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Legacy Family Benefactors Establish Named Vice President for Agriculture Endowment

Fargo, N.D.– The North Dakota State University Foundation is proud to announce a new endowment to establish the Joe and Norma Peltier Vice President for Agriculture.

Greg Lardy, NDSU Vice President for Agriculture, will be the inaugural holder of the endowment. A special medallion ceremony celebrating the Peltier family and Lardy will occur during the NDSU Foundation’s Evening of Distinction event on April 25.

“The Peltier family is passionate about NDSU and all that it offers in educating students, conducting world-class research and serving our communities, state and beyond,” said NDSU President Dave Cook. “This investment will be a catalyst in providing flexible funding for agricultural initiatives that are key for our university and state.”

The establishment of the Peltier Vice President endowment is the second of its kind at NDSU. Ron and Kaye Olson established the named Dean of the College of Business endowment in 2017. Kathryn Birkeland currently holds the title of Ronald G. and Kaye S. Olson Dean of the College of Business. One of NDSU Foundation’s funding priorities is to establish named deanships or administrative positions for key leadership roles on campus.

“I am thrilled to be named the inaugural holder of the Joe and Norma Peltier Endowed Vice President for Agriculture position at NDSU,” said Lardy. “The Peltier family name is intricately linked with NDSU Agriculture, and I am privileged to hold this endowed position named in their honor. The earnings from the endowment will further our work within NDSU Agriculture as we seek to grow the impact that we can make with our teaching, research, and extension programs that are so vital to the state of North Dakota and its agricultural industry.”

The late Joe and Norma Peltier were longtime benefactors and passionate supporters of higher education in North Dakota. Their legacy of involvement and support continues to this day through their four children and extended families. The family traces its NDSU roots back to the university’s founding and first class of students. Jessamine Slaughter Burgum was the first female student to attend what was the North Dakota Agriculture College, now NDSU. She was Joe’s grandmother.

Norma, who was born in Halstad, MN, grew up on a farm in Grandin, ND, and spent much of her life in agriculture. She earned her teaching degree and was employed at elementary schools in Clearbrook, MN, and Kindred, ND, until she married Joe Peltier.

Joe was a 1951 NDSU graduate in math and education. After two years working in U.S. Army counterintelligence in Pennsylvania, Joe returned to Arthur, ND, and grew the family farm and associated businesses. He became an influential leader in North Dakota agriculture and in service to his community, region and state.

Norma and Joe’s children, Keith Peltier, Jeff Peltier, Suzette Peltier, and Betty-Jo Peltier Wilson, each graduated from NDSU, as did many of their grandchildren.

Supporting NDSU is a tradition that started early for the Peltier family. Norma and Joe’s longstanding dedication to NDSU academics and athletics has included the Peltier Endowment for Innovation in Teaching, Don Larew Scholarship, Jessamine Slaughter Burgum Scholarship, Joe Peltier Award for Risk Management and the Peltier Complex, a state-of-the-art agriculture facility opening this summer.

“With all their dedication to higher education, Mom and Dad would be proud to see this come to fruition,” said Jeff Peltier, on behalf of the family.

Named endowments such as the Peltier Vice President for Agriculture provide strategic, perpetual funding for the holder of the position. The dollars can be used in several areas, including scholarships, staffing and faculty support, research equipment or other priorities for the program.

“We are grateful to the Peltier family for once again demonstrating their belief and confidence in NDSU and what it offers to the state and world,” said NDSU Foundation President/CEO John Glover. “Transformative endowments like these really make a difference for the programs they support, and we look forward to seeing the outcomes produced from the investments made in Agriculture.”

The endowment’s principal is commingled with other endowed assets of the NDSU Foundation to generate annual earnings for spending. Four percent of the earnings are made available each year. The Foundation’s overall endowment was valued at $464.2 million as of December 31, 2023. More than 99 percent of the endowed funds are designated according to donor intent.

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