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Amy Dalrymple, Published July 15 2009

NDSCS receives $1 million donation

The North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton has received a gift of slightly more than $1 million, one of the largest in the college’s history.

The donation by Wilbur A. Lunday, a 1927 NDSCS graduate who died in 2008 at age 100, and his late wife, Betty, will help fund athletic scholarships and support the needs of NDSCS and the college’s foundation.

NDSCS President John Richman said Lunday gave some direction to how some of his money should be spent, but a portion can be spent on immediate needs the campus may have.

“It’s going to allow us to move forward in some areas that we want to, that we have identified as critical areas, such as keeping the cost affordable to students,” Richman said.

While at NDSCS, Lunday was a liberal arts major, an athlete and member of many student organizations.

He and his father founded Lunday-Thagard Co. in South Gate, Calif., which manufactures asphalt felts and coatings.

Over his lifetime, Lunday contributed $1.7 million to NDSCS, making him the second-largest donor in the college’s history, said NDSCS spokeswoman Barbara Spaeth-Baum.

The largest gift NDSCS has received is $2 million, she said.

Gifts of $1 million are not unheard of at community colleges, but they’re still uncommon, said Rae Goldsmith of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

“Any gift of that size, particularly to a community college, has the potential to make a difference,” said Goldsmith, vice president for advancement resources.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590