UND’s College of Engineering & Mines Receives $1 Million Gift for the Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering


The late Drs. John and Ruth Carter leave generous legacy gift to support faculty and students


Grand Forks (12.20.18) — The UND Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering within the College of Engineering & Mines (CEM) has received a $1 million gift from the late Dr. John Carter, a 1959 University of North Dakota graduate, and his late wife, Dr. Ruth Carter. Their gift will establish the Drs. John and Ruth Carter Endowment. Revenue from the endowment will be used to create the Geology & Geological Engineering Students and Faculty Excellence Fund, which will promote excellence among faculty and students who major in Geology or Geological Engineering through activities such as field trips, experiential learning and professional development.


CEM Dean Hesham El-Rewini says he is humbled by the Carter’s generosity. “We are so thankful to Dr. John and Dr. Ruth Carter for their legacy gift that will help the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering continue to promote excellence. I am very proud of Dr. John Carter’s accomplishments during his rich life journey.”


Dr. John Carter, a Sisseton, South Dakota, native, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from UND in 1959 and his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1966. During his 27 years as a Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., he named more than 130 new species and 40 new genera. He enjoyed many explorations and archaeological digs throughout his career as a paleontologist and is world-renowned for his research on the 350 million-year-old-fossil brachiopods. He also wrote several books.  


Dr. Ruth Carter earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of Pittsburgh. She spent most of her career working for the University Library System and concluded her professional endeavors as Head of the Archives Service Center and Curator of Historical Collection at University of Pittsburgh. She also authored many books and was responsible for co-editing numerous books and articles on cataloging and classification.


Dr. Carter was recognized by the UND College of Engineering and Mines in 2006 when he was the honored recipient of the Arthur Gray Leonard Award. This Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the geosciences in research, technical studies and projects applied to societal needs, teaching, educational development, or leadership in conservation of earth’s resources and environment.


Christin Wengert, the Carter’s niece and spokesperson for the couple, said her aunt and uncle were extremely kind and giving people who loved supporting the causes important to them. “They believed in higher education and learning and were very philanthropic. They felt honored to give back to higher education,” Wengert said.


Robin Turner, Director of Development, College of Engineering & Mines said, “I am continually humbled by the generosity of our alumni. We are honored and deeply grateful for this gift to the College of Engineering & Mines. This gift will ensure that future generations of students will have new and exciting opportunities to explore and make discoveries just as the Carters did.”



For more information, contact Milo Smith, Sr. Director of Public Relations, at milos@UNDalumni.net or 701.777.0831.