Building Dreams with Bricks and Mortar
Dr. Laurel Vermillion, President
Dr. Laurel Vermillion, a recognized member of the Hunkpapa-Lakota peoples of the Standing Rock Reservation, serves as president of Sitting Bull College. She is married to husband Duane and together they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Vermillion is an alumnus of Sitting Bull College (SBC) back when it was known as Standing Rock Community College (SRCC). She received her baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education through an articulation agreement between Standing Rock Community College and the University of North Dakota in 1980. During her 14 years as an elementary teacher for the Fort Yates, ND school district, she pursued a Masters in Administration degree from the University of North Dakota. Soon after, she relocated to Marty, SD and served as Principal at the Marty Indian School before moving back to the Standing Rock Reservation. In 1995, she accepted the position of vice president of Academic Affairs and eventually became vice president of Operations in 1999. During her seven years as vice president of Operations at Sitting Bull College she completed her doctorate degree in Teaching and Learning, Higher Education from the University of North Dakota. She is an active board member for numerous non-profit and community service groups located on the Standing Rock Reservation, including Bear Soldier Horizons, based in McLaughlin, SD., her current place of residence.
My name is Oyate Wanyanka Pi Win, translated it means Seen-By-Her-Nation. This name was given to my Auntie on my mother’s side; this Auntie is also my Godmother. My Auntie received this name from her great grandmother who would be my great-great grandmother. I received this name through a Lakota ceremony when I completed by Master’s degree in 1992. As Indian people, we carry our Indian names with much respect and compassion because we understand these names have come from strong and courageous ancestors. This is how many people from the Standing Rock Reservation, including our employees and students, feel about Sitting Bull College carrying the name of such a strong and compassionate leader, Tatanka Iyotanka (Sitting Bull).
Sitting Bull College, previously called Standing Rock Community College, began in 1973. I was among the first students to attend. Our humble beginning started with a number of us students and one instructor looking for a place to hold class in the Douglas Skye Memorial Complex, which was a new community building at that time.
From this humble beginning, the new SBC campus has begun to evolve. Currently, we have two new buildings; the Family Support Center, which houses our education department as well as a new daycare center - The Science and Technology Center, which houses all our science, math, and technology classes, faculty offices, and nursing program.
Presently under construction, a new Transit Center will house our public transportation program. The $1.25 million facility is scheduled to open in March, 2007.
The Sitting Bull College family, including the board of trustees, administration, faculty, staff, and students are committed to this effort of building a new campus. Thus far, the project has raised $17.2 million toward a goal of $40 million.
We feel strongly that this goal of building a new campus will have a very positive effect on the future of the Standing Rock Nation and the people it serves.
We ask that you join our Sitting Bull College family in this effort.
Laurel Vermillion, Ph.D.