The UND Alumni Association began with the first graduating class in 1889. The eight students met after graduation ceremonies on June 13, 1889, making plans to stay in contact and to return for visits to campus. At that time, UND consisted of only one building on the barren prairie two miles west of Grand Forks.
In 1895 Gov. Roger Allin decided the people of North Dakota could not afford a university because the state was in the grips of a very severe farm depression. Allin requested and the legislature appropriated only enough money for the maintenance of the few buildings that made up UND.
This was the start of UND's proud tradition of alumni loyalty and support, which continues to this day.
Together, community leaders and alumni raised $30,000 to keep the doors of the University open. Faculty met on a cold Sunday afternoon in February and decided to stay in spite of taking sizable cuts in their already meager salaries.
The Alumni Association remained an informal organization until 1915 when it was incorporated under the laws of the state of North Dakota. Keeping classmates in contact with each other, with campus and supporting ongoing growth and development of UND were the stated goals in our Mission Statement. These goals have not changed over the past 94 years.
The mission statement of the UND Alumni Association is:
- To retain and strengthen friendships made on the campus by keeping graduates and former students in lifelong contact with each other.
- To keep graduates and former students informed of happenings at the University of North Dakota.
- To involve the graduates, former students and special friends in the ongoing growth and development of the University of North Dakota.
The Alumni Association of the University of North Dakota aspires to promote a sense of pride, excitement and loyalty for its University by adapting to the ever-changing needs, attitudes and interests of UND alumni and friends.