History of the Foundation
Today’s North Dakota State University Foundation — and its heritage organizations prior — can trace its history back to the early years of North Dakota Agricultural College (NDAC).
In 1901, just 11 years after NDAC was founded, graduates officially established the NDAC Alumni Association to engage, network, advocate for, and eventually support the institution.
In 1948, alumni and friends incorporated the North Dakota Agricultural College Memorial Foundation. The NDAC Memorial Foundation was headed by the NDAC president, who served as an ex officio director, and a group of 14 elected directors. Those directors elected officers and appointed the executive committee, which was responsible for recommending members to the Memorial Foundation. In 1963, the NDAC Memorial Foundation became the NDSU Memorial Foundation to reflect the school’s name change.
Meanwhile, in 1961, the NDAC Foundation was formed with similar objectives to those of the Memorial Foundation; however, the two were not affiliated. The NDAC Foundation was managed by a Board of Trustees. From this group, SU ’75, a broad-based fundraising challenge to NDSU alumni, faculty, and students to add to and improve the physical facilities of the campus, was presented.
Foreseeing NDSU’s monetary needs would continue after 1975, the SU ’75 Board of Trustees created the NDSU Development Foundation, which was incorporated in April 1971. That same year, the Memorial Foundation and NDSU Alumni Achievement Foundation became part of the NDSU Development Foundation. The Development Foundation’s purpose was to be the official solicitor and receiver of private gifts to North Dakota State University. SU ’75 was the first of several multi-year fundraising initiatives pursued to advance NDSU over time. The NDSU Development Foundation and the NDSU Alumni Association forged a strategic alignment and partnership through the years to bring together alumni, parents, friends, and business associates who advocated for and invested in the university’s future.
In 2015, the Development Foundation and Alumni Association merged its respective governing bodies to create one body with service and support to NDSU.
Today, the NDSU Foundation pursues the philanthropic mission of the Development Foundation and the engagement and advocacy efforts of the Alumni Association. By forging connections, fostering support, and facilitating outcomes, the NDSU Foundation fulfills its mission of building enduring relationships that maximize advocacy and philanthropy to support North Dakota State University.