North Dakota Spirit: The Campaign For UND To Raise $300 Million

The University of North Dakota and UND Foundation will hold a launch event Tuesday, Nov. 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Microsoft Fargo The commons Building to celebrate the public phase of a comprehensive $300 million fundraising campaign.  RSVP to 800-543-8764 or

North Dakota Spirit: The Campaign for UND will raise $100 million to increase the number of student scholarships awarded; $100 million for endowment funds for faculty support; $50 million to enhance programs to respond to state and global needs; and $50 million to improve existing or add new buildings and technology.

It is the first comprehensive fundraising effort in the University’s history. Fundraising for the campaign began in 2005 and to-date more than $201 million has been raised in cash gifts, pledges, bequests and other commitments.

 “We call it North Dakota Spirit,” said UND President Robert Kelley, “because as our state’s flagship university we carry the spirit of North Dakota in all we do. This campaign will not only have a positive impact at UND, but the ripple effect will be felt throughout North Dakota through the work our students and faculty do to further economic  and community development throughout the state.

“The University of North Dakota is about teaching and learning. This is our core mission. The resources needed to create an environment that supports teaching and learning requires support for our students, our faculty, the academic programs within the university and the facilities necessary to make those programs effective,” he said.

 While the state continues to build its investment in the core needs of higher education, Kelley says the timing of the campaign will give UND unprecedented opportunity to rise above peer universities facing cutbacks due to struggling state economies. “A public – private partnership of this caliber will play a significant role in moving UND from great to exceptional,” he said.

UND alumnus B. John Barry, ’63, Fargo, N.D., and alumnae Linda Pancratz, ’76, Edwards, Colo., co-chair the UND National Campaign Steering Committee, a volunteer group of 35 alumni and friends from around the country who are leading the fundraising initiative.

“To bring UND to the highest level of excellence requires the financial resources that will come as a result of this successful campaign,” said Barry. “It is a responsibility of all of us to give back to support UND higher education because the leadership we need in a global economy requires people with higher education degrees.”

“UND is a very special place where an ordinary person like me can get an extraordinary education. An education that changes opportunities and changes lives. That’s what we want to give to future generations,” said Pancratz. “With all the issues we face as a nation, education is part of the solution. We need innovation, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and visionary leadership. All of those things really capture the North Dakota spirit and the essence of University of North Dakota.”

“The national campaign is designed to move UND forward…further…faster. Together we will create a legacy we can all be very proud of. Together we will make great things happen,” she said.

 “Too often philanthropy translates itself focused just on treasure. It’s about time and talent commitments as well. What we really hope to do with this campaign is raise awareness on all three of those fronts to the benefit of future students & faculty and the University of North Dakota,” said Tim O’Keefe, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the UND Foundation.

O’Keefe said during the campaign’s silent phase campaign volunteer have led efforts to build a solid foundation of support. During the public phase, which will conclude in 2013, O’Keefe says the goal is to involve all alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the University.

“This will be a pinnacle achievement in the university’s history. This will be a launch pad for what progresses as we go down the road as the University of North Dakota,” he said.

More information about North Dakota Spirit: The Campaign for UND can be found at