Promise of the Prairie: Education in Three Acts, a documentary created by University of Minnesota, Morris Media Services, received the University of Minnesota Communicators Forum's Gold Award at the 2011 Communicators Forum annual meeting. The Gold Award in multimedia productions honors a project that best embodies the University's core values of excellence, innovation, integrity, diversity, academic freedom, collaboration, sharing of knowledge, accountability, stewardship, and service.
Promise of the Prairie was created by Michael Cihak, director and editor, Chris Butler, researcher and writer, and Roger Boleman, Media Services director and producer, with significant contributions from students Jennifer Riestenberg '13, Perham, research assistant, and Samuel Krump-Johnson '11, Maple Grove, production assistant.
The documentary explores three very different educational institutions that have made their home on the same plot of land--the Morris campus. In images and voices, the documentary tells the story of Mother Mary Joseph of the Sisters of Mercy who first broke the prairie ground on the Morris campus, establishing an American Indian boarding school in 1887. In 1910, the University of Minnesota opened an agriculture high school on the campus, erecting simple, sturdy Prairie School buildings for teenagers learning modern farming practices. Fifty years later, in 1960, the University's unique, new public liberal arts college brought young adults to the rural campus.