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Maureen McMullen, Published May 02 2014

NDSU names building for late US Sen. Quentin Burdick

FARGO – After more than 20 years of being referred to mostly by its acronym, IACC, the Industrial Agriculture and Communications Center at North Dakota State University has a new name: the Quentin Burdick Building.

The building, which houses several departments, including agricultural communications, biochemistry and the information technology division, was officially renamed in honor of the late U.S. senator and congressman during a rededication ceremony Friday.

NDSU President Dean Bresciani described Burdick’s contributions to NDSU and the state of North Dakota as “exceptional.”

“It was a proverbial no-brainer for me,” Bresciani said during the ceremony. “I couldn’t imagine a more fitting naming than the honoring of him.”

Burdick, a native North Dakotan, was elected to the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

During his more than 30 years on Capitol Hill, Burdick emphasized the importance of education and agricultural support for North Dakota.

While in office, Burdick sought funds to aid agricultural research and education, including federal research stations and facilities at NDSU.

Burdick was also the senator when NDSU received federal funds for a multipurpose computer center on campus.

“Senator Burdick was a fierce advocate for all things North Dakota,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said in a letter read at the ceremony. “From decades of securing desperately-needed appropriations for our state’s farmers, to his commitment to higher education and our students, you’d be hard-pressed to find any corner of our state that Quentin’s work hasn’t touched.”

Speakers at the ceremony also recalled Burdick’s resilience in his political efforts.

“For all the things he was able to do, I think the thing I learned most from him was the value of overcoming adversity and perseverance,” said Burdick’s son, Cass County State’s Attorney Burch Burdick.

In pursuit of serving North Dakota in the U.S. Senate, Quentin Burdick ran in six elections before being elected.

“Don’t ever give up,” said Quentin Burdick’s daughter, Jan Mary Hill, addressing the students at the ceremony. “(Sen. Burdick) lost a lot of elections, but he fought and he fought until he finally won one. So, pursue your education. You might lose a few, you might get fired, but you’re going to get there. Someday, they might name a building after you.”