Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 11:30am

Gov. Doug Burgum joined North Dakota State University officials today to announce a transformative, interdisciplinary research institute focused on global innovation, trade and economic growth and made possible by philanthropy from benefactors.

The Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth will be administered through NDSU’s College of Business and is named in honor of the Challeys, longtime NDSU benefactors from Walnut Creek, Calif., who have provided a leadership gift commitment of $10 million. Initial gifts totaling more than $30 million from the Challeys, the Charles Koch Foundation – which also has committed $10 million – and other benefactors have been secured, with a goal of raising $50 million for up to 15 years of programming to support new discovery, learning and service to the state, region and world.

Burgum joined NDSU President Dean Bresciani, NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association President/CEO John Glover and others in announcing the historic philanthropic investment.

“We are deeply grateful to the Challeys, the Charles Koch Foundation and other benefactors for their incredible investment in North Dakota’s future,” Burgum said. “With an export-driven economy led by agriculture and energy, significant workforce challenges and a thriving technology sector, our state stands to benefit greatly from the ideas and solutions generated at this new institute of study. Congratulations to NDSU on this tremendous initiative, which will promote big ideas and develop the leaders we need to enact them so that North Dakota can continue to be a fantastic place to live, work and raise a family for generations to come.”

The Challey Institute will support the hiring of an executive director and provide funding for up to 15 faculty positions in a variety of fields, NDSU officials said. New Ph.D. and graduate fellowships will be offered to students from a range of academic disciplines, and experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students will be launched. For more information, visit the NDSU Foundation’s website.