A Brief History of the Ukrainian Cultural Institute

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The Ukrainian Cultural Institute was organized by descendants of Ukrainian immigrants in 1980.  Its organization was prompted by a desire to preserve the Ukrainian culture in North Dakota.  Albert Watrel, president of Dickinson State College, participated with the Ukrainian community in developing the guidelines needed to meet the aims of the proposed organization.

 

On May 31, 1980, the Ukrainian community and Dickinson State signed an agreement which read:  "Memorandum of Agreement between the Ukrainian Community and Dickinson State College for the purpose of establishing a Ukrainian Cultural Institute which is dedicated for the furthering of education through the preserving, promoting, and displaying of the Ukrainian Culture." 

This is the Memorandum of Agreement between the Ukrainian community and Dickinson State College (now Dickinson State University). The document was signed by then president of UCI, Agnes Palanuk, and Albert Watrel, then president of DSC.

As UCI grew, a building was purchased on Villard Street in Dickinson. The facility now includes the UCI's administrative office, a gift shop, museum displays, the Marie Halun Bloch Library, with dozens of modern and historical books, a large kitchen for the production of pyrohy, which is made available to the general public through local grocery stores and by direct purchase at UCI. The building also offers space for UCI's Lenten Lunches series, UCI's board meetings, and other events. The facility is available to rent for non-UCI and family events.