One of the longtime organizational leaders of the NDSU Development Foundation will retire soon as a full-time employee. Ron Peterson, associate executive director for finance, is set to retire June 30 after 26 years of service, but he will remain in a part-time role for the next six months.
“I’ve worked with five different presidents and three interim presidents,” Peterson said. “It’s been interesting to see the comings and goings and all the developments under each of the presidents.”
Peterson said he watched the Development Foundation and Alumni Association grow from about seven employees when he started to 30 employees today. He said the foundation’s endowment has grown dramatically, going from about $2.5 million to more than $100 million.
“It’s been enjoyable working with all the people at the foundation and university,” Peterson said. “We have a family-type atmosphere at the Development Foundation and Alumni Association, with camaraderie and good working relationships among the staff. I’ll miss the day-to-day interactions.”
Peterson has been a member of several campus committees and organizations including Harvest Bowl Committee, Gunkelman Award Committee and the Vice President for Business and Finance Search Committee. He also was a member of the President’s Ag Club.
“Ron was the first person I hired after I came to NDSU,” said Jim Miller, NDSU Development Foundation executive director. “His job has really changed over the years, moving from a bookkeeper to financial adviser.”
Miller said the foundation has undergone many changes since Peterson joined NDSU in 1984. At that time, the foundation saw about $500,000 in annual giving. Now, it receives about $20 million per year in cash and pledges.
Over the years, Peterson has assisted as the foundation participated in several campus projects, like the Alumni Center, Ehly Hall, Equine Center, Renaissance Hall, Barry Hall, Klai Hall, Newman Outdoor Field, Ellig Field, President’s House, Skills and Technology Training Center, Criminal Justice Building and Graduate Center.
“Ron is a steady guy who has provided good, sound wisdom to the foundation,” Miller said. “I am going to miss him.”
During the six months Peterson spends as a part-time employee, he will assist with the foundation’s 2010-11 audit and other special projects.