This month: NDSU Giving Day is Tuesday, Nov. 29 | Save the date for NDSU Foundation events in Florida and Arizona | Meet the NDSU Foundation Executive Governing Board chair, Stacey Ackerman '94 | Philanthropy in action | Campus News

NDSU Giving Day
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022

Michael Hall '23 chose NDSU because of the sense of community he felt when he toured campus. Throughout his academic career, he's learned that community extends beyond campus to NDSU alumni and friends.

"I'm so inspired by people who are able to give back and invest in the future," Michael said. "When I meet donors, I can see their passion for NDSU and future students. I've always thought of my scholarships as someone's investment in me, so it's my responsibility to make sure I carry out that investment and make a good return."

On Nov. 29, give to build community at NDSU.

"What I love about NDSU Giving Day is that everyone can choose where they want to put their money," Michael said. "It's really opened my eyes to how many different areas of campus there are and that everyone can make an impact. Giving Day really ties together all of NDSU."

Learn more about matches and challenges that help your dollar go farther at

Banner: Save the Date

Save the date
NDSU Foundation events scheduled in Florida and Arizona

Gather with NDSU alumni and friends this winter in Florida and Arizona. NDSU leadership will travel to Florida for a reception on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. Several events will be held in Arizona Feb. 23-26, 2023. Watch your email for more information about specific events and locations.

Philanthropy in action
Facing the unknown

In January 2020, Gwen Toay '20, a strategic communication major, was looking forward to her final semester at NDSU. She was involved in several student organizations and a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, so spring semester began with prospective senior celebrations, events, and formals. There was a lot to look forward to, but everything changed in March in a surreal way. Suddenly, classes shifted online, Gwen lost her job in events, and she faced financial uncertainty for the first time in her academic career.

"It was mid-March, and I was terrified," Gwen said. "I didn't know what the future was going to look like. As a senior in college, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do after graduation. I was applying for jobs at the time, and they all stopped hiring."

Gwen immediately applied for funding through NDSU's Student Emergency Fund, which helped her make rent payments and brought a bit of comfort during a crisis. With support, Gwen had what she needed to finish her coursework virtually and earn her degree. That's why the Student Emergency Fund was created in 2016, "to provide funds to help students who encounter an unforeseen financial emergency or crisis that would otherwise prevent them from staying in school and progressing toward a degree."

Catch up with Gwen in the fall issue of the NDSU Foundation Magazine and find out how she faced the unknown and found the confidence to pursue her dream career.

Campus news
'It's never too late to come back and finish your degree'

Allison Johnson returned to NDSU to finish her degree after leaving higher education more than a decade ago. She finally accomplished a lifelong goal by earning a bachelor's degree in University Studies this spring. Allison said NDSU provided classroom flexibility and a supportive atmosphere as she transitioned back to school.

"My advisor, Jessie Bauer, was so great about answering questions, helping me figure out what the next steps were, and finding the best courses for me. I was nervous about coming back, so we decided the best path was to start with a few credits and see how it goes," Allison said. "Knowing I wanted to come back for a biological sciences education degree, we figured out how I could finish this degree while also working ahead towards my next one."

Having a college degree is important to Allison because it opens new career paths and opportunities. It also helped her gain confidence as a student and member of the workforce while providing a feeling of accomplishment for finishing what she started years ago.

Philanthropic support is available to students returning to NDSU to finish their degrees through the Osher Reentry Scholarship and Crankstart Scholarship. Learn more about NDSU's Degree Completion Program on NDSU's news page.

More campus news

Banner: Meet the EGB Chair | Stacey Ackerman

Meet the NDSU Foundation Executive Governing Board chair
Stacey Ackerman '94

Stacey Ackerman '94 is the current chair of the NDSU Foundation's Executive Governing Board (EGB), which is responsible for overseeing and managing the business affairs of the Foundation. It is comprised of 11 Trustee volunteers, the NDSU Foundation president/CEO, and the University president.

Stacey was elected chair this summer and will serve in the position for two years. Stacey graduated from NDSU with degrees in English and anthropology and followed up her education with degrees in accounting and a master's in management from other institutions. She and her husband, Todd Pringle '94, '04, '19, have three children: Hunter (24), Alena '23 (21), and Jackson '25 (17). Stacey is a family office advisor for Wells Fargo Private Bank.

NDSU Foundation (NDSUF): Tell us about your college experience.

Stacey Ackerman (SA): After high school, I attended the University of Jamestown and coached and judged gymnastics my freshman year. I transferred to NDSU as a sophomore and explored several majors before I found a home within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. One interdisciplinary class on the power of stories influenced me as it was taught by family science, religion, and anthropology professors. I was impressed by the collaboration of professors and how our family history influences us. Even today, this is something that I use often in my career in terms of how our families and our history impact the stories that we tell and influence the decisions we make around financial matters.

NDSUF: Why are you passionate about education?

SA: I was the first generation to go to college in my family; in fact, my mom's first language was German. She attended a one-room country schoolhouse in south-central North Dakota. I've always thought that education is something that no one can ever take away from you, and that's how you stay relevant. My mom worked in the Title I program in elementary schools, and my dad worked for a pipeline. Neither had the opportunity to pursue higher education, but they instilled in me the importance of being curious and pursuing a degree in higher education.

NDSUF: Tell us about your involvement as a Trustee and EGB member.

SA: After graduation, Todd's and my donations started small, but we always believed that NDSU is a tremendous value for the high-quality education that we received. Thanks to people like Sherri Schmidt, Mike Krueger, and Jim Hambrick, I got involved in the Alumni Association and ultimately the Foundation. As a Trustee, I was involved on the investment committee, but I was excited to get more involved as the Trustees are such an accomplished group and committed to NDSU's success. When I was invited to join EGB, there was a real opportunity to have representation from multiple generations and individuals with diverse backgrounds to bring experiences and insights to the board. Serving on EGB, you have the opportunity to actively support projects and students, faculty, and staff across the street. As part of EGB, you feel like you are contributing and learning.

NDSUF: What goals do you have as chair?

SA: When there is a new leader at the University, there are always going to be changes. I want to make sure the Foundation provides President Cook with the support, input, feedback, and insight that can help him, and by extension, the University, be successful. NDSU has real headwinds with budget and enrollment, which are impacted by demographics, the changing value proposition of higher education for some, and the financial costs of higher education.

Also, I want to make sure we have the right on-ramps in place for young alumni to get involved and share their talents and treasures for the betterment of NDSU. I want to make sure we're not losing that intellectual knowledge and commitment from the next generation. How can we create opportunities and inspire them to get involved? I definitely want ideas!

NDSUF: What has inspired your philanthropy and what would you say to other alumni to inspire them to give back?

SA: For me, it's always been about supporting education. When I was an undergraduate at NDSU, I had limited involvement on campus because I was coaching gymnastics, working at the Fargo Forum in customer service at 5:30 a.m., and donating plasma to make ends meet. I want my children and students today to have a different college experience. My daughter is finishing her civil engineering degree at NDSU right now. She's involved with Engineering Ambassadors, several honor societies, Alpha Gamma Delta, and is the president of NDSU's Engineers Without Borders. She's had such a rich experience, which I want for more students.

I hope other alumni reflect on their time at NDSU and can be the support that students need today. NDSU is such a tremendous value and a real treasure for our state. The University is an economic driver and develops leaders who are difference makers in their communities. I want to ensure prospective students, parents, and businesses see this value and are inspired to support NDSU how and when they can.