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UND President Andrew Armacost is alive and well, despite social media claims

Rumor about Armacost swirls Monday on a social media app.

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UND President Andrew Armacost speaks as part of his inaugural address during a ceremony held in October 2020 at Chester Fritz Auditorium. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

No, UND President Andrew Armacost didn't die in his sleep in the early hours of Monday, Nov. 1.

A rumor circulating on the social media app "Yik Yak" claimed the UND president "passed in his sleep at 3:42 a.m. on November 1st. Cause is still unknown. Please be respectful for his family's privacy right now." (Note: The Herald corrected assorted punctuation errors for use in this report.)

But UND spokesman David Dodds told the Herald on Monday afternoon that there's no truth to the rumor. In fact, he said, Meloney Linder, vice president for marketing and communications, had recently gotten out of a two-hour meeting with Armacost just prior to 2 p.m. It was around the time the Herald called seeking comment.

UND also sent a tweet about the social media post on Monday afternoon, noting that the rumor is "absolutely untrue."


Yik Yak is an anonymous, location-based social media app that is popular on some college campuses. It was first launched in 2013, but shut down about three years later. On Aug. 15, Yik Yak announced it would be making a return. The app allows people to read anonymous threads within a five-mile radius.

Even the local newspaper was mentioned in the hoax. Some who responded said they had read an article on the alleged death, supposedly written by the Herald earlier in the day. That also is untrue.

Others on the thread claim they got an email about classes being canceled for Tuesday, Nov. 2, but others wrote messages to the contrary.

One put it bluntly: "He's not actually dead (you) guys."

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at smook@gfherald.com or call her at 701-780-1134.
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