Outstanding NDSU Alumni, Partner in Excellence to be Honored

FARGO, N.D., — The North Dakota State University Foundation and Alumni Association has announced the recipients of the 2018 Alumni Awards and the Partner in Excellence Award. The award winners will be recognized during the annual Evening of Distinction banquet on Thursday, April 19, 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Fargo. The awards and the 2018 recipients are:

The Alumni Achievement Award honors alumni who have achieved exceptional distinction in their professional field.

Gregg Halverson, BS ’71, animal science, honorary doctorate ’12, is president and board chairman of Grand Forks-based Black Gold Farms, a family owned business that produces potatoes and other crops on 12 company owned farms in 11 states. Under Halverson’s leadership Black Gold Farms has become the largest producer of fresh-crop chipping potatoes in the world. The business is recognized as an international leader in the adoption of technologies that improve food quality, customer service and land stewardship.

The Horizon Award honors graduates of the past 15 years who have distinguished themselves in their profession/service to their community.

Chris Hawley, BA ’04, architecture, BA environmental design, is the founder and principal architect at Fargo-based Chris Hawley Architects. His attention to detail and one-of-a-kind designs have garnered prestigious awards and a growing demand for his talents. Hawley’s work includes the new North Dakota governor’s residence in Bismarck and the transformation of the iconic Fargo Laundry building. His designs can be found throughout the area, from high-end homes to restaurants and other commercial properties.

The Heritage Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding support of time and talent to NDSU projects or activities.

Barry Batcheller, BS ’77, electrical and electronics engineering, honorary doctorate ’10, is chairman of the board of Appareo Systems, an electronics design and manufacturing company. He also founded three other successful companies including Phoenix International Corp., which was purchased by John Deere in 1999. Batcheller was instrumental in the establishment of the NDSU Research and Technology Park and serves on its board of directors. He is past president of the NDSU Alumni Association. He also is generous with his time and business experience, serving as a mentor to startups and budding entrepreneurs.

The Service Award recognizes dedicated service in fundraising and outstanding contributions to NDSU and the Foundation and Alumni Association.

Bob Heller, BS ’68, industrial engineering, is president of Heller Capital, Inc., a finance and consulting service to growing businesses. Heller spent nearly 20 years at Advance Circuits, Inc., where he led the company’s growth from $3 million in annual sales to $150 million. He also led other manufacturing companies to similar growth trajectories. Heller is a member of NDSU’s Old Main Society and he supports the Gordon Heller Scholarship Fund for NDSU students. He served on the Foundation’s investment committee for more than 20 years and is a life trustee. Heller continues to serve on the department’s alumni advisory board.

The Henry L. Bolley Academic Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have attained noted achievements in the area of education.

Dr. Ann Rasmusson, BS ’79, human nutrition, is an associate professor at Boston University School of Medicine and the VA National Center for PTSD. She earned her medical degree at University of Chicago, and completed a pediatrics residency at Johns Hopkins, a post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychopharmacology at Yale Child Study Center, and a psychiatry residency at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Rasmusson is credited with groundbreaking research that has broadened the medical community’s understanding of PTSD and spurred development of precision medicine approaches to treating PTSD. While advancing her research and caring for Veterans, Dr. Rasmusson also teaches at VA Boston and Boston University School of Medicine.

The Partner in Excellence Award recognizes a business or other organization that has provided outstanding support to the university.

Sanford Health actively supports NDSU students, faculty, staff and programs by providing preceptors and clinical instructors, and offering clinical rotations, internships and hands-on learning experiences in their many state-of-the-art facilities. They also co-fund various NDSU clinical faculty positions, collaborate with faculty on research, participate in advisory boards, curriculum and admissions committees and hire hundreds of NDSU graduates each year. Sanford’s support of NDSU nursing and allied health education is also evident in their contribution to expand and update Sudro Hall for 21st century learning and research. Sanford’s generous philanthropic support was also instrumental in the completion of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, a first class, Division I facility for NDSU student athletes to train, learn and compete.


The NDSU Foundation builds enduring relationships that maximize advocacy and philanthropy to support North Dakota State University.