Committee ponders dorm names

Ashley Bolstad

Ashley Bolstad

The new dormitory being constructed just north of Young Hall will soon receive a name.

When naming a new building on campus, a naming university facilities subcommittee is created. This group is chaired by Dr. Carol J. Peterson, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. The rest of the group is comprised of one career service member, three staff and one student, who are Michele Sage, Jack Getz, Stephen VanBuren and Dan Weber.

Peterson said the committee has called for suggestions of names for the new dorm. Nominations could include former teachers, administrators, government officials, or distinguished donors. Nominations are not limited to people, they could also be moments in history or events.

Peterson said 12 nominations were received from students and staff members, but she wouldn’t release the names of the nominees. Now the committee must compile a list of nominations to give to the Buildings and Grounds Committee by mid-October.

After receiving the list of nominations, the Buildings and Grounds Committee will give the list to SDSU President Peggy Gordon Miller, who will propose it to the Board of Regents. This building construction and naming process will be finished by next fall, when the new dorm will be ready for students to move in.

A possibility

One of the nominations submitted for the new dorm’s name was from Norman Gambill, head of the department of visual arts and professor in the history of art and design. Gambill nominated Ada Caldwell, one of the first professors of industrial arts.

Caldwell taught the state’s most well-known historical artist Harvey Dunn, Gambill said. Because Caldwell was his mentor, Dunn gave SDSU a few paintings in appreciation of Caldwell’s teaching. These paintings now hang in the South Dakota Art Museum.

Other students of Caldwell also went on to become well-known artists. They include Kendall Miller, who sculpted the Indian Tetonkaha standing in Sylvan’s Theatre, and Gilbert Risvold, creator of the bronze bust of Lincoln, located in Lincoln Hall.

Gambill said that Caldwell’s influence extended to the look of campus. She is credited with designing Sylvan Theatre, and promoting the Campus Grove as well as a student union, which is now Pugsley Hall. The idea of a student union came from universities in England, which she visited during her summers in Europe.

Caldwell spent her summers traveling in Europe for thirty years, Gambill said.

“Along with Professor Hansen (of Hansen Hall), Caldwell encouraged travel; they are certainly among State’s major examples of internationalization in education,” said Gambill.

During weekly meetings of her Art Club, Caldwell presented art talks about what she saw on her travels. The club was the largest and most influential on campus, Gambill said.

As a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, Caldwell was exposed to the center of modern art, Gambill said.

It is that experience that she brought to SDSU.

“She contributed more than any person in visual arts in our institutional history and helped to civilize the frontier,” said Gambill.