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University of North Dakota

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Motto  Lux et Lex (Latin)
Established  1883
Acceptance rate  86% (2014)
Phone  +1 701-777-3000
Motto in English  Light and Law
Endowment  $230.5 million
Total enrollment  14,648 (2016)
Colors  Black, White, Green, Pink
Type  Public Flagship Space-grant
Parent institution  North Dakota University System
Address  Grand Forks, ND 58203, USA
Nickname  North Dakota Fighting Hawks
Undergraduate tuition and fees  Local tuition: 7,741 USD (2015)
Notable alumni  Jonathan Toews, Ed Belfour, T J Oshie, Zach Parise, Chuck Klosterman
Similar  North Dakota State Uni, University of North Dakota S, University of Minnesot, Minot State University, University of Mary

The university of north dakota

The University of North Dakota (also known as UND or North Dakota) is a public research university in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Established by the Dakota Territorial Assembly in 1883, six years before the establishment of the state of North Dakota, it is the state's oldest.


UND was founded as a flagship university with a strong liberal arts foundation, but has grown into a prominent scientific research university. It is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as having high research activity, and is considered one of the top academic and research institutions in the northern Midwest. UND is ranked among the top 100 public universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and is widely regarded as the top university in the American Northern Plains region.

The University offers a variety of professional and specialized programs, including the only schools of law and medicine in the state of North Dakota. Its best known college is perhaps its John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, which is the first in the country to offer a degree in unmanned aircraft systems operations, and is competitively ranked as one of the world's top schools of aviation and aerospace.

UND maintains nationally competitive programs in aerospace, health sciences, political science, nutrition, energy and environmental protection, and engineering research, among others. Several national research institutions are located on the university's campus including the Energy and Environmental Research Center, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center.

North Dakota's athletic teams compete in the NCAA's Division I. Most teams compete as members of the Big Sky Conference, with the exceptions of men's hockey (National Collegiate Hockey Conference), women's hockey (Western Collegiate Hockey Association), and swimming (Western Athletic Conference). The men's ice hockey team has a long history as one of the top in the nation. They have won eight national championships, and play in the Ralph Engelstad Arena.


UND was founded in 1883, six years before North Dakota became a state. Grand Forks native George H. Walsh submitted the bill to the Territorial Legislature of Dakota Territory that called for the new state of North Dakota's university to be in Grand Forks. The first classes were held on September 8, 1884. The first building at UND, Old Main, housed all classrooms, offices, dorm rooms, and a library. In the 1880s, UND consisted of only a few acres of property, surrounded by farms and fields, nearly two miles west of the city of Grand Forks. Students living off campus had to take a train or a horse and carriage bus, dubbed the "Black Maria", from downtown to the campus.

20th century

As the university grew, more buildings were constructed on campus and a trolley system was built to connect the growing university to downtown Grand Forks. However, there were several major interruptions in the life of the university. In 1918, UND was the country's hardest-hit single institution by the flu epidemic that killed 1,400 people in North Dakota alone. Later that year, classes were suspended so the campus could become an army base for soldiers during World War I. During the Great Depression, UND provided free housing to students willing to do manual labor on campus. "Camp Depression," as it was called, consisted of railroad cabooses that housed eight male students each. "Camp Depression" students did not get regular meals from the cafeteria and had to be satisfied with only free leftovers. However, Grand Forks citizens often opened their homes and kitchen tables to many of these young men.

After World War II, enrollment quickly grew to more than 3,000. A large amount of housing and several academic buildings had to be built on campus. The 1950s saw the rise of the Fighting Sioux hockey tradition. In the 1960s and 1970s, many student protests occurred at UND. The largest occurred in May 1970 when over 1,500 students protested the Kent State shootings. In 1975, enrollment swelled to a record 8,500. The 1970s also saw the establishment of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at UND. During the 1980s and 1990s the University continued to grow. However, the devastating 1997 Red River Flood inundated numerous buildings on campus and forced the cancellation of the remainder of the school year.

