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UND Alumni Association and Foundation Press Releases
State of UND Alumni Association & Foundation is Strong

Grand Forks (2-26-2014) — The University of North Dakota's primary fundraising arm is in excellent financial and organizational shape coming off a record-breaking campaign in support of UND and its students.

That was the message from DeAnna Carlson Zink, new CEO/Executive Vice President of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation (UND AA & F), during the State of the Alumni Association & Foundation Address on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. 

During Homecoming 2013, it was announced that North Dakota Spirit | The Campaign for UND had raised $324 million in gifts and pledges for UND and its students. Carlson Zink said, although completed, the Campaign will impact the University well into the future.

“A really wonderful achievement of the campaign came with the new relationships set in place with our University partners across the board,” said Carlson Zink. “That collaboration was perhaps nowhere more evident than during our most recent Board meetings, when we had cross-campus administrative representation meeting with our Board for the first time on a strategic level. Great things were discussed, and I’m looking forward to seeing where those great minds take us.”

President Robert O. Kelley said the work of the Alumni Association & Foundation is a critical component in the overall mission to give students the best experience possible.

“The relationship that the University enjoys because of the fiscal support of the Alumni Association & Foundation is the driving force behind our success here at UND,” said Kelley. “There are so many things in this complex equation that require financial support, moral support and human support, and we get all of those from our alumni organization.”

Dan Muus, who was recently promoted to Chief Development Officer, highlighted a number of new initiatives to build upon the success of the North Dakota Spirit Campaign. For one, he pointed out that that organization is confident it can secure $20 million in donations to attain a $10 million match from the new North Dakota Education Challenge Fund approved by the 2013 Legislature. The UND AA & F has already received approval for $3.2 million in state match funds. Muus also talked about the UND AA & F’s efforts going forward.  

“As we’ve transitioned out of North Dakota Spirit  |  The Campaign for UND, it doesn’t mean our job is done,” said Muus. “On more and more materials from the UND Alumni Association & Foundation, you’ll see a new tagline: Be the Impact. It’s a call to action as we shape UND’s future. We’re calling on all alumni and friends to be the impact our students need for a great UND experience. Together, we can be the impact that takes UND to the future.”

To learn more about the financial impact of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, visit spirit.und.edu

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 5:10:00 PM

Muus Promoted to Chief Development Officer

Dan MuusDan Muus, a 1994 graduate of the University of North Dakota, has been promoted to Chief Development Officer with the UND Alumni Association & Foundation.

Muus has been with the nonprofit organization since 2008, serving as a Development Officer for the College of Engineering and Mines. In that role, he has been the chief fundraiser for the college, working closely with Dean Hesham El-Rewini and the faculty on fundraising efforts. In addition to his new duties as Chief Development Officer, Muus will continue to work with the College of Engineering and Mines on fundraising for the Collaborative Energy Complex, a $12 million - $15.5 million new home for the Petroleum Engineering department and the Institute for Energy Studies.

DeAnna Carlson ZinkMuus took over as Chief Development Officer for DeAnna Carlson Zink, who, as of January 1, is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation. Carlson Zink was promoted after Tim O’Keefe announced his retirement last summer. O’Keefe had held the position of CEO/Executive Vice President since 2001, and is currently serving as CEO Emeritus until the end of March.

“Dan is extremely qualified to lead our excellent team of Development Officers,” said Carlson Zink. “He has not only been one of our most successful fundraisers over the past five years, but he also has great interpersonal communication skills, has shown strong leadership abilities, and is incredibly passionate about the University of North Dakota and its students.”

“I’m excited to step into this position with an organization having such a positive impact across our campus,” said Muus. “We have such high-quality people working to benefit UND. I feel privileged and honored to be working with them, and look forward to an expanded role in engaging the amazing alumni and friends of this exceptional University.”

Muus lives in Grand Forks with his wife, Jodee, a 1993 UND graduate, and their three children.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:15:00 AM

Gorecki Alumni Center Certified as ‘Greenest’ Building in North Dakota

The University of North Dakota Alumni Association & Foundation is proud to announce that it has attained LEED Platinum certification for the Gorecki Alumni Center.

The building is the first in North Dakota and the first university alumni center in the country to be constructed under the strictest green guidelines established by the U.S. Green Building Council. It now ranks in the top three percent of the most-energy efficient buildings in the country.

