroom, students from Dickinson Middle School and Trinity Elementary presented their projects in the individual and group exhibit categories in the junior (grades 6-8) division. Through judging, students were selected to advance to the state contest scheduled for April 17 at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck.

Sponsors Alyssa Wagner from Dickinson Middle School and Tina Meyer from Trinity Elementary North were undoubtedly proud of their students' success. Winners this year included Dickinson Middle School students Alexys Croft, Jack Chibande, Alea Paluck, Gabi Munds, Maycee Skones, Morgyn Filipi, Ava Propp, Haileigh Seelye, Marlee Adair, and Reece Hall and Drew Wells from Trinity Elementary North.

In the same week, DSU also hosted the Southwest Regional Science Olympiad Competition on March 14, welcoming over two hundred area middle and high school students to campus. This annual competitive event, organized by DSU Science faculty and students, brings together the brightest young minds from across the region to showcase their scientific knowledge and skills. The Science Olympiad is more than just a competition; it's an international non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of science education, fostering student interest in scientific pursuits, and honoring excellence in science education among students and teachers alike. The full list of winner can be found by visiting dickinsonstate.edu/news.

Our campus's most prestigious academic group, the Theodore Honors Roosevelt Leadership Program (TRHLP), has been busy with its service events. Recently, they hosted a successful food drive, which wrapped up on March 18, resulting in a significant donation of over 600 pounds of food to the Amen Food Pantry. The food drive, organized by TRHLP students, lasted a full week, during which students mobilized their efforts to collect non-perishable food items from both on and off-campus sources. Their efforts resulted in an impressive collection of essential food items, ranging from canned goods to dry goods, all aimed at supporting families and individuals in need in the Dickinson community.

In a span of approximately nine months, a lot has been accomplished. In about 40 days, we will close out the 2023-2024 academic year. While we say “until we meet again” to our graduates, we are already welcoming our next set of new Blue Hawks, who are enrolling for next year's classes. DSU marches forward, living our mission to serve North Dakota. As we look forward to the seasonal spring and summertime weather, we are excited about what the future has in store for your College on the Hill.

As always, Hawks are up!