University Letter

UND's faculty and staff newsletter

Remembering Lisa Burger

Lisa Burger
Lisa Burger

Lisa Marie Burger, Assistant Vice President for Student Academic Services, of Grand Forks, passed away at Valley Memorial Homes on July 17 with her husband, Gerrad Burger, at her side. She was 50 years old.

Lisa Beltz was born Dec. 2, 1968 at the Hillsboro Community Hospital in Hillsboro, N.D., to Mike and Cheryl (Berg) Beltz. Lisa was raised by a loving family who taught her to always put others first.

Her favorite childhood memories involved camping trips with her parents and her brothers, Greg and David. Lisa attended school in Hillsboro, where she was active in band and choir. She was a 1984 State Class B Girls Basketball Champion and graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1987.

Lisa grew up wanting to be a flight attendant and earned an Associate of Arts degree in Aviation Services and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from the University of North Dakota (UND) in 1991. Her professional path took her in a different direction when she accepted a position at the University of Minnesota-Crookston as the Business Division Recruiter.

In 1992, Lisa returned to UND as an Admissions Representative in Enrollment Services. From 1996 to 1998, Lisa worked at Minot State University as an Admissions Representative. She returned to UND in 1998 when she accepted the position of Academic Advisor in Student Academic Services. She would go on to serve as the Director of Student Academic Services before being named the Director of the Student Success Center.

In 2012, Lisa was promoted to the position of Assistant Vice President for Student Academic Services, the position she held until the time of her passing. Lisa had a passion for UND that started her first year of college and lasted throughout the more than 20 years of dedicated service she provided as a staff member and administrator.

Lisa believed in the importance of higher education. She earned a Master of Arts in Communication in 2002 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education in 2016, completing her coursework and dissertation while battling breast cancer.

Lisa was respected, admired, and appreciated by the UND community. She was a regular volunteer for university events, especially those focusing on student success. Lisa served as the advisor for the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority since 2003, and she spent many hours mentoring members at the chapter house. In recognition of her service, she was initiated as an Alpha Chi Omega alumna member in 2005 and received the Greek Life Outstanding Staff Advisor Award in 2005 and 2017.

In recognition of her extraordinary contributions to UND, which often extended beyond the expectations of her position, Lisa was named a Ken and Toby Baker UND Proud Award winner in 2012. She also received the Friend of UND TRiO Programs Award in 2018 in honor of her consistent support of first-generation and other historically underrepresented students.

Lisa’s greatest joy was her family. She married the love of her life, Gerrad Burger, on Dec. 21, 1996, in Hillsboro. Their sons, Isaac and Noah, brought pride and adventure, and Lisa’s fondest memories came from watching them compete in various sporting events. Lisa was a devoted mom who rarely missed a game or activity that involved her sons. She was a regular volunteer in the concession stand and happily supported her sons, their friends, and their teams. The friendships she made through her sons’ activities were relationships she cherished.

In 2013, Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she bravely fought and beat. In May 2018, Lisa was diagnosed with liver cancer, which she faced with courage and positivity. Lisa never gave up her fight to live. Even after she came to peace with her fate, she never complained or asked “why me?” She remained positive and friendly to every person she met, even when communication became difficult. She was the kindest and most thoughtful person until the end.

Lisa will be forever missed by those who survive her, including: husband, Gerrad Burger and sons, Isaac and Noah of Grand Forks; her parents Mike and Cheryl Beltz of West Fargo; brothers Greg Beltz of St. Paul, MN and David Beltz (Gail Widmer) of Horace, ND; father- and mother-in-law, Larry and Mary Burger of Thompson, ND; brother-in-law Sean and Michele Burger and niece, Grace of Thompson, ND; aunts and uncles Sandy and Ardell Knudsvig of Crookston, MN; Ronn and Jody Berg of Bemidji, MN; Eileen Smith of Langford, SD; Wayne and Pam Berg of Climax, MN and great aunts, Jeanne Johnson of Grand Forks; Maxine MacGregor of Zion, IL; and Adeline Beltz of Bagley, MN and many cousins.

She was preceded in death by grandparents, great aunts, and cousins.

Lisa requested that in lieu of flowers, memorials be considered for The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Rochester, Minn., or the UND Alumni Association and Foundation in support of a scholarship for the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority.

Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. on July 21, 2019 at Calvary Lutheran Fellowship Hall, 1405 S. 9th St., Grand Forks, ND

Funeral Services: 10:30 a.m. July 22, 2019 at Calvary Lutheran Church, Grand Forks, ND. Arrangements are with Amundson Funeral Home,.