Sargeant Student Center

The Student Center is basically the living room of the campus. It offers many of the activities and daily services, conveniences, and amenities to the campus community with a focus on services for students. It’s a great spot to hang out with friends and still be in the middle of all the activity on campus!


Sargeant Student Center highlighted in pink on the campus map

Location on Campus
The Sargeant Student Center's primary location is on the northeast side of the University of Minnesota Crookston campus, east of Sahlstrom Conference Center, south of Kiser Building and west of Owen Hall

Sargeant Student Center
2900 University Ave, Crookston MN 56716

Bede Ballroom, looking to the south end of the room
Bede Ballroom looking to the north with the screen pulled down from the ceiling
Two students sitting in Sargeant Student Center with Caribou Coffee
Prairie Room
Student club members working on projects in the Leadership Room
Northern Lights Lounge
International Lounge
Aerial view of Sargeant Student Center with adjoined Prairie Room
Prairie Room at night during the winter

Points of Interest

  • Meeting spaces - Bede Ballroom (second floor), Northern Lights Lounge (first floor), International Lounge (first floor), Prairie Room (first floor), Minnesota Room (Room 100 - first floor) and Leadership Room (second floor). To reserve a room - Faculty/Staff = Astra; Public = Facilities and Operations.

  • Several Study Areas

  • Big Screen LCD TV

  • Access to microwaves and refrigerator for commuter students

  • Vending Machines

  • Pool Tables, Foosball Table and Air Hockey Table

Building History
Bede Student Center
Bede Student Center

Bede Student Center originally served as the campus dining hall. It was built in 1921 to serve a high school enrollment of about 155 students and was first known simply as the Dining Hall.

Retta Bede
Retta Bede

In 1969 it was dedicated in honor of Retta Bede, who served the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) from 1925 to 1957 as an instructor in home economics and preceptress in the girls' dormitory. (The original NWSA classroom building known as the Home Economics Building was the first building to bear the name Bede Hall in her honor, but it became unsafe and was razed in 1967.)

Bede had judged at every county fair in northwest Minnesota and was highly respected by thousands of former students of the NWSA.

In 1980 Bede Hall was remodeled to serve as the student center. The bookstore addition was built in 1982.

Bede Hall Plaque
Bede Hall Wall Plaque

By the late 1990s the building had run into structural and accessibility problems as well as problems with asbestos, molds, and the electrical system. It was deemed inadequate to meet the various needs of University of Minnesota Crookston's (UMN Crookston) undergraduate enrollment of nearly 1,200 full-time students. After careful consideration, including exploration of a possible renovation, a campus committee recommended replacement of the building with an entirely new facility in order to achieve a more functional student development center that would meet 21st century needs.

UMN Crookston in 2002 received Minnesota State Legislature funding for a replacement student development center as part of the University of Minnesota’s capital request.

Bede Hall was demolished on Monday, March 1, 2004, after more than 80 years of service to the campus.

Sargeant Student Center

The new student center began construction in the summer of 2004. Much thought and consideration was given to the new building during planning so that it would meet the needs of a growing 4-year college.

  • Design Architect - YHR Partners
  • Architect-of-Record - Stanius Johnson Architects
  • Construction Contract - Roers' Construction
  • Construction Period - April 2004 - August 2005
  • Construction Budget - $7.8 Million

As students arrive on campus in the fall of 2005, they encountered an entirely new student center--the final result of several years' planning and preparation. The new building, which stands in the area formerly occupied by Bede Hall, roughly doubled the size of the former structure to better serve UMN Crookston students, staff, faculty, and the larger Crookston community and region. At the time is was known as the Student Center, but a familiar name remained attached to the new ballroom/multipurpose room: Bede Ballroom.

Chancellor Emeritus Donald G. Sargeant
Chancellor Emeritus Donald G. Sargeant

Another familiar name would soon be added to the building. In 2008 a movement to name the Student Center in honor of Chancellor Emeritus Donald G. Sargeant, who served as UMN Crookston's second chancellor from 1985 to 2003. During homecoming activities an official naming ceremony was held on Saturday, September 27, 2008, to name the facility the Sargeant Student Center. Don and Mary Beth Sargeant and many of their family members and former colleagues were present for the celebration. The plaque installed that day read:

"Sargeant Student Center named to honor Donald G. Sargeant, Ph.D., visionary leader, student advocate, technology strategist, dedicated administrator, and positive agent of change. University of Minnesota, Crookston faculty member 1970-2007 and chancellor 1985-2003."