Sisseton Wahpeton Celebrates 25th Year

Aug 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 16-1: Sovereignty in Indian Country, Tribal College News

Sisseton Wahpeton College(SWC, Agency Village, SD) held its first annual Founders’ Day Wacipi on August 7, 2004, beginning a 16-month celebration of the tribal college’s 25th anniversary. The Founders’ Day featured an Alumni Honor Song and a traditional Dakota giveaway to honor everyone who has contributed to the college’s success.

The Sisseton Wahpeton Tribe chartered the college in 1979 as a vocational school serving the Lake Traverse Reservation in northeastern South Dakota. SWC now offers vocational degrees, associate degrees, and bachelor degrees by articulation in areas ranging from information technology to nursing to Dakota studies.

With an initial graduating class of four in 1983, SWC now has over 480 graduates. “Most continue to live on or near the Lake Traverse Reservation and contribute their knowledge and expertise to the region,” according to Pam Wynia, director of development at the college.

In the fall, the tribal college plans a speaker series that will feature alumni and other community members speaking about SWC’s impact on the region, how students can reach their goals, and other topics.

During the anniversary celebration, the college will open several new facilities, the largest expansion in the college’s history:

  • Opening and dedication of “Song of the Great Spirit,” the new, state-of-the-art vocational building and regional architectural landmark;
  • Opening of the Siceca Dakota language and cultural immersion pre-school;
  • Opening of the new SWC bookstore;
  • Completion of the “log cabin,” a cultural and multi-purpose center;
  • The remodeling of the original SWC building, including a community cafĂ©.

For more information, contact Pam Wynia, director of development, Sisseton Wahpeton College, P.O. Box 689, Agency Village, SD 57262, phone (605) 698-3966, or email

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