News Release

Top Ten Stories of 2016

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The University of Minnesota Crookston named its top ten stories of 2016 and they range from a golden anniversary to the grand opening of a new wellness center. The year held numerous accomplishments across campus in academics, athletics, facilities, and fundraising. As one of the five campuses in the University of Minnesota system, the Crookston campus offers 34 bachelor's degree programs on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online to students from more than 20 countries and 40 states.

The top ten highlights of the past year, in no particular order, include:

The University of Minnesota Crookston secured continued accreditation status from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). At the HLC’s February 8, 2016, meeting of its Institutional Actions Council, the organization officially took action to continue the U of M Crookston’s accreditation with the next reaffirmation of accreditation in or before 2023-24. Read more.

The U of M Crookston commemorated the golden anniversary of the campus as an institution of higher education by marking Founder’s Day on Wednesday, September 21. It has been 50 years since Founding Provost Stanley Sahlstrom welcomed students to the University of Minnesota Technical Institute.  In 1966, the 26 members of the faculty taught classes in three academic divisions: agriculture, business, and general studies to the incoming class of 187 students. Read more.

Golden Eagle Athletics had two teams reach the NSIC playoffs in 2016. Golden Eagle Women’s Basketball made their second-consecutive appearance in the quarterfinals of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament. They came into the tournament with an 18-9 overall mark. Golden Eagle Baseball had an amazing and improbable run that included their first trip to the NSIC Baseball Tournament since 2001. Read more.

One of the most exciting developments in the past year was the opening of a 36,070 square foot wellness center in August. A grand opening for the facility was held during homecoming festivities on Saturday, October 15.  The wellness center was recognized by the State of Minnesota’s Buildings, Benchmarks, and Beyond (B3) as one of the top three in the category Best B3 Design.  The wellness center includes a 19.5-kW rooftop solar PV system. Through Otter Tail Power Company’s Publicly Owned Property Solar program received rebates for participating in two of Otter Tail’s programs—$25,000 for Publicly Owned Property Solar and $32,000 for Commercial Design Assistance.

Funds from the Justin Knebel Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament held in February allowed the scholarship named in Knebel’s memory to reach $25,000, the amount necessary to endow a scholarship and making it possible for the fund to begin awarding scholarships to student-athletes. Knebel, who played basketball for the U of M Crookston Golden Eagles, grew up in Warroad, Minn. After graduation, he attended the University of Minnesota Crookston where he played basketball as a point guard for the Golden Eagles.

The University of Minnesota Crookston and White Earth Tribal and Community College began offering an undergraduate cohort in early childhood education and elementary education at White Earth Tribal and Community College in Mahnomen, Minn. A formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding took place on Thursday, September 22.

The University of Minnesota Crookston was accepted into the Small World Initiative (SWI). Through the search for new antibiotics in the microbiology teaching lab, the Crookston campus will join a larger effort to work on the development of new antibiotics. Over the past three years, the crowdsourcing antibiotic discovery effort of SWI has grown rapidly to include 109 participating schools across 32 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and nine countries. The Crookston campus was the first in the University of Minnesota system to be part of the initiative.

The Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society received the Best Student Chapter of the Year Award from the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society.   The North Central Section is made up of the 8 Midwestern states from Ohio to Minnesota containing 27 student chapters. The award was presented in January at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Crookston campus proudly hosted the 2016 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference on April 14-16. With more than 550 college students coming from 23 four-year schools and 15 two-year schools, the Crookston campus hosted competitions in 16 contests focused on the areas of agriculture and natural resources. The mission of NACTA is to advance the scholarship of teaching and learning in agricultural, environmental, natural and life sciences.

And, finally, the campus bid farewell to Chancellor Fred E. Wood who stepped down in December and returned to California to be nearer his family. He had served as chancellor at the U of M Crookston since July 2012 and was the 11th leader in its history. A search for a replacement has begun with the appointment of a search committee with the goal to appoint a new chancellor by July 1, 2017.



Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations


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