During these unprecedented times as we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,
supporting the mission of North Dakota State University must carry on. As
just one example, students facing financial hardships as a result of the
pandemic are less likely to complete their degrees, which can put them at
a disadvantage for the rest of their careers. Retired NDSU professor and
former dean of the College of Art, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Dr.
Thomas J. Riley, knows the pressures facing NDSU students right now.
"Students are really, really stressed in ways that they have not been
before," Tom says, which is why he and his wife, Ann, recently made a gift
to the Student Emergency Fund.
"At least we could be of some help in mitigating these traumatic issues for
students," Tom continues. "I'm really glad the NDSU Foundation set this up.
Our students have a really, really hard time of it. I hope that other
people would recognize that."
Tom has experience working with students and faculty to overcome adversity
at NDSU. In 1997, he remembers freshmen from Grand Forks, North Dakota
starting at the university following the historic spring 1997 flood. Those
students hadn't had a senior prom or a graduation; some of them had lost
their homes, and they were struggling. He remembers how important it was to
give those students a positive college experience.
He was also serving as the AHSS dean when the north side of Minard Hall
collapsed in 2009. Faculty in the college were spread across campus and Tom
remembers how difficult it was to keep up morale.
These two events during Tom's tenure at NDSU offer him a unique perspective
on what students and faculty are facing today and what's ahead.
"This place is literally the future of North Dakota," Tom says. "Young
people who go here deserve to be supported as best we can support them. We
have graduated a good number of people who have helped make North Dakota
the place that it is, and we've got to continue doing that."
Tom's experiences and philanthropy are a strong reminder of why the In Our
Hands campaign for NDSU is so important. As you reflect on and remember
your time at NDSU, please consider how a current gift or your estate plan
could help secure NDSU's future, its students, and faculty. Please reach
out to Curtis Cox via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling
406.546.5189, for any questions you have about planned giving or for more
information about the various ways your gift can make a difference.