New bronze bust of ‘UND founder’ George Walsh to be dedicated Nov. 24

A nearly 1,500-pound pedestal and bronze bust of George Walsh, the man credited with writing the legislation to put the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, officially will be dedicated at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 24, to coincide with the late Walsh’s birthday.

The dedication will take place at the location of the statue, just outside the east door of Twamley Hall, on the campus quad. Refreshments will be served in Twamley Hall, Room 305 following the ceremony.

Walsh was also the editor and owner of the Plaindealer, the first newspaper in the Red River Valley, which was later bought out by the Grand Forks Herald. He went on to be a land developer. Walsh County is named in his honor, as is a UND student residence hall.

According to the history of UND at www.und.edu: Walsh submitted to the Dakota Territorial Legislature “A Bill for an Act Locating the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks…” It was the first time the term “North Dakota” was used, as statehood was not reached for another six years.

The idea for the bust evolved through the 125th Anniversary Historic Preservation Committee, a body formed as part of UND’s recent 125th Anniversary celebration. The committee felt it important to recognize Walsh this way, as he – more than any other individual – is considered the founder of UND.

An informal unveiling of the bust took place last month, with about two dozen UND staff and friends of the University on hand to witness it. They included the artist who created the bust, Heidi J. Hoy; George Walsh’s great-granddaughter, Jean Walsh-Page; and Vice President for Student Affairs, Robert Boyd.

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