Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Bede Hall

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Institution Name: Mount Marty College
Original/Historic Place Name: Bede Hall
Location on Campus: 1105 W. Eighth St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1935-1936original construction Unknown
1948addition of wing Unknown
ca. 1950addition of two wings Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: tar aggregate
ca. 1936old main (for both Mount Marty College and Mount Marty Academy)
ca. 2004-present (2007)residence hall (some student housing on top floor)
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms (and laboratories)
ca. 2004-present (2007)administration

Significance: culture, education, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Bede Hall, situated atop a hill to be known as Mount Marty and overlooking the city of Yankton just to its east, was completed in 1935 and welcomed its first students in September 1936. The building was the first of several structures that were the dream of Mother Jerome Schmitt, first president of Mount Marty College, who was determined to provide a college education for young women of this rural area. She overcame enormous financial challenges to bring the building to completion during the midst of the Great Depression. The four story brick structure is strong and fortress-like today, far sturdier than other more recent buildings on campus. Its thick walls, terrazzo floors, and dark wood doors are still in prime condition. The building has been well maintained through the decades as it has shifted from originally housing both an academy for girls and a junior college for women to today serving as the co-educational liberal arts college's administration building. Over the years additional wings have been added to form a square around an enclosed courtyard. A classroom and natural science wing was completed in 1948, and in the following few years a dormitory wing and an auditorium completed the square.

For many people from the Yankton community, Bede Hall has become almost synonymous with Mount Marty College, even though the college campus today includes a number of other buildings. For many Bede stands as a symbol of Mother Jerome Schmitt's determination to provide a college education for young women of the area despite the financial and cultural constraints of the 1930s. The building's current physical connection to Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel by way of an overhead passageway also is seen by some as symbolic of the strong linkage between religion and education on this hill. Greeting visitors as they approach the main entrance to Bede Hall is a life-size statue of Bishop Martin Marty for whom the college is named.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Duratschek, Claudia. Builders of God's Kingdom. Register, SD: Lakota Printing Press, 1979.

Duratschek, Claudia. Crusading Along Sioux Trails: A History of the Catholic Missions of South Dakota. New York: Grail Publications, 1947.

Duratschek, Claudia. Under the Shadow of His Wings. Aberdeen, SD: North Plains Press, 1971.

Karolevitz, Robert F. Bishop Martin Marty: The Black Robe Lean Chief. Yankton, SD: Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Convent, 1980.

Karolevitz, Robert F. Pioneer Church in a Pioneer City. Aberdeen, SD: North Plains Press, 1971.

Klimisch, Jane. Travelers on the Way to Peace. Sioux Falls, SD: Brown and Saenger, 1955.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office

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