Leech Lake to Break Ground for New Campus

Feb 15th, 2003 | By | Category: 14-3: Your Heroes Are Not Our Heroes, Tribal College News

Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) expects to break ground for a new campus this spring, according to LLTC President Lenee Ross. The Leech Lake Tribal College Board of Trustees decided upon a 30-acre site south of the Palace Casino in Cass Lake, MN. An additional 40 acres will be used for the college’s vocational technical program. The decision last October came after college staff presented information at meetings in eight reservation communities and conducted an extensive community-wide survey.

When completed, the new $12.5 million facility will include 65,000 square feet and accommodate 1,000 students. A capital campaign is underway to finance the project. Ross expects the first phase of the project, including classrooms and faculty offices, to be completed in time for fall 2003. Presently, most of the college classes and offices are in the old Cass Lake High School where Ross went to high school.

Ross became president of the college in September 2001. He was officially inaugurated in a ceremony rich in tribal traditions a year later. After traditional Anishinabe flute and drum songs, he received the new symbol of the college’s presidency, a war club designed by area artist Duane Goodwin. As he presented the club to Ross, board chairman Roger Aitkin said, “This war club is a symbol of leadership signifying strength and wisdom in the battle of education.”

Ross holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and has completed coursework for a doctorate in administration from the University of Minnesota. A member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, he was born and raised on the reservation.

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