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Ralston to retire

UND's Betty Ralston is retiring. Ralston, the associate athletic director and senior women's administrator, will leave at the end of May after serving UND athletics for the past three years. Ralston was named to her current position in UND athlet...

UND's Betty Ralston is retiring.

Ralston, the associate athletic director and senior women's administrator, will leave at the end of May after serving UND athletics for the past three years.

Ralston was named to her current position in UND athletic administration Aug. 31, 2005. From Sept. 17 to April 30, she served as co-acting athletic director along with Steve Brekke.

Ralston was recently recognized for her efforts at the university's annual recognition ceremony for staff employees, at which she was presented with the "Ken & Toby Baker UND Proud Award."

The award is presented to a UND staff employee who, through service and dedication to the university, to fellow workers, and to the community, exemplifies the qualities of commitment, loyalty and pride in the university so characterized by former UND President Kendall Baker and his wife, Toby Baker. The award includes an engraved plaque and a cash award for the recipient.

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Ralston said she appreciated working with colleagues in both the athletic department and throughout the university.

"I am very grateful that I've been able to work with so many good people -- not only in athletics but across the university," Ralston said. "This award reflects the efforts of not only me but my colleagues and I thank them for their assistance."

Ralston came to UND from Eastern Illinois University, where she worked for 22 years and prior to joining UND served as associate athletic director for compliance-academic services and senior women's administrator.

Since coming to UND, Ralston has been a member of the athletic department's senior management team, providing leadership as the senior business manager for UND athletics and overseeing NCAA compliance and supervising athletic facilities, among other things.

Phil Harmeson, vice president for general administration, thanked Ralston for her work at UND.

"Betty Ralston has been extremely valuable to UND athletics in her much too short time with us," Harmeson said. "Her commitment to UND is evidenced by her willingness to remain in Grand Forks to assist the department even after her husband moved out of state for a career advancement.

"Upon her arrival at UND she quickly showed she is a consummate professional on whom we came to rely very heavily as she ensured that the athletic department did things 'the right way.' Her efforts at UND will long be remembered. We will miss among many things, her candor, attention to detail, and devotion to our student-athletes."

UND softball coach Sami Strinz said: "Betty has been a huge advocate for us this year and she will be greatly missed. She has had an open-door policy that has really made me feel welcome as a new head coach here this year."

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Prior to coming to UND, Ralston was a member of Eastern Illinois' athletic administration for six years and prior to that spent 16 years as the head volleyball coach as well as a physical education instructor, life skills coordinator and adjunct graduate professor at Eastern Illinois.

During 20 years as a collegiate volleyball head coach, Ralston posted a 391-287 record, including a school-record 306-242 mark at Eastern Illinois.

Ralston received a master's degree in curriculum and supervision in 1983 from Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1976 from Plymouth State (N.H.).

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