Add some new NDSU trivia to your repertoire. Get fun facts about the University’s 15 presidents at a glance.

NDSU Presidents

Since its founding as North Dakota Agricultural College in 1890, 15 presidents have paved the way for excellence at NDSU.

Once a Bison, Always a Bison

Two NDSU alumni have served as the University’s president: L.D. Loftsgard (pictured with his family above) and Jim Ozbun. Interim president Richard Hanson was also an alumnus.

Degrees in the B-Ag

At least six* former NDSU presidents had agricultural degrees, including John Shepperd (pictured examining sweet clover bunches below), John Longwell, Fred Hultz, H.R. Albrecht, L.D. Loftsgard, and Jim Ozbun.

Hometown Heroes

Two NDSU presidents hail from North Dakota. L.D. Loftsgard was born in Hoople, and Jim Ozbun (pictured on horseback below) was born in Carson. Acting president Charles Sevrinson was born in Reynolds.

Paws-itively Presidential

President Dave Cook and Dr. Katie Cook have two dogs who live with them on NDSU’s campus, Lola, a Sheepadoodle, and Motley, a Goldendoodle.

A Big Hit

Newman Outdoor Field was completed during the presidency of Thomas Plough (pictured scooping ice cream for students above).

Leveling Up

During Joseph Chapman’s presidency, NDSU earned R1 status as a Carnegie Research Institution for the first time and moved from Division II to Division I athletics. NDSU regained R1 status as recently as 2021 under the leadership of Dean Bresciani (pictured at his desk above).

Leaders from the Cyclone State

President Dave Cook is the third NDSU president from Iowa. His fellow Iowans include former NDSU presidents John Shepperd and Fred Hultz (pictured below). Acting president Robert Koob was also from Iowa.

Age Is but a Number

At 33 years old, Horace Stockbridge (pictured below) was NDSU’s (then NDAC’s) youngest — and first — president.

Neighbor to the North

One acting NDSU president was born outside of the U.S. Archibald Minard (pictured beside a globe below) spent the first 11 years of his life in Nova Scotia, Canada. 

In Their Element

Multiple NDSU presidents were chemists, including Horace Stockbridge and Edwin Ladd (pictured with his family on the porch of their Fargo home below). Acting president Robert Koob and interim president Allan Fischer were also chemists.

Bringing NDSU into the 20th Century

John Worst (pictured in his office above) was NDSU’s longest-serving president. He led the University for 21 years, from 1895-1916.

Just Across the River

John Coulter (pictured beside the director of Extension below), who was born in East Grand Forks, is the only NDSU President from Minnesota. Acting president John West was born in Clearwater.

Gallery of the Greats

Three NDSU presidents have been inducted into the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame. L.D. Loftsgard, H.R. Albrecht (pictured shaking a student’s hand below), and Jim Ozbun earned honorary membership for making major strides toward NDSU’s overall athletic success.

President in the Pros

Interim president Richard Hanson (pictured above) played football for NDSU before going on to play with the New York Giants. He was also inducted into the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame in recognition of his success as a football athlete.

Photos from the NDSU Archives. See more historical photos of former NDSU presidents in the Archives’ collections.

*Correction notice: The print publication incorrectly states that five NDSU presidents earned agricultural degrees. To our knowledge, at least six former NDSU presidents had a degree or degrees in ag.