21st century

The start of the 21st century was marked by the opening of two major venues for UND athletics. The Ralph Engelstad Arena, home of men's and women's hockey, and the Alerus Center, home of UND football, both opened in 2001. The Betty Engelstad Sioux Center opened in August 2004, and serves as home to UND volleyball and men's and women's basketball.

Millions of dollars worth of construction and renovation projects have dotted the campus landscape. As part of a plan to improve student facilities on campus, UND constructed a Wellness Center, a parking garage, and an apartment-style housing complex. Other construction projects around campus have included a new LEED Platinum-certified alumni center, a renovated and expanded College of Education and Human Development, and an expanded Energy and Environmental Research Center. As of 2014, a $124-million Medicine and Health Services building was under construction. The new building was designed by JLG Architects in partnership with Perkins+Will and Steinberg Architects.

In 2015, UND's economic impact on the state and region was estimated to be more than $1.4 billion a year according to the NDUS Systemwide Economic Study by the School of Economics at North Dakota State University. It was the fourth largest employer in the state of North Dakota, after the Air Force.


The University of North Dakota's main campus sits in the middle of Grand Forks on University Avenue. The campus is made up of 240 buildings (6.4 million square feet) on 550 acres (2.2 km2). The campus stretches roughly one and half miles from east to west and is divided by the meandering English Coulee. The western edge is bordered by Interstate 29, the eastern edge is bordered with University Park, the Grand Forks railyards sit on the south side, and the north side is marked by U.S. Highway 2 which is called Gateway Drive in Grand Forks.

Central campus and eastern campus

The central campus area is the oldest part of UND and contains many historic buildings. This area is home to most academic buildings on campus. At the heart of campus sits the Chester Fritz Library, the largest library in North Dakota. The 82-foot (25 m) tower of the library is a familiar landmark on University Avenue. Behind the library is the park-like setting of the central campus mall. The mall includes several statues and is a popular place for students to study. The mall is lined with historic buildings including Merrifield Hall, Twamley Hall, Babcock Hall, Montgomery Hall, and the old Carnegie Library. Old Main Memorial Plaza and the eternal flame of the Old Main Memorial Sphere mark the location of Old Main, the first building on campus. Other buildings in the central part of campus include the School of Law, the North Dakota Museum of Art, Memorial Union, Gamble Hall, the J. Lloyd Stone Alumni Center, the Burtness Theatre, and Chandler Hall—the oldest remaining building on the UND campus. The English Coulee flows along the western edge of the central campus area and on the western bank of the Coulee sits the Chester Fritz Auditorium and the Hughes Fine Arts Center. The historic 1907 Adelphi Fountain is next to the Coulee as is the on-campus Spiritual Center.

On the eastern edge of the central campus area sits Memorial Stadium, the old Ralph Engelstad Arena, and the Hyslop Auditorium. These structures are all old athletic venues which have been replaced with new structures elsewhere on campus. The eastern part of campus is also the home of the Energy and Environmental Research Center complex which includes the National Center for Hydrogen Technology. The Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, which is operated by the United States Department of Agriculture, is also in this part of campus. A five-story parking garage sits at the corner of University Avenue and Columbia Road. At the extreme eastern portion of campus sits University Park which is operated by the Grand Forks Park District.

Northern campus and western campus

To the north of the central campus area, along Columbia Road, sits the School of Medicine complex. The main School of Medicine building is the remodeled St. Michael's Hospital building which was built in 1951. Other buildings in the medical school complex include the Biomedical Research Center and the Neuroscience Research Facility. Further north sits an area that is called University Village. This land sat virtually empty for decades, but has recently been developed for UND, commercial, and residential purposes. University Village is anchored by the $100 million Ralph Engelstad Arena, which is used by the men's and women's hockey teams. University Village is also home to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, the new Student Wellness Center, university apartments, the UND bookstore, a medical clinic, and several residential and commercial properties.

