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Couple posthumously gifts $1M for Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering

John and Ruth Carter’s generous donation will support faculty and students

Leonard Hall
A $1 million posthumous gift from John and Ruth Carter will establish the “Drs. John and Ruth Carter Endowment” to benefit students and faculty at the Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering, based in Leonard Hall (above) on the UND campus. UND archival image.

The UND Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering, within the College of Engineering & Mines (CEM), has received a $1 million gift from the late John Carter, a 1959 UND grad, and his late wife, Ruth.

Their gift will establish the “Drs. John and Ruth Carter Endowment,” the revenue from which will be used to create the Geology & Geological Engineering Students and Faculty Excellence Fund. The endowment will promote excellence among faculty and students who major in geology or geological engineering through activities such as field trips, experiential learning and professional development.

CEM Dean Hesham El-Rewini says he is humbled by the Carters’ generosity.

“We are so thankful to Dr. John and Dr. Ruth Carter for their legacy gift that will help the Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering continue to promote excellence,” El-Rewini said. “I am very proud of Dr. John Carter’s accomplishments during his rich life journey.”

John and Ruth Carter
John and Ruth Carter

Giving people

John Carter, a Sisseton, S.D., native, received his bachelor’s degree in geology from UND in 1959 and his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1966. During his 27 years as a curator of invertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., he named more than 130 new species and 40 new genera. He enjoyed many explorations and archaeological digs throughout his career as a paleontologist and is world-renowned for his research on the 350 million-year-old-fossil brachiopods. He also wrote several books.

Ruth Carter earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pittsburgh. She spent most of her career working for the University Library System and concluded her professional endeavors as head of the Archives Service Center and curator of historical collection at University of Pittsburgh. She also authored and co-authored many books and articles on cataloging and classification.

John Carter was recognized by the UND College of Engineering & Mines in 2006 when he was the honored recipient of the Arthur Gray Leonard Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in geosciences in research, technical studies and projects applied to societal needs, teaching, educational development or leadership in conservation of earth’s resources and environment.

Christin Wengert, the Carters’ niece and spokesperson for the couple, said her aunt and uncle were extremely kind and giving people who loved supporting the causes important to them.

“They believed in higher education and learning and were very philanthropic,” Wengert said. “They felt honored to give back to higher education.”

Robin Turner, director of development for the UND College of Engineering & Mines said, “I am continually humbled by the generosity of our alumni. We are honored and deeply grateful for this gift to the College of Engineering & Mines. This gift will ensure that future generations of students will have new and exciting opportunities to explore and make discoveries just as the Carters did.”

Milo SmithAbout the author:

Milo Smith is the Senior Director of Public Relations for the UND Alumni Asssocation & Foundation. For more information, contact Smith at milos@UNDalumni.net, or 701.777.0831.