Mount Marty University (MMU) is aiming high with name of its new residence hall.
In a virtual ceremony Monday afternoon, MMU officially announced the name of the first residence hall built on the Yankton campus in decades, according to MMU president Marc Long.
“I am proud to announce, I have recommended and the board has approved, naming the new residence hall Rickenbach Suites,” Long said.
Rickenbach refers to the Maria Rickenbach Benedictine Monastery located high up in the Swiss Alps, whose nuns came to Yankton.
The new 96-bed dormitory contains partial kitchenettes as well as quiet learning spaces throughout, Long said.
“These suites were specifically designed to offer our third- and fourth-year students a transition from traditional university residential life options to their first home after graduation,” Long said. “When it came to naming the suites, we knew we had to come up with something that spoke both to adaptation and tradition.”
MMU has experienced growth in the last few years that made the addition of a new residence hall possible, he said.
University-wide enrollment over the last four years has risen 11%; this fall, MMU welcomed the largest freshman class in its history; and applications from prospective students have nearly doubled since this time last year, Long said.
In the last 12 months, Mount Marty went from being a college to a university, completed the restoration of the Cimpl Arena and built the new Ruth Donohoe First Dakota Fieldhouse, located alongside the new Rickenbach Suites dormitory.
“We needed a name that spoke to our newfound growth and expansion and our core Benedictine values that have guided us from our beginnings 84 years ago,” Long said.
Sister Maribeth Wentzlaff, prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery, said the name calls to mind the adventurous spirit characteristic of Yankton’s Sacred Heart Monastery and MMU.
“Today in the church, we celebrate the feast of St. Gertrude,” she said. “Our first prioress, Mother Gertrude Leupi, lived in Rickenbach.”
Many of Yankton’s first Benedictine sisters came to the United States from that monastery and never returned home, Wentzlaff said.
“That speaks to me of great sacrifice and a pioneering spirit that will move us forward,” she said. “I think this fits the true legacy of the sisters on the hill.”