The western part of the UND campus is a newer area with modern styles of architecture. This area is home to the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, which includes Odegard Hall, Clifford Hall, Ryan Hall, and Streibel Hall. Directly adjacent to the Aerospace Complex sits the Skalicky Business Incubator, the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center, the “REAC 1,” which houses the University of North Dakota’s Center of Excellence in Life Sciences and Advanced Technologies (COELSAT), and a Hilton Garden Inn. The western part of campus is also the location of most residence halls and student apartments, including a new $20 million student housing project called University Place on University Avenue.

Other facilities

UND operates a satellite campus consisting of several buildings at Grand Forks International Airport where aviation students train. UND Aerospace also operates flight training centers in Crookston, Minnesota, and Phoenix, Arizona. UND owns and operates the Ray Richards 9-hole golf course south of the main UND campus. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences operates several clinics throughout North Dakota. The UND football team is a major tenant of the city of Grand Forks-owned Alerus Center.


The Council on Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, made up of representatives from various departments, is exploring ways to improve sustainability. The campus’s recycling system reduces UND’s overall waste stream by 20 percent. UND has conducted lighting retrofits and installed heat recovery systems and power management technology for peak and off-peak use adjustment. Students are involved in promoting sustainability via recycling and other initiatives. The University received a B- grade on the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card released by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

The Gorecki Alumni Center on campus is North Dakota's first LEED Platinum build. The building uses a combination of Geothermal and Solar Panels to power the building.


UND has ten academic divisions:

  • John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business and Public Administration
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • College of Engineering and Mines
  • Graduate School
  • School of Law
  • School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines
  • Division of Continuing Education
  • UND offers a total of 224 fields of study, including 90 undergraduate majors, 73 undergraduate minors, 54 master's programs, 27 doctoral programs, two professional programs (medicine and law), and a specialist diploma program in educational leadership. UND also has an interdisciplinary program that allows students to obtain a degree in virtually any course of study. A collection of online classes and degree programs are offered for students around the nation and world. This online program has been highly ranked by US News and other leading online college rankings. "Based on factors such as graduation rates, indebtedness of new graduates and academic and career support services offered to students," US News ranked the online Bachelor's program 208th of 217 online colleges and universities. On campus, academic classrooms range from smaller rooms capable of seating around twenty students to large lecture bowls capable of seating hundreds at a time. Many areas have wireless access for laptops and technologically equipped classrooms enable professors to offer interactive lectures. UND offers 1,000 computer workstations for student use and computer labs can be found in the libraries, Memorial Union, and in several academic areas.

    Division of Continuing Education

    The Division of Continuing Education offers many distance learning and online degree programs. It offers undergraduate level programs in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Graduate level programs like MBA, Applied Economics, Educational Leadership, Forensic Psychology, Social Work, Public Administration and Nursing are offered, in addition to doctoral level programs in Educational Leadership, Teaching & Learning, and Nursing.


    UND has three major libraries which, together, form the largest system of research libraries in the state of North Dakota. The Chester Fritz Library is the largest library in the state. It houses 1.6 million volumes, provides access to approximately 28,000 electronic journal subscriptions, and owns over 20,000 electronic books. It also serves as a U.S. patent and trademark depository and a government document depository. UND's special collections department is known for its genealogical resources, including Norwegian Bygdeboker, or Norwegian farm and town records. Branches of the Chester Fritz Library include the Energy and Environmental Research Library, the F.D. Holland Geology Library, and the Gordon Erickson Music Library. The School of Law operates the Thormodsgard Law Library and the School of Medicine operates the Harley E. French Library of the Health Sciences.


