UND Homecoming goes online

Presidential inauguration and Nistler College groundbreaking highlight this year’s virtual Homecoming week

This year’s Homecoming festivities will transpire virtually in a series of events, tours and activities that will deliver the spirit of the University of North Dakota. Homecoming week will kick in on Monday, Oct. 5 and stretch through Saturday, Oct. 10.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to create new and innovative experiences as we adjust our Homecoming plan to stay connected with our alumni and friends across the country,” said Brooke Conlin, director of events at the UND Alumni Association & Foundation.

Aside from happening online, Homecoming this fall is packed with history-making occasions, including the inauguration of UND President Andrew Armacost, who took his post as the University’s 13th president in early summer, and the virtual groundbreaking for the new building that’ll house the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration.

Homecoming will also bring into focus some salient topics for the UND community as well as the nation. For instance, on Wednesday, Athletics Director Bill Chaves will join the University’s coaches to provide updates on the upcoming year in collegiate sports. Later that same day, the UND School of Law will host a tribute to the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away on Sept. 18.

After watching the documentary “RBG” that chronicles the Justice’s career, Constitutional Law Professors Julia Ernst and Kathryn Rand will lead a discussion.

To help alumni and friends feel the UND spirit, the Alumni Association & Foundation also is providing a variety of mostly online perks, which include downloadable coloring booklets for children and UND-branded Zoom backgrounds. The Association is also hosting an outdoor scavenger hunt in downtown Grand Forks, which will last throughout Homecoming.

Another event will celebrate the fact that the Dr. Kathleen and Hal Gershman Graduate Center will open later this month. As part of Homecoming, a video will debut at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, featuring interviews with the donors and the story behind the Center. A video tour of the building will be made available later, after construction is complete.

Wrapping up Homecoming is the 18-hole UND Open tournament on Saturday, the winner of which will receive a 2021 season membership to the Ray Richards Golf Course.

Because of COVID-related restrictions, this year’s schedule omits some signature events such as the Homecoming parade, the Sioux Awards reception and the Homecoming football game, all of which have been canceled. This year’s Sioux Awards recipients will be honored during Homecoming in 2021.

The 2020 honorees are former Grand Forks mayor Michael Brown; Werner Nistler, the lead donor of the Nistler College of Business and founder of senior-living company Touchmark; Lisa Wheeler, owner of the escrow and title firm The Title Company; retired Air Force Col. Terrance Severson, a long-time University donor and a former UND football player; and former risk manager for TIAA-CREF Erwin Martens, and his wife, speech pathologist Colleen Martens.

The full Homecoming schedule is available at the AA&F’s website.