President Armacost speaking at the endowment awards ceremony

Gratitude & Distinction

UND holds inaugural endowed positions award ceremony.

For the first time ever on Aug. 24, the University of North Dakota honored the chairs, professors, and fellows whose distinguished positions were made possible through donor endowments. There are 44 total endowed positions at UND, and 28 of them were on hand to be honored. Donors had the privilege of seeing the impact of their gifts firsthand.

An endowed chair, professorship or fellowship is one of the highest academic honors the University can bestow on a faculty member, and it lasts for as long as the University exists. It is both an honor to the named holder of the position and an enduring tribute to the donor who establishes it.

President Andrew Armacost shaking hands with Ryan Summers

President Armacost congratulates Ryan Summers after awarding him the Rose Isabella Kelly Fischer Professorship.

Daba Gedafa after recieving his medal

Daba Gedafa was bestowed the Michael and Sitney Lodoen Endowed Professorship in Civil Engineering.

These awards signify a station of importance – the medallion for endowed chairs and professors and the drape for endowed fellows. They are to be worn with a humble pride of one’s own accomplishments and gratitude for the donors who funded the position. They are to be worn at official UND events in which regalia is required, including commencement ceremonies and inauguration.

Displayed on the front of both the medallion and drape is the UND crest with the motto, “Lux et Lex,” meaning Light and Law. Engraved on the back is the name of the endowed position and the person who holds it.

To be bestowed an endowed position is a great honor... none of this would be possible without the generous and steadfast support of our alumni, so thank you. Dr. Chih Ming TanPage Endowed Chair in Applied Economics 


The multidisciplinary impact of endowed faculty is felt around campus, and will make a difference on our world.


Daba Gedafa, Michael and Sitney Lodoen Endowed Professorship in Civil Engineering
Gedafa is part of a multidisciplinary team studying integrated deployment of new and emerging technologies and transportations such as advanced road sensor technology and vehicle systems automation.


Wayne Barkhouse, Oliver L. Benediktson Endowed Chair in Astrophysics
NASA’s James Webb telescope allows us to see the universe, most recently pictures of Jupiter. Barkhouse, along with his graduate assistants, is analyzing that data to understand humanity’s place in our universe.


Ryan Summers, Rose Isabella Kelly Fischer Professorship
Summers is conducting research on how state and federal standards impact K12 science education, providing crucial responses to the challenge of lower standardized science scores in the U.S. 

Public Policy

Jason Jensen, Korus Institute of Policy and Business Analytics Executive Director 
David Flynn, Clow Fellow
The duo provides timely advisory reports to state and local policymakers on how the behaviors of North Dakota households and firms have changed in response to the pandemic, and the subsequent implications to the state’s economy and workforce.

Indigenous Studies

Kathryn Rand, Floyd B. Sperry Professorship
Rand has co-authored three books on tribal gaming, shedding light on how federal, state and tribal law as well as political and policy considerations impact the success of a tribal income. 

Rural Health

David Schmitz, Dr. Verill J. and Ruth Fischer Endowed Professorship in Family and Community Medicine
Andrew McLean, NRI / Lee Christoferson, Sr., M.D. Endowed Chair in Neuroscience
This team’s work has highlighted the acute shortage in the rural healthcare workforce, emphasizing how these shortages have negatively impacted our ability to properly address rising mental and behavioral health issues in North Dakota.

Endowed Faculty Members from the Nistler College of Business and Public Administration

Faculty from the Nistler College of Business and Public Administration. Pictured left to right: Duane Helleloid, Sanjay Goel, Matthew Notbohm, Jennifer Stoner, Sean Valentine, David Flynn, Katherine Campbell, Chih Ming Tan, Amy Henley


Faculty from the School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Pictured left to right: Andrew McClean, Rick Van Eck, Amanda Haage, Joshua Wynn, Jau Shin Lou, David Schmitz