Dec. 5, 2023

NDSU donor to receive honorary doctorate


Longtime NDSU donor, philanthropist and Bison athletics fan, Norma Peltier, will receive an honorary Doctor of Agriculture degree at the 5 p.m. commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 15 at Sanford Health Athletic Complex.

Norma, who was born in Halstad, Minnesota, grew up on a farm in Grandin, North Dakota, spending much of her life in agriculture. She taught herself to drive and milked cows before and after school. She also was heavily involved in athletics and was a member of a high school state tournament basketball team.

Norma earned a teaching degree and was employed at elementary schools in Clearbook, Minnesota, and Kindred, North Dakota, until she married Joe Peltier. Norma’s husband, Joe, was an NDSU graduate and longtime university supporter. After two years working in U.S. Army counterintelligence in Pennsylvania, Joe became a longtime leader in North Dakota agriculture.

The Peltier family settled in Arthur, North Dakota. Norma’s and Joe’s children, Keith Peltier, Jeff Peltier, Suzette Peltier and Betty-Jo Peltier Wilson, each graduated from NDSU, as did many of their grandchildren. Supporting NDSU was a tradition started by Joe’s grandmother, Jessamine Slaughter Burgum, one of the first four students to attend what was the North Dakota Agriculture College, now NDSU.  The family has been active in the community and in athletics throughout the years. Norma has for years been a fixture at NDSU football games and men’s and women’s basketball games.

Dedicated to community service and philanthropy, Norma has logged more than 3,000 hours and 45 years as a volunteer at Sanford Health. She has more than 34 years of continuous giving to Sanford Health, including donating funds for veterans prayer shawls and sponsoring free popcorn for patients, visitors and employees on Veterans Day. The Peltier family has initiated several endowments at Sanford Health for Parkinson’s and cancer research.

Norma’s and Joe’s longstanding dedication to NDSU academics and athletics has included the Peltier Endowment for Innovation in Teaching, Don Larew Scholarship, Jessamine Slaughter Burgum Scholarship, Joe Peltier Award for Risk Management and the Peltier Complex, a state-of-the-art agriculture facility. 

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

Submit Your News Story
Help us report what’s happening around campus, or your student news.