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2013 Centennial

Levi Beeler (1922)

In May 1922, Levi Beeler of the University of Chicago assumed duties as president of Minot's Normal School. Professionally, he started as a high school principal in Stillwater, Minn. Beeler later completed a doctorate at the University of Minnesota. He was described as a "scholar" of "strong personality" and a "Gatling-gun talker." In 1908, he was appointed president of Henry Kendall College in Tulsa, Okla., which faced problems with its endowment, land management, enrollment and debt. The problems persisted, if not magnified, and trustees grew increasingly unhappy with Beeler. In 1909, he wrote, "The Trustees are very much dissatisfied because I have not secured endowments and buildings. So much so that I feel that I cannot longer remain here." He resigned and moved on.

Little is found in Minot State University's historical record concerning Beeler's term in office, with the exception of bids for the construction of Main's west wing. He also revised the Extension Bulletin about how correspondence study was to be offered. No student was allowed to take correspondence if he had not completed the ninth grade or its equivalent, and not more than a sixth of the work leading to a diploma could be taken in absentia. Each course consisted of 20 lessons, with a syllabus outlining the course. A final examination was administered at the Normal School or under the supervision of an approved person. By 1922, enrollment in the courses had climbed to 87 students. While it changed in scope and courses offered, correspondence has remained one of the institution's delivery methods.

Both the Minot Daily News and the Ward County Independent reported without explanation the appointment of George McFarland, Williston City Schools superintendent, as the new Minot Normal School president in August 1922. When contacted by both newspapers, Beeler said "he had not been informed of the new appointment."