UND Welcomes the new Nistler College of Business & Administration with the Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Last Friday

UND Homecoming 2022 was full of events and activities for students and alumni. We had our first-ever Greek Carnival and pep rally, and we unveiled new projects in the works to former students. Particularly on September 30th, at 11 am, The Nistler College of Business & Public Administration held a ribbon-cutting ceremony. From the Alumni website, they described the building and event as, “the $70 million, 108,000-square-foot building will be located at the heart of campus and prominently on the quad (NW corner) along University Avenue. The NCOBPA grand opening ceremony will feature words from Werner & Colleen Nistler, President Armacost, Dean Amy Henley, Mayor Brandon Bochenski, and DeAnna Carlson Zink. Complimentary refreshments and self-guided tours will be available to those who are interested.”   

The ceremony opened with the Pride of the North Pep Band and the University of North Dakota Cheerleaders hyping up the crowd. The Dean of the College of Business, Amy Henley, gave an emotional speech on the history of the building. In 2019, the state board decided to name the new building after the lead donors Werner and Colleen Nistler. There are 62 named spaces in the building and many of the members of the audience were actually donors themselves. She talked of the hardships they have faced and how it was turned around. “When March of 2020 [hit], everything kind of changed, but we pivoted, the work continued, and the vision and mission of this project continued to accomplish this remarkable goal,” Dean Henley said.   

Werner Nistler took the stage following the Dean and talked about the symbolism behind the ribbon-cutting. “It is a new start,” Nistler said. The Nistler family is a very large one. He had said that two Nistler brothers came over from Europe in 1832, and now there are 2000 descendants around the world. The soft-spoken man gave a heartwarming speech and talked about how UND is a family and how the people in the room were considered a part of his.   

Next to the stage was our very own President Andy Armacost. He talked about how the building has been under construction for 2 years, and he sent a special thanks to the construction workers and tradespeople that did the hard work and gave us the building we all appreciate. After a round of applause, he said that all of their hard work was for the members of UND. “This is a remarkable place to bring a world-class education to our students,” Armacost said. “Ultimately it is always about our students. Showing them the love, concern, and compassion they deserve.”   

Another speaker was Mayor Brandon Bochenski, who was a graduate himself of the Nistler College of Business. He recalled the groundbreaking when the weather was not cooperating, but everyone was still happy to be there. He thanked the alumni association for pushing through the pandemic and again thanked the Nistler’s for their contribution. Bochenski thanked the citizens of Grand Forks for also helping through paying taxes.   

Many others gave speeches at this ribbon-cutting. Mark Sanford, a State Representative, talked about the “sales pitch” that the faculty gave for the new school.  DeAnna Carlson Zink, the Chief Executive Officer for the UND Alumni Association, shared her experience in gearing up for the building reveal. After everyone finished up their remarks, the speakers and other important persons gathered on the stage to conduct the official ribbon-cutting. Two students held the ribbon while Werner Nistler cut it with giant scissors. The event ended with guided tours and more thank you’s to everyone who brought the Nistler to life.   

Claire Arneson is a Dakota Student Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].