North Dakota State University Walking Tour

Take a walk through North Dakota State University and discover the history. Who were the buildings named for? Who was the first presidents? This tour focuses on campus history, buildings, and important milestones.

North Dakota State University Walking Tour

Fargo, North Dakota 58105, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University

Tour Information

Pride. Tradition. Family. These are just some of the words that students and alumni have described North Dakota State University. Since 1890, NDSU has impacted Fargo, North Dakota, United States, and the world with its academics and research. Not only are its academics rich, but the university’s history as well. This walking tour was created to honor NDSU’s history and tell its story that not many people know about. Many of NDSU’s building were named after people who impacted the campus and made improvements for future generations of students. Professors like Minard, Putnam, Ladd, and Stevens believed in NDSU in the early years and knew its potential before anyone else.

We also wanted to tell the story of the different aspects of our school like how our school song came to be created as well as our mascot that we still use today. We even tell the story about some of our new buildings on campus such as the SHAC. Much has changed since NDSU open its doors for the first time, but our tradition, pride, and family like qualities will only grow with time.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Old Main was the first building on campus, and is now recognized as the building that gave rise to this ever-growing university. The building of Old Main began in February of 1891 when the North Dakota State Legislature appropriated $25,00... Read more
John Worst spent much of his life working in education. Worst was born on December 23, 1850 in Ohio. Not much is known about his early years, however, we do know that he spent several years during his early adulthood alternating between a... Read more
Clarence Putnam was always a musician at heart, but he began his professional career on a different path. Putnam was born on September 16, 1859 in Barre, Vermont. He received his education from Barre Academy and Dartmouth College. With some... Read more
Between 1886 and 1919 industrialist Andrew Carnegie donated more than $40 million dollars towards the construction of libraries in various communities all across America. This was the way many Americans were first able to gather information... Read more
South Engineering, a three-story building that was constructed in 1907, held more than the name would suggest. It stands 80 feet by 90 feet and cost around $65,000 to construct.  When it was completed, it housed lectures, classrooms, labor... Read more
Archibald Minard impacted NDAC in many different ways and over a long period of time.  Minard was born in Nova Scotia on January 18th, 1878. When he was 11 years old, he moved to the United States with his parents. Upon earning his bachelo... Read more
Originally named Science Hall, Minard was built in 1902. The building was built in three stages. The first stage housed the science departments such as biology, geology, horticulture, and mathematics. In 1918, A fourth floor was added and t... Read more
This building is dedicated to man that made land grant universities possible, Justin Smith Morrill. He was a U.S. Representative that saw that value of scholarship, teaching, learning, and culture. So on July 2nd, 1862, President Abraham Li... Read more
Edwin F. Ladd was not always a man of the North Dakota prairies. He was born in Starks, Maine on December 13, 1859. There he attended public school and eventually graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 1884 with a degree in chem... Read more
The first Chemistry classes on campus were held in the basement of College Hall, but with the continuing growth of the Chemistry department, it was clear a new space would be needed. In 1905 that need was fulfilled when the state legislatur... Read more
On October 17th, 1885, O.A. Stevens was born on a farm near Blue Rapids, Kansas. At a young age, Stevens would steal his older sister’s botany textbook and read about the interesting plants and animals of the world. He would then go on to... Read more
J.H Sheppard, once Professor of Agriculture and President of North Dakota Agricultural College, spent time in Chicago at the International Judging Contest. He believed that NDAC should have an organization like this because it would increas... Read more
In March of 1952 at the 5th annual North Dakota Spring Market Hog Show, the NDAC Livestock Pavillion was renamed the Shepperd Arena. This building can hold 1,500 people, and it has as well arrival rooms for the livestock and and a meat labo... Read more
Dacotah Field was first built in 1910 and has undergone various changes over the years. Its first location was just northeast of Festival Concert Hall. It was a simple set up and wasn’t enclosed at first. That problem was solved thanks to... Read more
Dacotah Field was first built in 1910 and has undergone various changes over the years. Its first location was just northeast of Festival Concert Hall. It was a simple set up and wasn’t enclosed at first. That problem was solved thanks to... Read more
Originally built as the "Field House and Physical Education Classroom Building" in October 1970 the Bison Sports Arena (BSA) has been home to a variety of events. Its initial building cost was $3.1 million, which included $1.75 million in s... Read more
We all know and have come to love Thundar, NDSU’s current mascot, but he hasn’t always been around. In fact, he is a fairly recent mascot in NDSU’s history. In fact, he is third in line of a rich, mascot history.  Since NDS is a land... Read more
One of the greatest coaches of NDSU history to ever grace the university, Chuck Bentson left his impact on and off the basketball court.  Born on October 25th, 1917,  Charles “Chuck” Bentson grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He graduated ... Read more
In order to meet the College athletic needs, NDSU needed a suitable building that housed a gymnasium. So in 1931, The Physical Education Building was dedicated as the new athletic building. It had three standard basketball courts and bleach... Read more
Ceres hall was one of the first buildings on campus, which was built in 1910. This building held a cafeteria, gymnasium, classroom building, and a female residence hall. 115 women could live in this building at one time and had very strict ... Read more


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