1970s

In 1970, the college moved to its current campus in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota.  A gym on campus, as well as practice fields, assisted in the growth of the athletic program.  When there was a need for a new building, like new dormitories, there were many acres of land to choose from.  The new campus also helped bring about a great surge in enrollment!

The Move to St. Bonifacius

The move itself was a major undertaking, but many volunteers and donations helped ease the process!  All of the equipment was coded and shipped in a semi-truck, its use donated by the Quinn Co. of Watertown.  The members of the Meadow Creek Baptist Church packed and moved the entire library, using a hay elevator loader to get the books up into the third floor window!  In about two weeks, the project was completed.

There was very little in the way of renovations to do, despite changing the school from a Catholic, men’s college to a Protestant, co-ed school.  The main project done before classes started was the installation of a wood floor in the gym.  For the fall semester of 1970, students were welcomed at the new campus!

Eighth and Ninth Presidents

Dr. Arthur Johnston had been elected to the college presidency in 1969 and had taken office in early 1970.  He provided leadership in the last months on the 1361 Englewood campus and the first days in St. Bonifacius.  In 1972 he resigned from his post to return to France.

This time, the Board of Trustees almost immediately selected its chairman, Dr. Francis Grubbs, as the next president of the College.  His administration was characterized by the greatest growth numerically the College had ever seen.  The change to a larger institution with more formalized processes challenged the closeness and unity of personnel on campus.  But the reorganizational designs served the College well in the years following.

Dormitory Facilities

Because the College had grown so much in the years since the move to St. Bonifacius, additional dormitory facilities were needed.  In 1974 a unit to the west on “the Hill,” later named Hardwick Hall, was constructed to serve as housing for single men.  In 1976, Strohm Hall, a women’s dorm located on the east side of the campus was erected to house over 90 women.  The following year its twin, Richardson Hall, was constructed next door.

A friend of the College donated property and a home on Tabor Lake in northern Wisconsin in 1977.  This site was used for small retreats and family gatherings by the College.

Athletics

Having a gym and fields readily accessible on campus helped the athletic programs take off.  Wide, expansive land allowed for soccer, football, softball, and baseball fields to be installed.  Tennis courts and outdoor handball courts were also a part of the new campus.

The success of the athletic program was not solely due to practice facilities; talented coaches also played a major role.  Bud Pierce, a coach, physical education teacher, and the athletic director, was one of many who made a lasting, positive impact on the program.

Click here to move on to the 1980s!