The name Torch holds significant meaning with three different torches playing a role in the history of the campus. The original “torch of education” was passed between the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) and the University of Minnesota Technical Institute during the final commencement exercises for graduates of the NWSA in 1968 as shown in the photo above. NWSA representative David Bohnsack passes the torch to Technical Institute student, Ron Tobkin, as Director Stanley Sahlstrom looks on. This torch is on display in the Alumni Room in Kiehle Building.
In 2002, regional artist David Badman, designed and handcrafted a new academic torch as a gift to the campus in recognition of its new academic mission as a baccalaureate university. This torch has been present at all commencement ceremonies and other special campus events since that time. In 2009, a new Century Torch was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of graduation ceremonies on the Crookston campus. Inscribed on the handle of this torch are the five core values of the University of Minnesota Crookston: Integrity, Excellence, Diversity, Innovation, and Learner Centeredness. During the commencement ceremony, the Century Torch is passed to the incoming president of the Crookston Student Association (CSA), maintaining the tradition that began in 1968 and acknowledging the history of the campus from its roots of the NWSA to the present.
Throughout these changes one thing remains the same, the campus carries on the proud legacy of three institutions—all a part of the University of Minnesota and its land grant mission.