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$25 million gift to college of engineering from Richard Offerdahl
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$25 million gift to college of engineering from Richard Offerdahl

The North Dakota State University College of Engineering has received the largest single donation for a building project in university history.

Richard Offerdahl, a 1965 graduate of the engineering program is giving $25 million to fund what will be known as the Richard Offerdahl Engineering Complex, an engineering and computational sciences center.

“I stayed in touch with NDSU, and when the opportunity to invest in a new engineering building (came), I took a hard look at it, and decided to make a major investment in the form of paying back,” Offerdahl said.

“The state of North Dakota and NDSU made a big investment in me some 50 years ago, so it was time to return the favor.”

Offerdahl is an Ada, Minnesota native.

He began working, delivering newspapers, when he was 10.

He became wealthy by starting or investing in many different companies.

“$25 million was a big chunk of what we had accumulated over the years, but it wasn’t all of it. So, I figured putting toward the education of future students was a good investment,” Offerdahl said.

The total cost of the project is $89 million.

Last spring, the North Dakota Legislature appropriated 59 million dollars to the project, stipulating that NDSU had to raise at least $25 million privately.

The university’s goal was $30 million.

Last fall, Doosan Bobcat and Mortenson Company pledged $5 million each.

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