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Dickinson State University (Dickinson State Normal School)
Dickinson State Normal School was the first higher education institution in North Dakota west of the Missouri River. The City of Dickinson and Stark County jointly bought the site and donated it to the state. Originally, Normal Schools emphasized a two-year course of academic training for rural teachers, but increasingly, the Normal School education provided a broad liberal arts education for teachers. The Minneapolis-based landscape firm of Morell and Nichols established the campus plan, combining elements traditionally associated with American college campuses, including informal open space and a formal mall leading to a focal point—May Hall (see SK10.1). The mall is essentially a rectangular space, flanked by mature trees and displaying two large petrified wood monoliths that were gathered locally. The campus is enclosed by a two-and-a-half-foot-high wall constructed in 1941 with WPA funds and built of local stone, scoria, and staurolite. Gateposts are constructed of rusticated and randomly laid scoria and gray sandstone from Sentinel Butte.
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