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Rickenbach Suites

New Residence Hall Completed in 2020.

On Monday, November 18, Mount Marty University announced plans to construct a 96-bed residence hall for third- and fourth-year students on its Yankton campus. The $4.5 million project is on the fast track for construction and is scheduled to be completed by August 2020, with occupancy beginning in the fall of 2020 semester.

The three-story, 20,000-square-foot building will be situated southeast of the Ruth Donohoe First Dakota Fieldhouse currently under construction. The university intends it to be a living learning community, says Mount Marty Vice President for Student Success Katie Harrell, offering suite-style living with partial kitchenettes and quiet learning spaces throughout. Residents may also choose an on-campus dining hall option. The arrangement, Harrell adds, provides a holistic transitional community for students as they make their way through the last two years of their college careers.

“In keeping with our Benedictine focus on the importance of community, this new home for MMU juniors and seniors allows for additional leadership opportunities for those students,” Mount Marty University President Marc Long says. “Students will be encouraged to take leadership positions to discuss concerns and ideas for their living community and create policies with reasonable boundaries for that community. This would be another way for students to take part in community management and help their transition to life after college, where they will be leaders in their civic and organizational communities.”

Residents of the new hall will be able to take advantage of additional programs and services that target career development, graduate school selection and graduate entrance exam preparation. Strong connections to other campus resources such as Career Services and Campus Ministry will build further personal and professional development opportunities.

Mount Marty currently provides three on-campus living spaces — Corbey Hall, Whitbey Hall and the fourth floor of Bede Hall — with a combined capacity of 349 beds. With the planned enrollment growth the college is projecting a need for 50 to 60 additional units by the fall of 2020. The new hall will help meet a growing demand for 12-month living arrangements as well, says Harrell, as many junior and senior students participate in internships, employment and research during the summer months.

“This is an affordable, safe housing option for students,” Harrell says, “with the convenience of location and commitment to faith, academic, social and professional development and success.” 

The suites were named Rickenbach Suites on November 16, 2020. 

WHAT Will the Suites be Named?

On November 16, 2020, the suites were formally named Rickenbach Suites. The name is derived from Maria Rickenbach, a monastery in the Swiss Alps where five nuns left in 1874 to spread the Gospel in the United States. This mission led to the foundation of Sacred Heart Monastery, and therefore MMU, in Yankton, South Dakota. 


The new 20,000 square foot residence hall at Mount Marty University will provide an additional 96 beds on campus, increasing on-campus housing by 27%. Suite-style apartments with partial kitchenettes and quiet spaces will enable students to transition out of traditional dorms and prepare for life beyond college.

How will this residence hall impact MMU’s student life?

This residence hall is to be a center of activity for upper-classman students, providing them with comfortable, transitional accommodations and creating opportunities for them to succeed out of the classroom. Students will be encouraged to take on leadership opportunities within the living-learning community; participate in programs and services targeting career development, graduate school selection and graduate entrance exam preparation; and stay connected to campus resources such as Career Services and Campus Ministry while living in this new residence hall.

What is the cost of this project and how can I contribute?

The cost for the construction of the residence hall is $4.5 million. While there is no specific fundraising measures in place for the residence hall, Mount Marty is continually gracious for any level of gift to support the ongoing changes and improvements across campus.