Lifelong friendship begins at NDSU

Coming to NDSU in the fall of 1972 to pursue a degree in home economics education and living in Burgum Hall brought four women together. Their friendship remains strong 50 years later.

They gathered in Fargo earlier this month to tour campus and revisit some familiar spaces while taking in all that’s changed.

“The four of us met at summer orientation at NDSU in ‘72 in Burgum Hall and seriously became instant friends,” says Renee Irwin of Aitkin, Minnesota. “The following year we chose to room together in Burgum. Two others joined us and that formed our everlasting sisterhood. NDSU was our first family away from home. It shaped me and my future.”

After graduation, all but one went on to be a teacher in North Dakota and South Dakota. Karen Schroeder of Fargo used her minor in food and nutrition to teach small group classes as a nutritionist for the Women, Infants and Children program where she had a rewarding 40-year career working with families from around the world.

Each of them now retired, it was decided that 50 years of friendship was something to be celebrated. Kathy Freeman traveled from Appleton, Wisconsin, and Schroeder hosted a reunion complete with a tour of the College of Human Sciences and Education, the Emily Reynolds Costume Collection and the Alba Bales house at NDSU.

“The entire weekend was a highlight,” said Marian Hoekstra of Grand Forks. “Touring Burgum brought back lots of memories, as did touring the human sciences and education building. It was so very interesting to see the labs and classrooms, how technology has been incorporated, so many more tools for students to use to learn than what was available (or invented) in the 70’s. To see all the new buildings, expansions, landscaping – it was all so impressive, so beautiful and wonderful to see.”

The Burgum Girls, as Irwin proudly represents on her T-shirt, are proud of their NDSU roots. They say green and gold are their favorite colors.

A few pieces of advice these women have for NDSU alumni and students are to enjoy your time on campus, make and maintain lifetime friendships, envelope yourself in your educational experience, work hard for what you want and always revisit your roots.

They plan to visit again soon to reminisce about their experience of friendship and learning.

If you’re feeling inspired to gather your college friends to tour campus, get in touch with Peggy Cossette at Alumni are always welcomed back, and your commitment to the university continues to make a difference.

Dr. Ron Werner-Wilson, Dean

College of Human Sciences and Education

Phone:  701-231-8211


Top of page