Remembering Earl Strinden
On Tuesday, Oct. 18, North Dakota and the University of North Dakota lost a leader and a champion when Strinden, 90, died in Fargo.
“Earl Strinden epitomized both UND and the State of North Dakota,” said UND President Andrew Armacost. “His contributions to our campus were ceaseless. I was thrilled to speak with him shortly after I was appointed as UND’s President and quite a few times since. He was kind and welcoming to me and Kathy. We should all follow his example of leadership and commitment to others.”
Born Nov. 28, 1931, in Litchville, N.D., he was a U.S Marine Corps veteran, a high school teacher, a UND alum, a Grand Forks City Council member, a legislator for 22 years, the executive director of UND Alumni Association for 31 years and the founder and CEO of the UND Foundation — which merged in 2014 to become the UND Alumni Association & Foundation.
Peter Johnson, director of governmental relations and public affairs for UAAF, remembered when he was in his early teens and his father introduced him to Strinden.
“Earl impressed me because his speaking style reminded me of what I thought a great orator of the 1800s would sound like,” he recalled. “I was struck by his command of the language. He enunciated every syllable, and the way he spoke was striking.”
Those speaking skills and the ability to clearly communicate his positions on the issues of the day made Strinden an effective leader in the political world, as well as a key representative of the Grand Forks community and the University. The late U.S President Ronald Reagan once called Strinden “one of the strongest and most respected legislative leaders in the state’s history.”
Gov. Doug Burgum said, “Earl Strinden’s love for North Dakota and UND was legendary, shining through in his dedicated service and exceptional leadership in the Legislature, the UND Alumni Association and the UND Foundation.”