$5 million gift made to UND School of Entrepreneurship & Management

School to be named for Tom and Konnie Middleton, a first for the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration

Tom and Konnie Middleton. Image courtesy of Tom and Konnie Middleton.

The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education voted on Jan. 28 to name the University of North Dakota School of Entrepreneurship & Management after Tom and Konnie Middleton. The couple has donated $5 million to support the School and its students.

Tom Middleton is a 1972 UND graduate who grew up in Bowesmont, N.D. Konnie (maiden name Peach) graduated from Central High School in Grand Forks and earned a degree in Education in 1975. The couple is retired and living in Arizona.

“With their generous gift, Tom and Konnie Middleton are making a bold statement of support for the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration,” said DeAnna Carlson Zink, CEO of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation. “They wanted to maximize the impact of their gift on the lives of UND students. We are grateful and humbled that they entrusted us to carry out their philanthropic vision.”

“Konnie and I are very excited, honored and humbled to partner with UND and the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration,” said Tom Middleton. “We have been very fortunate, and we greatly value giving. We saw a tremendous opportunity to give both back and forward for the benefit of the University, its faculty and students.”

Tom Middleton spent his career in sales, sales management, and marketing with Johnson and Johnson and its various pharmaceutical subsidiaries. Konnie Middleton was a clothing buyer for department store chains before working at home to raise their two daughters, Nicole and Lindsay.

“New and renovated buildings on our campus are wonderful, but it’s the programs occurring inside them which enable our students and faculty to engage in the education, conduct the research and provide the engagement opportunities that produce the leaders North Dakota needs,” said UND President Andrew Armacost.

“Tom and Konnie Middleton hail from North Dakota, and they value and recognize the importance of entrepreneurship in the business world,” he continued. “Their most generous gift creating the Middleton School of Entrepreneurship & Management within the new Nistler College of Business & Public Administration building will have a real and lasting impact on the future of our state and its citizens by contributing to a stronger and more diverse economy.”

This is the first School to be named in the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration (NCoBPA).

“The Middleton School of Entrepreneurship & Management will represent who we have been, who we are, and who we strive to be,” said Dr. Amy Henley, dean of the NCoBPA. “Thanks to Tom and Konnie, we will be the premier provider of entrepreneurship education in the Midwest.”

With six majors, two minors, and a certificate program, the Middleton School of Entrepreneurship & Management provides courses in the fundamentals of organizations and management, along with a mix of entrepreneurial skills focusing on reasoning, creativity, testing, and critical thinking skills valued by the most successful entrepreneurs.

The NCoBPA is the largest business school in North Dakota and serves an average of 1,400 undergraduate students and 350 graduate students per year. A new building for the College is under construction at the corner of University Avenue and Centennial Drive.

For more information, contact Milo Smith, Senior Director of Public Relations, at milos@UNDalumni.net or 701.740.0945.