The Origins of Presentation College

Presentation College is an independent Catholic educational institution, sponsored by the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM).  It has origins in Mitchell, South Dakota, in 1922 when the Right Reverend Monsignor J.M. Brady, Pastor of Holy Family Church, established Notre Dame Junior College, a parochial junior college.  Notre Dame Junior College continued to operate in Mitchell until 1951, when Monsignor Brady gave sponsorship of the school to the Presentation Sisters who had staffed Notre Dame Junior College since its beginning.

The name was changed to Presentation Junior College, and it was relocated to Aberdeen, South Dakota, where, for three years (1951-1954) it was housed in Butler Hall on the premises of the Presentation Convent.  In May 1954, the College was moved to the present 100-acre campus in northern Aberdeen.  The title “Presentation Junior College” was used from 1951 to 1965.  On March 30, 1965, the title was simplified and the College was incorporated as “Presentation College.”  In 1968, the College became co-educational.

The 1,200-seat Strode Activity Center was dedicated in 1998 as the home of Saints Athletics.  A new student housing complex opened in 1999, featuring suites with private bedrooms, semi-private bathrooms, living rooms, kitchens, computers and Internet access.  In 2000, a new dining and recreation hall opened near the suites.  Presentation College introduced its Wireless Initiative in 2005, providing a dynamic learning environment to Presentation College students with access to a flexible and ubiquitous learning community.

Presentation College has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (previously known as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) since 1971.   Presentation College conferred a diploma on its graduates until 1966 when the College began to confer associate degrees in Arts and in Science.  In 1990, the College was accredited to also offer four-year professional baccalaureate programs.

In 1980, the Cheyenne River Lakota Nursing School at Eagle Butte, South Dakota, a satellite of the nursing program of Presentation College, enrolled the first class of Native American students.  In 1991, the name of the school was changed to Presentation College-Lakota Campus.

In 2003, a second satellite location, Presentation College-Fairmont Campus, was opened in the community of Fairmont, Minnesota.

In 2006, Presentation College joined in partnership with Kilian Community College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to offer a Bachelor of Science degree completion in Social Work.

The College, in 1998, received the ABBY Award for Community Involvement; in 2002, the Outstanding Rural Health Program Award from the National Rural Health Association recognizing SEED (Skills Enhancement & Education Through Distance Learning); and in 2008, the Corporation for National and Community Service named Presentation College to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.