The Gorecki Alumni Center, finished in September 2012, was built to the exacting standards of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum, but it took a year for those efforts to be certified as successful.

“We set out to build the greenest building in North Dakota,” said Tim O’Keefe, Executive Vice President/CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation. “I’m thrilled that the dream of our LEED donor, the late Glen Gransberg, has been realized. The building is a testament to Glen’s belief in being a good steward of the environment.”

LEED Platinum certification required a number of steps to reduce the environmental impact of construction and operation of the building and improve the air quality for those who work in it. For instance, construction waste was separated into recycling bins rather than taken to a landfill. The building earned points for reducing water usage, and offices in the Gorecki have glass walls that allow daylight to reach into the building’s interior, reducing the need for artificial light.

The building has exceeded several benchmarks in its first year of operation for energy reduction and water conservation. In its first year of operation, the building has reduced energy use by 40 percent compared to a similarly-sized building. 63,000 fewer gallons of water, or 38 percent, were used compared to a traditional office building.

Thanks to efficient mechanical systems, the air quality in the building is also superior to any building in North Dakota.

“Our employees are breathing clean air, enjoying a connection to the outdoors and have truly embraced the ‘green’ lifestyle by recycling, reusing and reducing,” said Kris Compton, chair of the UND Alumni Association board of directors. “The benefits of LEED Platinum can be seen not only on the bottom line, but in the health, productivity and emotional well-being of our staff.”

“North Dakota is in a time of unprecedented growth,” said Lonnie Laffen, partner in the design firm JLG Architects. “We have a responsibility to the long-term health of our state, our citizens and our wallets to design buildings that require the lowest possible maintenance costs with the healthiest indoor environment. The UND Gorecki Alumni Center is the first of a new paradigm in building, where buildings work for their owners and occupants.”

Watch the video of the news conference:

Learn more about the benefits of LEED by watching this video:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 4:00:00 PM

Carlson Zink named new CEO/Executive VP of UND AA&F

A 25-year employee of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation will take over as the organization’s Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer. DeAnna Carlson Zink will take charge following the retirement of current EVP/CEO Tim O’Keefe in March.

“It is my pleasure to be selected as the new Executive Vice President & CEO of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation,” Carlson Zink said. “I believe the organization and UND Foundation and our 115,000 alumni are the margin of difference for this great University.” 

Carlson Zink has been the Chief Development Officer and Associate Vice President of the UND AA&F since 2005. She has held a number of other positions during a 25-year career with the nonprofit organization. In her current leadership position, she directs all aspects of fundraising, and has played a major role in the success of the soon-to-be-completed North Dakota Spirit  |  The Campaign for UND. The campaign passed its $300 million goal early this year, and now stands at $315 million.

“We are pleased to have a valued alum with whom we’ve worked for many years to lead the UND Alumni Association & Foundation,” said UND President Robert O. Kelley. “DeAnna will provide a leadership style with which we are very familiar and in which we have tremendous confidence.  We look forward to working with DeAnna as we continue to create an Exceptional UND.”

“DeAnna has been a key leader in the success of the North Dakota Spirit Campaign,” O’Keefe said. “I have so much confidence in her ability to lead this organization because I’ve have experienced her passion and drive every day of the eleven years we have worked together.”  

After O’Keefe’s retirement announcement earlier this year, a committee was formed to ensure a smooth transition. The chair of the transition committee, Kris Compton, said Carlson Zink is the only person they considered for the job, but they still did a thorough job of vetting her application. “We interviewed dozens of people; university partners, alumni, co-workers and references, and they all had nothing but praise for DeAnna’s leadership skills, her passion for UND and her fundraising expertise. It became a slam-dunk.”

“Tim has not only raised the bar for our organization, but for philanthropy in our state and within higher education,” Carlson Zink said. “I am excited to build on this strong foundation and to continue to elevate our organization to a position of sustainable excellence for the benefit of the University of North Dakota.” 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 5:33:00 PM

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University of North Dakota news Releases

ND Champions Club news Releases

Other UND News Sources:

Grand Forks Herald

WDAZ Channel 8 News

The Fargo Forum

The Bismarck Tribune

The Minneapolis Star Tribune


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