Joint University-UND affiliated foundations’ statement on alumnus Peter Nygard
In response to a Canadian jury finding 1964 UND graduate Peter Nygard guilty on multiple counts of sexual assault, two UND-affiliated foundations have taken steps to cut remaining ties to Nygard and his company’s philanthropic activities.
The Center for Innovation Foundation board has voted to remove the 2004 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame recognition given to Nygard and officially sever any relationship due to his actions being inconsistent with University and Center for Innovation Foundation values.
The UND Alumni Association & Foundation Board of Directors has also voted to rescind a Sioux Award for Distinguished Achievement & Leadership awarded to Nygard in 1978.
On Monday, UND issued a statement following the verdict from a Toronto courtroom. The statement acknowledged that Nygard also faces similar charges in other jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada.
The statement went on to say:
The actions for which Nygard has been convicted and the other allegations brought against him, as reported, are disturbing and completely inconsistent with University values. Our thoughts and concern remain wholeheartedly with the victims of these troubling actions. We also remain committed as ever to eradicating sexual violence and discrimination from both our campus and society.
In addition to rescinding his 1978 award, the UNDAAF is pursuing legal steps with the North Dakota Attorney General to discontinue the awarding of a scholarship endowment that was funded by Nygard’s company. The scholarship has not been awarded in several years and there are no current students whose education is being funded by the scholarship.