About the Theme

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The Prairie. The People. The Possibilities.

In the President's first formal address to the campus community on August 22, 2013, we first heard the message of the possibilities intrinsically present in the prairie and the people who call it home. President Gores drew inspiration from the essay "Horizontal Grandeur" by Bill Holm. Bill Holm was a beloved member of the SMSU family and the greater community, calling Minneota, Minnesota his home for most of his life. He praised the beauty of the prairie and importance of this place. Bill Holm passed away on February 25, 2009 and will be forever missed.

The inauguration committee selected the theme on the approval of President Gores. "The Prairie. The People. The Possibilities." The theme captures the spirit of SMSU and this region. It encompasses the resiliency, the resolve and the optimism of our people. It represents the driving force in what we do, how we work together, and the endless possibilities that lie ahead of us. We all share the prairie eye that Bill Holm so eloquently described. We are proud that his words and his memory are a part of this occasion as we honor our past, celebrate our present, and envision our future.

The prairie eye looks for distance,
clarity and light...

the prairie eye looks at a square foot
and sees a universe...

if the prairie size moves the imagination,
its delicacy moves the heart...

the prairie is endless.

Excerpts from Bill Holm’s essay “Horizontal Grandeur”
published in The Music of Failure (Prairie Grass Press, 1990)

Read "Horizontal Grandeur" in its entirety here.

The Inauguration Committee

Committee Chairs:

  • Chris Anderson
  • Bill Mulso
  • Marcy Olson

Committee Members:

  • Tim Alcorn
  • Marcia Beukelman
  • Laura Bottin
  • Vicky Brockman
  • Bonnie Engesmoe
  • Andrew Feucht*
  • Neil Hlubichuk
  • Jefferson Lee IV
  • Stacie Mulso
  • Ken Mukomela
  • Jim Tate
  • Alexa Thelen*
  • Michael VanDrehle
  • Laurie Varpness
  • Sonya Vierstraete

*Student Representatives

Last Modified: 7/7/17 3:44 PM