Hawks Perch

My wife Rhonda and I arrived in Dickinson late in the evening last December. From our first interactions with campus security when we received the keys to our home, to partaking in the local restaurant cuisine and downtown atmosphere, to obtaining our North Dakota driver’s licenses, we have been truly humbled at the collegiality and support of the Dickinson community. Dickinson is truly a hidden gem! In my first year I have met with many of you in the local area.


I have enjoyed the rich discussions and planning we have undertaken together to ensure that DSU and our region continues along its vibrant and positive pathway.

This year we have re-established old traditions and started new ones. We are actively engaged in fulfilling our mission – providing high quality, affordable education to serve the region. I have been overwhelmed by the depth of support for the university and I am looking forward to the future.

Holiday events have brightened the DSU campus and surrounding area in the past few weeks. The University’s Yuletyme celebration was held Dec. 10, 2016, the Biesiot Activities Center. Attendees were treated to a social hour, coupled with a silent auction. Local artists and community members donated many of the items, providing a nice diversity from which to choose. Given the recent snow, the blanketed football field lent a festive holiday atmosphere to a great event. Yuletyme was scheduled from 5 p.m. to midnight with a dance following dinner. It was noticed that the crowd became discernably younger as the hour grew later, but all attendees had a merry time.

The fall semester concludes this week and our students will soon depart to spend the holidays with family and friends. The campus will be quiet, appearing to rest before the beginning of the spring semester in early January. During these campus breaks, the empty buildings always remind me that what makes an institution strong is the faculty, staff, and students who fill the hallways with conversation and laughter. The community is also included in what makes DSU strong. Together, we can all move forward to an ever-brighter future. One of my goals for the university is to develop and strengthen connections and communications between the university and the region. One way to do this is to share with you the happenings of DSU in a monthly newspaper column. The success of DSU and our region are intertwined in a positive fashion. As we plan for the University’s future, I invite your input and guidance. Together, we will build a strong DSU and community.

I hope you enjoy your holidays with family and your friends. Rhonda and I gave thanks this season for being given the wonderful opportunity to join the Dickinson family!

Until next time…

Tom Mitzel is the president of Dickinson State University.

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