October 24, 2022

Dear Alumni and Friends,

We said our last farewells to Earl Strinden at his funeral in Fargo today. It was touching to see so many people turn out to pay their respects to a giant of a man who meant so much to his family, to the state of North Dakota, and, of course, to the University of North Dakota.

Ever since we heard about Earl’s passing last week, tributes have been pouring into my email inbox from across North America. Earl had an impact on so many people during a life lived in service to others. Earl and his beloved Jan, who died earlier this year, were fierce advocates for students and believed that philanthropy could help ensure that every student who wanted to earn a college degree could do so.

As I said in a statement released to the media last week, Earl was my mentor and remained one of my strongest advocates throughout my career at this organization he loved so dearly. I am so thankful to have had him in my corner and I promise you that we, as an organization, will never waver from our mission to help our alumni and friends make an impact on UND and its students. It’s a course Earl set us on all those years ago when he established the Foundation as the fundraising arm of UND. 

We are forever thankful for Earl’s passion, wisdom, and friendship. Rest in peace, my friend. 

Hall of Fame Game
One thing that always put a smile on the face of Earl was an alumni gathering, and we’ll have the largest of the year this weekend in Las Vegas for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game featuring UND and Arizona State. 

Thousands of UND fans will take over Las Vegas. To find a complete rundown of the pre-game festivities, visit theralph.com/vegas.

Veterans Day Ceremony
As has become a tradition at the Gorecki Alumni Center, we will again team up with the University and UND ROTC to host a Veterans Day Ceremony to honor those who have served our country in war or peacetime.

The event is Friday, November 11 at 10:30 a.m. Learn more and RSVP at UNDalumni.org/VeteransDay.

I will end this message with a favorite saying of Earl’s: The goal in life is to leave the woodpile higher for those that come after us. Earl certainly worked his entire life to build the woodpile and I pledge to continue to build upon it for the next generation.