Foundations Establish $1.5 Million Scholarship Endowment at UND

Three foundations on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, announced the establishment of a $1.5 million endowment to help recruit new students to the University of North Dakota John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

The UND Aerospace Foundation established the scholarship endowment with an initial $500,000 investment to the UND Promise Scholarship Program. The James C. Ray Foundation has made a $500,000 commitment to the endowment as well.  

The $1 million commitment is being matched by $500,000 from the UND Alumni Association & Foundation UND Promise Scholarship Program to bring the James C. Ray Memorial Freshman Scholarship Endowment to a total of $1.5 million.

“We are constantly looking for ways of attracting the best and brightest students to UND,” said UND President Mark Kennedy. “Endowments like this will help us by providing scholarship dollars specifically for recruitment.”


The UND Promise Scholarship Program was initiated this year to increase the pool of scholarship dollars available to recruit top high school seniors.

“With tuition increases and inflation, the top scholarship awarded to high-achievers, the Presidential Scholarship, now covers about 36 percent of a student’s tuition and fees, while a decade ago it was worth 65 percent of those costs,” said DeAnna Carlson Zink, CEO of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation. “We need to help more students achieve the dream of attending college without overloading their families with student loan debt.”

“The board of directors of the UND Aerospace Foundation was happy to initiate this scholarship in the name of our good friend James Ray,” said Foundation board chair Larry Martin. “We are very thankful to the James C. Ray Foundation for continuing its longstanding commitment to the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences and to the UND Alumni Association & Foundation for providing the matching dollars. By working together, we are creating a wonderful legacy for UND students.”

James C. Ray, who died earlier this year at the age of 94, gave more than $25 million to aviation and entrepreneurial programs at the University of North Dakota over his lifetime.

The UND Promise Scholarship Program offers a 1:1 match for gifts to the UND Promise Scholarship Fund and 1:2 match for scholarship endowment gifts. The matching program expires at the end of December.