A chapel is the spiritual center of every Christian university, and worship has always been central to the Wesleyan experience. To strengthen its tradition and inspire future generations to lives of servant leadership, Dakota Wesleyan University built a permanent home for worship at the heart of campus – the Sherman Center.
The Sherman Center enhances Wesleyan's commitment to spiritual development and its relationship with the United Methodist Church by:
- providing a setting for chapel services, small-group studies, and prayer and meditation;
- strengthening the university's religious life programs; and
- inspiring new spiritual growth opportunities for students and visitors.
Through its multipurpose design, the Sherman Center's auditorium also advances the liberal arts by:
- furnishing a beautiful, functional setting for concerts and other musical performances;
- enriching academic and cultural programs through lectures, debates and other presentations;
- enhancing service, leadership and entrepreneurship opportunities by supplying space for workshops and conferences; and
- providing a location for small-scale theatrical productions and campus convocations.
The Sherman Center is named in honor of Drs. Kenneth and Marian Minty Sherman '31, beloved alumni and friends of Dakota Wesleyan University. Inspired by their love for their alma mater and their desire to serve future generations, the Shermans are the university's most generous benefactors, contributing more than $3 million during their lifetime and through estate bequests.
After receiving his medical degree from Northwestern University in 1936, Kenneth became a well-respected general practice physician. He later served as the resident surgeon for Kemper Insurance Company in Chicago for many years. After retiring in 1965, he pursued his love of farming. A 12-year member of the DWU Board of Trustees, Kenneth remained an honorary trustee until his death in February 1997.
A gifted musician, Marian was a talented piano soloist who directed United Methodist church choirs, taught private violin and piano lessons, and played violin in the Beloit Symphony Orchestra for 15 years. Marian's great love for music blessed others throughout her lifetime. She passed away in October 2000 at age 91.
So great was the Shermans' devotion to Wesleyan that their ashes are laid to rest in the roots of two young maple trees on the DWU campus.
The Sherman Center is a wonderfully appropriate tribute to Kenneth and Marian Sherman, one that exemplifies their love for Dakota Wesleyan University, the United Methodist Church and music.
Attending an event in the Sherman Center? Since the Sherman Center is in the center of campus, you're within a block of the main doors no matter where you park. The closest parking is right behind the Rollins Campus Center on the south side (Hurst St.). However if that is full, try the parking lot at L.B. Williams or on the north side of the Dakota Discovery Museum.