Alumnus Harry D. McGovern provides $1 million gift to NDSU Alumni Center
Published: Monday, Oct. 8
NDSU alumnus Harry D. McGovern has presented a $1 million gift to the NDSU Development Foundation to support the NDSU Alumni Center. In recognition of the donation, the building now bears his name.
A special dedication and open house were held Saturday, Oct. 6.
“On behalf of 80,000 alumni around the world, we are grateful for Mr. McGovern’s very generous gift for the NDSU Alumni Center,” said Wayne W. Schluchter, Alumni Association president. “The gift demonstrates respect, pride and loyalty toward the university. Mr. McGovern’s gift also enhances awareness about philanthropy, as his name will be seen by alumni, the community and current students each time they enter or pass the Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center.”
McGovern graduated from Erie, N.D., High School in 1962 and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NDSU in 1966. He is co-owner of MCM Construction Inc., a major bridge and highway contractor with offices in Sacramento and Los Angeles, Calif.
“Even though I have been away from North Dakota for nearly 50 years, I have always taken great pride in the NDSU sporting achievements and the fact that I graduated from this great university,” McGovern said. “I consider this gift an investment in North Dakota and NDSU.”
NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani said gifts from alumni are the greatest proof of the caliber of the organization. “Mr. McGovern’s dedication to our increasingly successful university is deeply appreciated,” Bresciani said. “NDSU has long been and continues to be dedicated to our land-grant mission of excellence in education, research and service. With strong support, we will continue to do great things for our state, the nation and the world.”
Jonal Uglem, president of the NDSU Development Foundation board, said, “The building of the Alumni Center was the realization of the dreams of many dedicated NDSU alumni and foundation trustees. It is the welcome center, a gathering place for alumni and friends and an excellent environment in which to conduct the business of the foundation and the association. We are most grateful for Mr. McGovern's generosity and will be pleased to name the building in his honor.”
McGovern said he was fortunate to have great role models in his uncles, Glenn, Bev and Doss Hill, who had all graduated from the university when it was called North Dakota Agricultural College. Glenn Hill was a long-time chair of the mathematics department and one-time head of the North Central Conference.
“My time at NDSU combined serious learning with a fun college atmosphere,” McGovern said. “NDSU was perfect for me and will always be remembered as four of the best years of my life.”
McGovern’s company has constructed more than 1,500 bridges throughout California and currently has 25 projects under contract, including three projects on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, a $200 million project near the port of Long Beach consisting of the removal of an existing lift span bridge and the construction of two 5,000-foot long concrete box girder bridges and a $50 million design-build project near Los Angeles.
The firm consistently ranks within the top 200 heavy engineering contractors in America and has received numerous awards for excellence in construction, including awards for three major interchanges in the Los Angles area and an award for a cast-in-place segmental box girder bridge constructed over the Eel River in northern California.
The NDSU Alumni Center is a 30,520-square foot facility that has hosted a variety of alumni, campus and community events. The center’s first floor accommodates Alumni Association offices, center director’s office and Crary Lounge. The first-floor areas surround the center’s two-story Diederich Atrium, which seats 130 people in a banquet setting. The second floor houses the Development Foundation offices, Stenehjem executive conference room, Klefstad conference room, Hendrickson Lounge and Stegner Terrace. The building was officially dedicated on Oct. 8, 1999.