Generous $5 Million Donation Boosts UND Programs and Scholarships

GRAND FORKS, ND ( – The University of North Dakota (UND) has recently been enriched by a substantial $5 million donation from alumni Dan and Jolene Mikkelson. This generous gift is inspired by the positive influence that UND student athletes had on their son, Tommy, a Special Olympian. Over the years, these athletes served as mentors, fostering a culture of acceptance and inclusivity which deeply moved the Mikkelsons.

Jolene Mikkelson expressed that this new generation’s openness towards individuals with special needs is both heartening and crucial for societal progress. Their donation aims to support this ongoing cultural shift, enriching the UND community that has significantly impacted their family.

The funds are allocated across various programs: $2 million for UND hockey, $1 million each for UND football and women’s athletics, and $500,000 each for the College of Business and Public Administration and the Occupational Therapy Program in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. This strategic distribution underscores the Mikkelsons’ commitment to fostering both academic and athletic excellence at UND.

Their contribution not only honors their personal connection to the university but also reinforces their belief in the power of education and sports to unite and uplift communities. This donation was formalized at a private ceremony at Ralph Engelstad Arena, highlighting their ongoing commitment to the university’s future success and community impact.

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