Investing in a Better Way of Life

The Partner in Excellence Award recognizes a corporation, foundation, or organization that has given significant support as well as demonstrated inspirational philanthropic giving to the university.

Story by Nicole Thom-Arens | September 16, 2021

Gate City Bank’s unique partnership with North Dakota State University stems, in large part, from Steve Swiontek ’78, ‘06, chair of the board at Gate City Bank, who served as student body president while at NDSU.

When he became the Bank’s President and CEO in 2000, Steve recognized how closely Gate City Bank’s mission aligned with NDSU’s land-grant mission to the state.

“Steve and all of us at Gate City Bank truly believe in our purpose, which is to create a better way of life for customers, communities, and fellow team members,” Kim Meyer, executive vice president, chief human resources officer, said. “It’s remarkable how NDSU creates a better way of life for its students and communities every day, as well.”

Gate City Bank has a rich history in Fargo and the region, and its dedication to creating a better way of life goes beyond banking. The first branch opened in Fargo in 1923. It has grown to serve 43 locations in 22 communities across North Dakota and central Minnesota.

The Bank’s commitment to NDSU is seen through academic and athletic sponsorships and support. One of the first projects Gate City Bank funded at NDSU was the remodel of Richard H. Barry Hall. Additionally, an endowment was established to ensure the facility is regularly refreshed and reimagined so that it can keep offering state-of-the-art learning for students.

Gate City Bank continued its investment in NDSU with funds for a remodel of Stevens Auditorium, which is now Gate City Bank Auditorium. The Bank also created unique financing agreements, valued at more than $2.5 million for Aldevron Tower and $4.1 million for the Nodak Insurance Company Football Performance Complex.

Additionally, Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome, home of NDSU Bison football, plays a vital role in the program’s venue and fan experience. The Bank recognized the dominant force of Bison football before the dynasty’s legendary FCS Division championship run.

With the recent renovation of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, the Bank again invested in NDSU student-athletes with the creation of the Gate City Bank Fueling Station, where they receive nutritional advice and all the ingredients needed to keep them performing at their best.

In 2019, the Bank supported those working to keep NDSU safe by investing in bullet-resistant helmets for campus police, an important safety upgrade that protects campus officers in the same way as city officers.

In addition, its commitment to NDSU’s students, faculty, and staff extends to numerous volunteer opportunities, especially for international students, and internships. Plus, the Bank partners with the University to offer My School Spirit debit cards, customized with NDSU’s iconic mascot. To date, Gate City Bank has donated $70,000 to NDSU through this innovative program.

“Universities, businesses, and communities all play a crucial role in supporting education,” Kim said. “We’re on a unique journey to continually make things better together.”

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