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New NDSU president introduced to foundation's executive governing board

David Cook and outgoing President Dean Bresciani celebrated the NDSU Foundation's endowment growth to more than $450 million.

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NDSU president-elect David Cook, right, speaks to the NDSU Foundation executive governing board after being introduced by NDSU president Dean Bresciani on Friday, March 11, 2022, at the Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center on the NDSU campus.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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FARGO — David Cook, president-elect of North Dakota State University, was formally introduced to the NDSU Foundation Executive Governing Board on Friday, March 11.

Making the introduction was outgoing President Dean Bresciani, who traveled with Cook from Bismarck to Fargo Thursday night following events in which Bresciani spoke with state officials, including Gov. Doug Burgum.

Bresciani said Cook's arrival in North Dakota had been met by a string of particularly cold and windy days.

"Dr. Cook has gotten off to an incredible, authentic North Dakota start," Bresciani said.

"His flight here got canceled, so he got stuck in Chicago. Last night, coming back from Bismarck, at least half the trip was in complete whiteout," Bresciani said, adding that Cook met it all with aplomb.

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"Clearly, a natural for North Dakota," Bresciani said.

In turn, Cook had kind words for Bresciani.

"I learned that if you're in a snow squall, President Bresciani is who you want behind the wheel," Cook said, adding that he has been getting to know different constituencies on campus and he was looking forward to what is coming up next for NDSU.

"I've had a wonderful experience so far," Cook said.

During the meeting that followed, Bresciani shared that NDSU experienced growth in its freshman class the last two years and that was expected to continue next fall, when overall enrollment was also expected to rise.

He said that contrasts with most regional schools, which he said are seeing a drop in the number of their in-person students.

Bresciani noted that NDSU recently dropped its requirement that masks be worn on campus as a pandemic measure, but he said other safety steps taken during the pandemic will endure, including enhanced air-filtration systems that Bresciani said will help to curb transmission of a number of airborne diseases.

Fundraising was a major topic during Friday's meeting and Foundation President and CEO John Glover shared with board members a number of high points from the past fiscal year as well as the recently concluded "In Our Hands" fundraising campaign, which was a six-year effort.

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Glover said during the campaign more than 4,260 donors made first-time gifts to support NDSU.

"That's really important for future support for NDSU and its initiatives," said Glover, who added that during the campaign nearly 500 households made their first-ever major gift to NDSU, with a major gift defined as being $25,000 or more.

Glover also noted that benefactors made gifts to 1,515 specific funds, including more than 500 newly established scholarships to support students on campus.

Bresciani said when he first came to NDSU about 12 years ago, the record for the school's largest gift was about $3 million.

Today, he said, eight-figure gifts are not unusual.

"That's not to slight people 10, 15 years ago," Bresciani said.

"They were giving what they thought they should. But we've changed what they think they should (give)," Bresciani added.

According to figures presented at Friday's meeting, the foundation's endowment stands at about $457 million.

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Six years ago, the endowment stood at about $134 million.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

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