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Rileys Support Students Now and in the Future

Rileys Support Students Now and in the Future

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 curtis.cox@ndsufoundation.com 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.


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