Celebrating, Remembering and Mourning at the NDSU Day of Honor

Apart from being an institution to advance one’s education or provide one with a career, North Dakota State University is just as much a community. Whether it’s 4 years as a student or 40 years as staff or faculty, people find their lives and build their community at NDSU.

Therefore, every year NDSU honors the students, faculty and staff that have passed away in the previous year. The NDSU Day of Honor, which began in 2014, recognizes, remembers, and appreciates the lives and contributions each individual brought to the university and community.

2022 saw the passing of 14 faculty and staff. Speaking at the ceremony was NDSU President David Cook. Reflecting on the sense of community and belonging that each of the 14 helped foster, President Cook shared what drew him to NDSU. When asked during various interviews for the position about why he made NDSU feel special, it was “the people, the people, the people are what makes this place special… here we are a year later, more or less, and I have the same answer.”

Altogether, all 14 honorees combined were at NDSU for over 300 years. Dr. Jane Schuh, a professor at NDSU, had the honor of learning about and meeting with families and friends of the honorees, she also spoke. Saying, “when I read through the stories of these individuals, the things that came to mind, again and again, were service, community, and lifelong learning.”

“Outside of NDSU, these individuals spent their time as volunteers, members of their faith communities, keepers of their tribe’s stories, encouragers of the young, readers of good books, and they were excellent cooks,” said Dr. Schuh.

Adding, “they were civic leaders, advocates for the arts, and cheerleaders for the good of this world. Many build community through their love of sports, whether cheering, participating, or watching treasured grandchildren.”

“Each of these people has enriched and strengthened the community at NDSU, in Fargo, and beyond more than any of us could imagine,” said Alex Duerr, student body vice president. “Each played a part in shaping NDSU into a community that cares for one another. A community that understands that once a bison, always a bison no matter what.”

Duerr also added, “They have made impacts, big and small, in ways known and unknown. We must now honor and continue their legacies by trying to do the same for our community and others.“

Duerr ended by quoting Greek historian Thucydides, “what you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone but what is woven into the lives of others.”

In memorium of,

  • Lori Askew
  • Lorraine Berndt
  • Jill Blazek
  • David Farden
  • Keith Davis
  • Margaret “Peggy” Gaynor
  • Wade Harles
  • Ronald Mathsen
  • Kristy Mickelson
  • Douglas Olson
  • Howard Peet
  • Jean Strandness
  • Donna Terbizan
  • Milton Yergens

Leave a Reply