Dickinson State University (DSU) is quite active in these enjoyable warm days.

In May, we held DSU’s first outdoor graduation. The weather was almost perfect, though a bit on the hot side for those in academic robes. The Class of 2021 demonstrated guts and grit by persevering through the many changes the pandemic forced upon us.

After graduation, DSU converted to a mask-optional environment. Masks helped us limit the spread of COVID-19, and many of us are glad to now be working without them. As we did during our “Bustin’ Out” campaign this spring, we continue to encourage our students, staff, and faculty to be vaccinated so we can limit the spread of COVID-19 this fall.

Last week, our rodeo team completed its season with six Blue Hawks at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper, Wyoming: Wade Berg (senior, bull riding); Lakken Bice (super senior, barrel racing); Jade Boote (senior, breakaway roping); Kaden Clark (junior, bareback riding); Morgan Foss (junior, breakaway roping); and Dalton Praus (freshman, bull riding). Jade and Lakken qualified for the Short Go, so it was a good CNFR for the Hawks.

Our rodeo athletes also excel in the classroom, as documented by national awards. Jade won the Sonny Sikes Pioneer Award for her contributions as the Great Plains Region Student Director and other leadership roles. Owen Gustafson (junior, tie-down roping/team roping) earned two national scholarships—the George Howard Memorial Scholarship and the Stan Harter Memorial Scholarship. Rodeo has been a fixture at DSU since 1957, and our rodeo athletes continue to bring recognition to DSU on the national level.

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Though the CNFR completed the year’s sports competition, there has been plenty of sports activity on campus this summer. We have hosted youth and high school camps for girls’ and boys’ basketball, volleyball, and football. (DSU softball and baseball youth camps are winter events.)

Our alumni and other supporters are active on the sports front this summer, also. On Saturday, June 19, the Blue Hawk Booster Club hosted its annual Sam’s Classic fundraising golf tournament at the Heart River Golf Course. On June 30, the DSU Heritage Foundation is hosting its first ever Links of North Dakota fundraising tournament near Tioga. The Bismarck Riverwood DSU Heritage Foundation fundraising tournament will return July 20, and the Blue Hawk Touchdown Club will host its annual Miles City tournament July 24.

Summer alumni gatherings are not limited to golf tournaments. There will be alumni and friends gatherings at 5 p.m. following the Links of North Dakota and Riverwood golf tournaments, and non-golfers are welcome. In addition, the DSU Heritage Foundation will host 5 p.m. alumni and friends gatherings at the Tavern Grills in Apple Valley, Minnesota, July 26 and Fargo, July 27.

If you are interested in participating in any of these events, please contact the DSU Heritage Foundation at (701) 483-2557.

Most importantly, Dickinson State is helping our Blue Hawks reach their goals by offering more than 100 class sections this summer. Many of the courses are available remotely, so you don’t even have to be in Dickinson to pursue a Dickinson State education.

Summer is an excellent time for high school students to get started on their college degree and for traditional students to accelerate toward graduation. We also have many nontraditional summer students. A Certified Nursing Assistant program started June 28. Although the final count isn’t in yet, our summer enrollment has, so far, increased over last year by 75 percent.

DSU’s second five-week summer session begins July 6, so it’s not too late to take a course. Please contact the DSU Admissions Office at (701) 483-2175 for further information about summer (or fall) classes.

Finally, we have welcomed and will be welcoming new Blue Hawks to campus for class registration and other visits. If you know someone who would benefit from a DSU education, please have them contact the Admissions Office or visit us in May Hall.

Even in the summer, Hawks Are Up!