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Forum News Service, Published October 12 2013

Spirit Campaign raises $324 million for UND

GRAND FORKS – Life is good at the University of North Dakota. So good, in fact, that more than 38,000 people raised $324,128,078 as part of the North Dakota Spirit Campaign.

The final tally was announced at a pep-rally like event Friday afternoon.

“We’ve waited eight years for this,” UND President Bob Kelley said as students flipped placards bearing each of the nine numbers raised by students, alumni and the administration.

The original fundraising goal was $300 million.

Money raised in the campaign is indicative of the overall increase in contributions to the school. The numbers, provided by UND spokesman Peter Johnson, show yearly scholarships have gone from $2 million to $5 million, the school has seen a 50 percent increase in endowment funds, and, from 2005 to this year, annual support to UND grew from $5.8 million to $15 million.

All well-deserved for a school and campus that guest speaker Bert Jacobs praised as “beautiful.”

“I wish I were a freshman all over again,” he said.

Bert and his brother, John, run Life is good Inc., a clothing company that has branched out to a three-word brand with products sold worldwide.