UND Today

University of North Dakota’s Official News Source

For Distinguished Achievement and Leadership

On Thursday, UND Alumni Association & Foundation will bestow high honors upon six graduates 

Six UND alumni will be honored by the UND Alumni Association & Foundation at the 2022 Sioux Awards for Distinguished Achievement and Leadership Banquet.

The banquet is set for Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Alerus Center, with a social starting at 5:30 p.m., immediately followed by the banquet dinner.

Since 1962, the Sioux Award for Distinguished Achievement and Leadership has been presented to leaders and high achievers in government, business and various professions, as well as alumni who have dedicated their lives in service for others. The award is the highest honor given by the UND Alumni Association & Foundation.

Two honorees among the six will be receiving Young Alumni Achievement Awards. Established in 2002, this award recognizes more recent graduates who have made a mark in the short time since they attended UND.

Recipients of the Sioux Award for Distinguished Achievement and Leadership are as follows:

  • Jody (Varberg) Feragen, ’78 BAAcc
  • Jack Marcil, ’63 BSBA, ’68 JD
  • Mark Sanford, ’66 Med, ’76 EdD
  • Sarah Vogel ’67 BA

Young Alumni Award recipients are:

  • Meghan Compton, ’06 BA, ’10 JD
  • Paul Sallach, ’03 BSAero

Sioux Award for Distinguished Achievement and Leadership

Jody (Varberg) Feragen, ’78, spent much of her career as an executive with Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn. She was the first woman to hold an executive officer position with the food giant. She eventually became its Chief Financial Officer, working in tandem with the CEO to improve equity and inclusion before retiring in 2017. Jody served nine years on the UNDAAF’s board of directors – including two years as its chair. She and her husband, Duane, ’78, donated funds for the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration building patio, which now bears their names.



Jack Marcil, ’63, ’68, has been an attorney, arbitrator and mediator with Serkland Law Firm in Fargo since 1969. He has mediated more than 3,500 cases in his career of which 95% were settled before going to trial. Jack has been incredibly generous to the UND School of Law, where he has given more than $1 million to support programs, building projects and student scholarships. He has also given to his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, UND Athletics and Giving Hearts Day, among other initiatives.



Mark Sanford, ’66, ’76, dedicated his career to the education of youth. He was in the classroom first before transitioning to administrative roles. He spent 26 years as the superintendent of the Grand Forks School District, where he guided the recovery from the Flood of 1997, implemented a progressive middle school model, and created a new school district for Grand Forks Air Force Base. After retiring, Mark has served the North Dakota Legislature for the past 10 years. He is known for advocating for education at all levels and has chaired the Higher Education Committee since 2013.



Sarah Vogel, ’67, first rose to prominence when she took on the federal government on behalf of farmers in the 1980s. Her David versus Goliath battle to win the class-action lawsuit Coleman v. Block is the subject of a book she wrote last year, “The Farmer’s Lawyer.” Following that case, Sarah would go on to be elected North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, the first woman to be elected a commissioner of agriculture of any state. After two terms, Sarah returned to private practice, where she won a $680 million settlement for Native American farmers impacted by USDA discriminatory lending practices.



Young Alumni Achievement Award

Meghan Compton, ’06, ’10, is the Chief Clinic Operations Officer for Altru Health System in Grand Forks. She leads the health care organization’s legal team, outpatient and regional operations, and people resources. Meghan’s impact reaches outside the hospital with volunteer work on the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation Board, The Chamber of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks and Grand Forks Foundation for Education board.




Paul Sallach, ’03, is the founder of All In Aviation in Las Vegas, which offers flight training, pilot certifications, aircraft rentals and aircraft sales. He and his wife, Lindsay (Henke), ’05, started the company in 2016. They recently completed a 26-hangar development at the Henderson Executive Airport. Paul was selected in 2020 as the U.S. SBA Small Business Person of the Year for Nevada.




Full biographies for award recipients are at UNDalumni.org/SiouxAwards.