    UND is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a doctoral/research-intensive institution. This level of research activity is shown in UND's research statistics which, in fiscal year 2006, included program awards that reached $94.3 million, sponsored program expenditures that reached $81.2 million, and an overall research portfolio that included $315 million in total ongoing and committed accounts. Research activity at UND focuses on health sciences, nutrition, energy and environmental protection, aerospace, and engineering. As a major component of the Red River Valley Research Corridor, UND operates many research units including the Energy and Environmental Research Center, the School of Medicine, the Center for Rural Health, the Center for Innovation, the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium, the Bureau of Governmental Affairs, the Bureau of Educational Services and Applied Research, and the Social Science Research Institute. The Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC), located on the eastern fringes of the UND campus, has been recognized as a leader in researching cleaner, more efficient forms of energy. The EERC operates a number of research units at UND including the National Center for Hydrogen Technology.


    UND competes in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The men's ice hockey team compete in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and the women's hockey team compete as members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Women's hockey will be cut from the university starting in the 2017-2018 year. All other sports compete in the Big Sky Conference.

    The men's ice hockey team has won eight national championships and has been runner-up five times. Both the men's and women's ice hockey teams play at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. The football team won the Division II national championship in 2001 and was the runner-up in 2003, and play at the Alerus Center. The basketball and volleyball teams play in the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. The women's basketball team has won three national championships in 1997, 1998, and 1999 and was runner-up in 2001.

    The colors of UND athletics are green and white, which were adopted in the 1920s. The university's official school colors are green and pink, representative of North Dakota's state flower, the Wild Prairie Rose; however, this combination is rarely employed outside of official or ceremonial applications. UND's athletic teams bore the name of the Fighting Sioux, but were without a nickname and mascot from 2012–2015, in compliance with the NCAA's policy against the use of Native American nicknames. On November 18, 2015, it was announced the new nickname would be "Fighting Hawks", effective immediately.

    A notable UND athletic alumnus is National Basketball Association (NBA) coach and former player Phil Jackson, widely considered one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. In addition, many UND alumni have played in the National Hockey League (NHL), including: Minnesota Wild wing Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac, Los Angeles Kings defensemen Matt Greene and Mike Commodore, Chicago Blackhawks forward and captain Jonathan Toews, former NHL goalie Ed Belfour, and Washington Capitals forward T. J. Oshie.

    Fight song

    The school's primary fight song is "Stand Up and Cheer". Two other fight songs are "UND" and It's for You, North Dakota U (or North Dakota U), composed by Franz Rickaby in 1921.

    Student body

    Over 15,000 students attend classes on the UND campus each year. About 40 percent of the student body is from North Dakota and the other half is made up of students from all 50 states and over 60 other nations. The ratio between male and female students is about even. Demographically, about 80 percent of the student body is caucasian. Students can live on or off campus. On campus, there are 13 residence halls and 850 student apartment units, as well as twelve fraternities and six sororities. There are over 275 student organizations at UND as well as an intramural sports program called RecSports.

    The student body is represented by the three-branch Student Government. The executive branch consists of seven executives who each have different areas of focus. The legislative branch consists of 23 student senators who represent each academic and residential district. The judicial branch consists of seven justices that deal with judicial matters when necessary. In addition, three standing committees enhance university life for all students: University Programming Council (UPC), Student Organization Funding Agency (SOFA), and Student Communications Funding Committee (SCFC). In addition, five administrative assistants help with all areas of Student Government.

    Greek life

    The fraternity and sorority community has a rich history at the University of North Dakota. Sanctioned chapters on campus include seven sororities (Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Delta) and thirteen fraternities (Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Kappa Alpha , Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon).


    The North Dakota Museum of Art, the official art museum of the state of North Dakota, is in the heart of campus and offers exhibits throughout the year. The Burtness Theater and the Chester Fritz Auditorium regularly feature theater and concert events. The Ralph Engelstad Arena also features non-athletic events including concerts. The nearby city-owned Alerus Center hosts several concerts each year as well as other events. Each year, UND hosts the University of North Dakota Writers Conference. This is a week-long event that brings together prominent American and foreign writers. Participants have included Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, Tom Wolfe, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Erdrich, Chuck Klosterman, and Gary Snyder.


    The Dakota Student is UND's student newspaper.

