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Kupchella gives last wake-up call

UND President Charles Kupchella focused on the school's 125th anniversary, an upcoming fundraising drive and a record year for external funding in his final "Wake Up to UND" breakfast address to members of the The Chamber of Grand Forks and East ...

UND President Charles Kupchella focused on the school's 125th anniversary, an upcoming fundraising drive and a record year for external funding in his final "Wake Up to UND" breakfast address to members of the The Chamber of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks on Tuesday.

Kupchella plans to retire at the end of this school year, after serving nine years as president.

"The University of North Dakota is an environment filled with an innovative, creative and entrepreneurial spirit," Kupchella told audience members, according to a copy of his speech.

Kupchella's speech highlighted the university's accomplishments, including:

-- Foundation assets totaling more than $200 million, which the university hopes to raise to $500 million over the next several years.

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-- More than $400 million invested in campus building projects since 2000, including the university's recently completed $16 million parking garage.

-- More than $100 million in sponsored research funding in the past year, nearly double the figure from five years ago.

-- A university goal to move into the top 100 national research universities.

-- Innovative research projects, including the Mars spacesuit prototype, which university researchers tested this year with help from NASA.

Kupchella's "Wake Up to UND" speech generally covers the same issues as his State of the University address. This year's address is scheduled for Oct. 23.

Marks reports on higher education. Reach him at (701) 780-1105, (800) 477-6572, ext. 105, or jmarks@gfherald.com .

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