|President and Marcia Kelley to lead 2009 new faculty tour|
President Robert and First Lady Marcia Kelley will lead more than 35 new faculty members, top administrators and their guests on a three-day tour of North Dakota. This year’s tour—the 19th since the inaugural launch in 1990 by then-president Thomas Clifford—is the second for the Kelleys.
Funded by the UND Alumni Association and the President's Office, these trips are designed to acquaint new faculty and administrators with the state and its landmarks as well as provide them with an opportunity to form connections with other people on campus, according to tour coordinator Fred Wittmann, director of the UND Office of Ceremonies and Special Events. Moreoever, the tour gives new faculty a sense of where many of their students will come from.
Wittmann, a native of the farm community of Casselton about 20 miles west of Fargo, says North Dakota surprises most newcomers.
"We want to help our tour participants feel this is their home," Wittmann said. "Our intent is to give them a sample of the state."
UND's strategic plan champions the University's role as a service provider to the state and as a resource for helping North Dakota diversify its economy. In order to help North Dakota, it is important for UND's new faculty and administrators to see and understand the state.
The tours alternate each year between southern and northern routes. This year’s tour of the northern half of the state will offer glimpses of the region’s geography, economy, culture, and heritage, and will offer participants an opportunity to learn about the challenges and opportunities that are shaping the state. The tour will start with a visit to Grand Forks Air Force Base, with a tour, talk and refreshments. Base commanders will discuss the base’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) mission.
On the way back to Grand Forks, the faculty members will visit Edinburg, a small town with a real “can-do” attitude, where the town together with tour organizers will host a community dinner before the final leg back to Grand Forks.
Professor Douglas Munski—a Chicago native and 30-year UND cultural geographer with an encyclopedic knowledge of North Dakota geographic, cultural, and political lore—is the tour's color commentator for the ninth year.
“Doug has forgotten more about North Dakota than the rest of us will ever know,” said Wittmann. “We depend on him to provide information on everything from ancient glacial terrain to anecdotes about individual communities. He’s a great ambassador for UND.”
“I like to think of myself as a color commentator who helps introduce people to neighbors across the state,” said Munski. “North Dakota is, in many respects, one community. Although there are regional differences and competing institutions, we still function as one community. My goal is to help people better understand what they’re part of as new North Dakota residents.”
Veteran UND motor coach driver Fran Kryzsko, though officially retired, will be at the wheel again this year; it’ll be his 18th time as tour driver.
The full trip itinerary is included in this release. For media inquiries, contact Peter Johnson at (701) 740-5398.
Monday, Aug. 17
• 7:30 a.m. Depart from the parking lot at the Chester Fritz.
• Grand Forks Air Force Base with a tour, talk and refreshments. Base commanders will discuss the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and KC135 missions.
• Lunch near Devils Lake at the shoreside Woodland Resort and learn more about the flooding caused by the rising lake level.
• Spirit Lake Reservation and a tour of Cankdeska Cikana Community College, one of five tribal colleges in the state.
• Near Velva, Black Butte Acres, with Jerry and Norma Effertz host a tour and dinner.
• Minot—Holiday Inn Riverside.
Tuesday, Aug. 18
• Tour the Prairie Wind Project owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative. Verendrye Electric will present a talk about the prospects of wind energy in North Dakota.
• Watford City—lunch with community leaders and UND alumni to learn more about the opportunities available in the state’s rural communities.
• North Dakota Badlands—tour of the north unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
• Minot—dinner with UND alumni and community leaders and a tour of the Scandinavian Heritage Center; Holiday Inn Riverside.
Wednesday, Aug. 19
• Minot—tour and briefing at the UND Family Medicine Center.
• International Peace Garden—lunch and a walking tour of one of the state’s most famous visitor destinations.
• Edinburg, (population 200)—tour of the Edinburg General Store and Main Street; community dinner.
• 8 p.m. return to Grand Forks.
-- Juan Pedraza, Writer/Editor, University Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-6571