Mount Marty College to become a university

Local News

YANKTON, S.D. (KCAU) – Mount Marty College has announced that they will become Mount Marty University this coming summer.

The announcement came during a Wednesday morning press conference in Yankton, South Dakota at the campus, where they said that the change was approved by both the College’s Board of Trustees and the Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery and will go into effect July 1.

The private Benedictine college, with locations in Yankton, Sioux Falls and Watertown, has been around for 83 years, having been known as Mount Marty Academy and Mount Marty Junior College. In 1951, Mount Marty College took its current name and started offering four-year baccalaureate programs.

“Throughout Biblical history, when a person or place is given a name change, it has significant, long-lasting ramifications,” Sister Maribeth Wentzlaff, Prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery, said. “It is usually a call to assume a new role or to redefine who or what that person or place is from that point on in history. Mount Marty University is now called to grow and excel in academics and life-long learning in a stronger way. This new title calls the Mount Marty Community to stretch to even greater academic excellence and to be a premier Catholic higher education institution in this region and beyond. The Sisters are asking for God’s blessings upon Mount Marty University as it moves forward with momentum.”

Mount Marty President Marcus Long said the college has been adding graduate programs in recent years and is planning their first research center while also seeing their enrollment grow. The college has also broke ground on a new fieldhouse and residence hall. They’ve also opened the Avera Nursing Simulation Center and Exercise Physiology Lab and introduced football, cheer, and dance to their athletic roster.

“This name, University, reflects the fact that the majority of our students are in professional programs such as nursing, education, business, and criminal justice—that Mount Marty has strong and growing graduate programs in nursing and education—and that we are the only independent, nonprofit university in South Dakota to offer a doctorate – our stellar program in nurse anesthesia,” said Deacon John Osnes, chair of the Mount Marty College Board of Trustees.

The Avera Sacred Heart Region President and CEO Doug Ekeren said that the continued growth of the college has had a positive effect on the community, offering “a well-educated future workforce, students taking full- or part-time work in the area, and utilizing our local businesses.”

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