New UND Faculty & Administrator Bus Tour to roll again through N.D.
This year’s route winds through Carrington, Medora, Bismarck/Mandan and other communities
What: 2022 New UND Faculty & Administrators Bus Tour of North Dakota
Who: Tour will be led for the first time by UND President Andy Armacost and First Lady Kathy Armacost
Where: Carrington, Underwood, Bismarck/Mandan, Medora, Nome (southeast of Valley City), Gwinner, and Fargo
When: Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17 – DEPARTURE FROM GRAND FORKS about 8 a.m., on MONDAY, AUG. 15
For the first time since 2019 and the 30th time overall, new University of North Dakota faculty and administrators will get a front-row seat on a tour of the state when they embark on this year’s bus tour of North Dakota on August 15-17.
This year’s route will give the travelers, many of whom are new to the state, a chance to explore much of the southern portion of North Dakota, through or near communities such as Carrington, Underwood, Bismarck/Mandan, Medora, Nome (south of Valley City), Gwinner and Fargo.
Despite being at UND since the summer of 2020, President Andy Armacost and First Lady Kathy Armacost will be hosting their first New Faculty & Administrator Bur Tour, as the last two years were called off because of the pandemic.
“Kathy and I have had the pleasure of exploring North Dakota a lot in our personal and business travels over the past couple of years,” said President Armacost. “Still, we’re thrilled to get a chance to lead our first bus tour of the state and to share with our new faculty and administrators the sights, sounds and overwhelming sense of welcome we’ve become accustom to since moving to North Dakota.”
Among those joining the Armacosts on this year’s tour will be Interim UND Vice President for Student Affairs Beth Hellwig, UND School of Law Dean Brian Pappas and Associate Vice President for Public Safety/University Police Chief Rodney Clark.
Tour guides, such as Fred Wittmann, a native North Dakotan (Casselton) and director of UND Ceremonies & University Events, are excited to hit the road again this year after the two-years hiatus.
“It’s one of those special occasions that we always look forward to before the start of each fall semester,” said Wittmann, a veteran of most of the past UND bus tours. “The bus tour gives our faculty newcomers a glimpse into the state and the importance of higher education in North Dakota. It also gives them a better understanding of where many of their students will come from.”
In fact, during one of the stops, at Fort Lincoln State Park, the UND travelers will picnic with incoming UND Presidential Scholars and their families from the Bismarck/Mandan area.
The three-day tour, free for participants and supported by the UND Alumni Association & Foundation, alternates between northern and southern routes of the state each year. It was introduced in 1990, when Tom Clifford was president of the University. And apart from the last two years, there’s only been one other time when the tour did not happen.
Some other highlights of this year’s tour (not in order) will be visiting North Dakota’s State Capitol and Heritage Center in Bismarck; United Tribes Technical College also in Bismarck; Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora; Falkirk Coal Mine near Underwood; the Cows & Co. Creamery near Carrington; the school house in tiny Nome, N.D., southeast of Valley City; the Bobcat manufacturing plant in Gwinner; and the Fargo Air Museum.
Throughout the tour, participants also get a chance to learn more about North Dakota agriculture, education, tourism, energy development, government and business from experts in the field, as well as learn more about each other.
Wittmann said it’s not uncommon for interdisciplinary academic and/or research partnerships to get their start on the new faculty and administrators bus tour.
“These folks may have never had the chance to meet otherwise,” Wittmann said. “I’m always amazed with this activity and how it brings people together.”
Check out the in-depth itinerary for this year’s bus tour.