|UND Foundation receives historic $20 million gift|
A $20 million gift from the Engelstad Family Foundation is the largest ever to the UND Foundation and the second-largest ever to benefit the University of North Dakota, behind only the $104 million Ralph Engelstad Arena.
[You can find details about the gift, including audio and video of the news conference and the statement from Kris Engelstad McGarry, at www.und.edu].
"This is a magnificent, generous and historic gift," said President Charles Kupchella. "Added to the gift of the Ralph Engelstad Arena and other gifts made to UND by the Engelstads, they have become one of the most significant university patrons in the history of American higher education. We are obviously very grateful to the Engelstad family for their faith in, and support for the University of North Dakota."
All told, the Engelstad family and the Engelstad Family Foundation have provided gifts, including this $20 million gift, Ralph Engelstad Arena, direct gifts, scholarships, and items such as the Gen. George S. Patton papers, and portraits of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices valued at nearly $127.5 million.
The Engelstad Family Foundation provided this written statement pertaining to this gift: "Economic stimulation has been a strong motivator in the philanthropic history of Ralph and Betty Engelstad. This $20 million gift to support scholarships, faculty and other projects at the University of North Dakota continues this passion. The Engelstad Family Foundation recognizes the impact a UND education can and does have on individuals. Those individuals become equipped with the tools to positively affect their own communities and professions as best as possible. It is our hope that this gift will be paramount to the capability of Ralph’s alma mater to stimulate action and innovation within students and faculty.
"The Engelstad Family Foundation is proud of what has been accomplished over the past five years through what Ralph Engelstad Arena has provided the University and the Greater Grand Forks community, economically. We hope that this $20 million gift does all of that and more from an academic standpoint."
Aside from its generous contributions to the University, the Engelstad Family Foundation’s rich history of philanthropy has touched many people and organizations throughout the country. In Nevada, the Engelstad Family Foundation provided $15 million for the Nevada Cancer Institute and nearly $9 million for a new Catholic high school. In Mississippi, the Foundation gave hope to thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims, as it graciously provided $1.5 million toward hurricane relief efforts. The Imperial Palace Hotel in Biloxi, Miss., which is owned by the Engelstad family, kindly opened its doors to hundreds of FEMA workers and homeless employee families for months following the storm.
"The Engelstad family has made philanthropy a top priority as a result of the success they’ve achieved and the values they carry," said Tim O’Keefe, executive vice president and CEO of the UND Foundation. "In particular, it symbolizes their desire to better the University for decades to come. This gift will go a long way to set UND up for an incredible future in terms of meeting the very real financial needs of its students and the institution as a whole."
The Las Vegas-based foundation has pledged $2 million per year for the next 10 years. The first $2 million installment was received April 25.
Of the $20 million gift, $4 million will be designated toward scholarships for underrepresented minority groups in UND’s student body. An additional $4 million will be used to fund scholarships for Presidential Scholars [UND's designation for the more than 600 academically high achieving students on campus]. Scholarships for "late bloomer" students will make up another $4 million. This will include students whose overall records did not qualify for a UND scholarship, but in their late high school years or early college years revealed significant promise. The gift also provides $4 million in athletic scholarships, specifically for men's hockey. This opportunity for student-athletes will provide a portion of the endowment needed to support the University’s move to Division I.
Also provided is an endowed chair in medicine and in engineering, through gifts of $2 million each. Endowed chairs are extremely important to the overall mission and strategic plan of the University. They bring with them a great deal of prestige, highlighting the excellence of faculty on campus. Funding for endowed chairs enables the University to attract dynamic educators in the face of stiff competition.
Special projects of the University may also be funded through this gift, which may include the construction of facilities or modification of existing facilities.
All endowed chairs and scholarships supported by this gift will carry the names of Ralph and Betty Engelstad.
-- Jan Orvik, Writer/Editor, University Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-3621