Briggs, Hilton M. (Hilton Marshall), 1913-2001

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Briggs, Hilton M. (Hilton Marshall), 1913-2001

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In 1958, Hilton M. Briggs was appointed president at South Dakota State. He served in that capacity for 17 years, the longest tenure in the presidential office. He received his B.S. from Iowa State University, M.S. from North Dakota State University, and Ph. D. from Cornell University. He held positions as professor and associate dean of agriculture at Oklahoma State University and dean of agriculture at the University of Wyoming. During his tenure, the South Dakota State College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts became South Dakota State University, divisions became colleges, and the campus grew to match its increasing status. The number of departments grew, enrollment increased by more than half, and the number of buildings on campus almost doubled. Briggs was also instrumental in beginning the social fraternities and sororities on campus and initiating women's intercollegiate athletics. He also guided the campus through the controversy and activism of the 1960s and 1970s. The Faculty Association became the Academic Senate with decision-making capacity under Briggs’ leadership, and the Student Association also took on more responsibility. Upon his retirement in 1975, he was designated a Distinguished Professor of Agriculture, taught for two years, and was appointed director of International Programs. He was involved in the development of the Botswana Africa Project, a United States Agency for International Development program for teaching, research, and agricultural extension in that country.


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