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 2019 Alumni Awards and the Partner in Excellence Award. The award winners will be recognized during the annual Evening of Distinction banquet on Thursday, April 11, 5:30 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo. The awards and the 2019 recipients are:

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

Dr. Terrence Dahl, BS ’77, pharmacy, is the senior vice president of commercial manufacturing operations at global biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc. Dr. Dahl leads a team of more than 700 professionals who oversee the contract manufacturing, packaging and labeling of medicine products throughout North America, Europe and Australia. He also oversees teams responsible for internal sterile and tablet manufacturing as well as packaging facilities in California and in Cork, Ireland. He has helped direct either the formulation development or commercial manufacturing of leading treatments for the hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, HIV and other diseases.

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

Leah Juelke, Master of Education ’12, BA ’06, English Education, teaches English language to immigrant and refugee students at Fargo South High School. Leah’s innovative teaching methods and her deep personal and professional connection with her students are producing exceptional outcomes that have earned Leah the North Dakota 2018 Teacher of the Year Award. A student writing project that Leah began in 2013 has evolved into a national learning experience in cultural awareness. Her students’ stories of hardship, hope and resilience are chronicled in the book, Journey to America.

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

Eugene ‘Gene Nicholas, BS ’70, business management, and Connie Nicholas, BS ’70, home economics, have played a key role in advancing the Foundation’s mission. Gene is a life trustee and Connie serves on the Foundation’s Executive Governing Board and the Local and State Relations Committee. Connie is a member of the NDSU Public Choice and Private Enterprise Advisory Board, the Bison Caucus and has served on the Bison Bidders Bowl Committee. Gene served in the North Dakota House for 32 years, becoming one of the state’s longest-serving representatives. Connie has held leadership roles in the local, state and national Republican Party. Gene received the 2001 NDSU Outstanding Alumni Award and the 2001 Greater North Dakota Association’s Community Leader Award. Gene and Connie also received the NDSU Outstanding Agriculturalist Award in 1990.

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

Dr. Mike Tokach, BS ’86, animal and range sciences, is a professor of animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University, an extension specialist and a world-renowned swine nutrition researcher. Dr. Tokach’s research program has generated more than $18 million in grants and gifts, and his discoveries have improved animal nutrition, industry competitiveness and environmental protections. He has authored more than 300 articles in scientific journals, more than 1,000 extension publications and holds seven patents. Dr. Tokach has received three prestigious awards from the American Society of Animal Science and was named Kansas State University Distinguished Professor in 2013. He received the NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016.

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

Keith Peltier, MS ’77, agriculture economics, BS ’75, zoology, and Cathy Peltier, BS ’77, home economics, lead the NDSU Foundation’s fundraising efforts by example. They are members of the Founders Society and have long supported performing arts, the Joe Peltier Memorial Scholarship Endowment, Bison Bidders Bowl, the Roger Grooters Cross Country Endowment and other programs. The Peltiers also are serving as ambassadors for the most ambitious philanthropic campaign in NDSU history. Additionally, Keith is an NDSU Foundation trustee, a member of the Outreach Committee, the State and Local Relations Committee and the Bison Caucus. Cathy serves on the Bison Arts Gala Committee and the Peltiers also have served on the Bison Bidders Bowl Committee. Keith and Cathy own and operate Proseed Inc., a regional supplier of crop seed and a generous sponsor of NDSU Foundation events.

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

Doosan Bobcat leads the industry in the design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of compact equipment including compact track loaders, compact excavators, skid-steer loaders and attachments. Headquartered in West Fargo, N.D., Bobcat is a steadfast supporter of NDSU, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. In 2005, Bobcat became the anchor tenant in the university’s Research and Technology Park and provided matching funds to involve students in research and development. In 2015, Bobcat established NDSU’s largest scholarship endowment, a $3-million gift matched with $1.5 million in state funds. The Bobcat endowment provides annual scholarships to NDSU students pursuing STEM-related fields. Bobcat also offers about 75 annual STEM internships; sponsors programs that promote STEM fields among young students and hosts NDSU alumni lunches and other events.


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