Dakota Wesleyan University

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Group.png Dakota Wesleyan University  
The Seal of Dakota Wesleyan University 1904-Present.png
MottoSacrifice, Service
HeadquartersSouth Dakota, USA
Other nameTigers
Religious university in South Dakota, George McGovern alma mater

Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU) is a private university in Mitchell, South Dakota. It was founded in 1885 and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The student body averages slightly fewer than 800 students.


In 1883, a small band of Methodist settlers meeting in the Dakota Territory secured a charter to found the college as Dakota University. These pioneers were driven to "build a college of stone while living in houses of sod," and had deep religious convictions about the education and future of their children.

On October 14, 1904, the institution assumed its present name of Dakota Wesleyan University.

By 1920, Dakota Wesleyan University was the largest independent college in the state, with an enrollment of more than 300. The Great Depression, which hit the prairie harder than any region in the nation, evoked a regionally sensitive response from Dakota Wesleyan. The university accepted many students who had few or no resources, with farm produce being accepted for tuition, and personnel took severe cuts in pay to educate those with no other options.

Since the 1930s, the university has continued its attempts to remedy region-specific needs. Strong programs in teacher education have provided new teachers for school districts, and nursing and allied health programs address the continuing need for health care professionals in rural South Dakota. In recognition of the diverse cultures in its changing prairie environment, Wesleyan has begun special programs focusing on Native American culture. Additionally, university programs assist students whose previous educational experiences have inadequately prepared them for their future.


An Alumnus on Wikispooks

George McGovern19 July 192221 October 2012Politician