    North Dakota Quarterly, a literary journal, is edited at UND.

    The North Dakota Law Review, published by the School of Law since 1924, serves as the journal of the State Bar Association of North Dakota.

    The Alumni Review is published by the UND Alumni Association and Foundation.


    UND owns two public radio stations, which are operated by Prairie Public Radio: KUND and KFJM. KUND-FM rebroadcasts the Prairie Public radio network, which also carries National Public Radio programming. KFJM broadcasts some Prairie Public and NPR programming, but also broadcasts some locally produced programs.

    UND operates two local cable television channels. One operates as an information billboard and also features a weekly student-produced news program entitled Studio One. The other is a movie channel for the campus residence halls, Residence Life Cinema, on cable channel 17. The University separately licenses movies for showing on this channel. UND also formerly operated the UND Sports Network.

    Notable people and alumni

    Alumni of the University of North Dakota have become notable in a variety of different fields including politics and government, business, science, literature, arts and entertainment, and athletics. Eight Governors of North Dakota were educated at UND, including Fred G. Aandahl, Louis B. Hanna, Lynn Frazier, William Langer, John Moses, Ragnvald A. Nestos, Allen I. Olson, and Ed Schafer, who was also the US Secretary of Agriculture from 2008–2009. Former Deputy National Security Advisor at the White House, Mark Pfeifle is a 1997 graduate in the School of Communications. Many U.S. Senators and Representatives of North Dakota were also graduates of UND, including former Senator Byron Dorgan and former Representative Earl Pomeroy. Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey is a UND graduate. Ronald Davies, a UND graduate and former federal judge, became a part of history when he ordered the integration of Little Rock Central High School during the Civil Rights Movement.

    UND alumni who went on to notable careers in the business world include chairman of TNSE & president of the Winnipeg Jets hockey club Mark Chipman, current president and former CEO of Cargill Gregory R. Page, current president and CEO of the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant chain Sally J. Smith, current CEO of Forum Communications William C. Marcil, former Las Vegas casino owner and UND philanthropist Ralph Engelstad, and former CEO of American Skandia and founder of WealthVest Marketing Wade Dokken.

    In the realm of science, notable UND alumni include important contributor to information theory Harry Nyquist, pioneer aviator Carl Ben Eielson, Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, engineer and NASA astronaut Karen L. Nyberg, and leading NASA manager John H. Disher.

    Alumni who have become notable through literature include the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author Maxwell Anderson, Rhodes scholar and poet Thomas McGrath, essayist and journalist Chuck Klosterman, and novelist Jon Hassler. UND graduates have become editors of major magazines: Carroll Eugene Simcox of The Living Church, former Ebony editor Era Bell Thompson and former LIFE editor Edward K. Thompson. Alumni who have become notable in arts and entertainment include actor Sam Anderson and America's Next Top Model winner Nicole Linkletter.

    Former UND students who have gone on to notable careers in athletics include former NBA player and coach and current president of the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson, ice hockey player who played in the 1980 Winter Olympics "Miracle on Ice" game Dave Christian, NHL professional ice hockey players Ed Belfour, Tony Hrkac, Jonathan Toews – captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, Zach Parise – Minnesota Wild, Travis Zajac – New Jersey Devils, T.J. Oshie and Taylor Chorney – Washington Capitals, Ryan Bayda – Pittsburgh Penguins, Drew Stafford – Boston bruins, Brian Lee – Ottawa Senators, Matt Smaby – Tampa Bay Lightning, Matt Jones and Matt Frattin – Toronto Maple Leafs, Mike Commodore – Columbus Blue Jackets, Jason Blake – Anaheim Ducks, Ryan Johnson – Vancouver Canucks, Chris VandeVelde - Philadelphia Flyers NFL professional football players Jim Kleinsasser and Dave Osborn both of the Minnesota Vikings, Chris Kuper of the Denver Broncos, and Weston Dressler of the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg blue bombers.


    University of North Dakota Wikipedia