Ground Broken For New Catherine Cater Hall

NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for Catherine Cater Hall.

A groundbreaking ceremony for Catherine Cater Hall, NDSU’s newest residence hall, was held Sept. 12.

Named for the much-beloved late professor emeritus of English, the structure has a $39 million budget and will feature 440 beds. The suite-style residence hall is intended for second-year students.

“This building is important to NDSU and the state of North Dakota,” said President Dean L. Bresciani. “Students who live on campus perform dramatically better on an academic level than students who don’t live on campus. Keeping sophomores on campus is an important piece to our retention and graduation success, and our state never before has more needed NDSU graduates to get their degrees and go into the workforce than what we are experiencing today.”

Each residence floor of the 148,000-square foot building will have a huddle room, study room and a lobby. The first floor will feature a two-sided fireplace, media room, games room and conference space.

“It’s been designed with second-year students in mind,” explained Rian Nostrum Residence Life director, noting yearly hundreds of students are on a waiting list. “This will give sophomores their own space for those who want to live on campus their second year. No longer will they compete with juniors and seniors when searching for on-campus housing.”

Cater joined the NDSU faculty in 1962. She established and directed NDSU’s Scholars Program, served on numerous university committees, chaired the graduate program in English and helped develop of NDSU’s first interdisciplinary courses.

In 1982, she was required to retire at age 65, but, Cater continued to teach philosophy, direct humanities tutorials and mentor students on a volunteer basis for many years. During more than five decades of teaching, she received almost every teaching award at NDSU. She died in 2015 at age 98.

“When you met Catherine Cater, you walked away feeling like a better human being,” Bresciani said. “She was someone who could quietly, subtly, but firmly and strongly instill in you a better sense of being.”

Tom Isern, University Distinguished Professor of history, described Cater as a dedicated teacher, scholar and mentor who was committed to the liberal arts. He said she had dignity and an enduring faith in the potential of young people. “She sought every day to change the world,” Isern said.

Catherine Cater Hall is scheduled to open in fall 2019.

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