NDSU recognized the many contributions of the Tri-College University during the sixth annual Campus Community Partnership flag raising Sept. 22.
The Tri-College flag will fly at the NDSU Flag Plaza during the academic year as a symbolic representation of the impact of the local higher education collaboration. The plaza is located in the southwest corner of campus at 12th Avenue North and 18th Street.
“We have something very unique here. In most communities like ours, we would be five competing institutions. In this community, in many ways, we act as one,” said NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani during the ceremony. “We do that because it is in the best interest of our community, our students and higher education.”
The Tri-College University has given students broader access to educational opportunities for more than 40 years. NDSU, Concordia College and Minnesota State University Moorhead were founding members when the cooperative education partnership’s articles of incorporation were filed in 1970. It allows a student enrolled at one institution to take classes at the other schools without paying extra tuition or going through additional admission procedures.
In 2015, the partnership expanded to include Minnesota State Community and Technical College, known as M State, and the North Dakota State College of Science. The collaboration between the five institutions supports about 35,000 students.
“In the Fargo-Moorhead area, every morning, one in five people go to one of the campuses,” said Tim Flakoll, Tri-College University provost. “The economic impact of those campuses will exceed with $4 billion, so that really shows what this partnership has for critical mass.”
Anne Blackhurst, MSUM president, said, “This partnership exists to serve students. I think sometimes we take for granted how unique it is for institutions to come together across state lines, across institutional affiliations, across the normal distinctions between colleges and universities, two- and four-year institutions, to really do what is best for the students we share. Thank you for highlighting the Tri-College University today.”
John Richman, NDSCS president, said the collaboration builds a stronger educational system, stronger community and stronger socio-economic position in the region. “Each of us has unique strengths that we bring to the table,” Richman said. “We have unique capabilities, and because of that, 35,000 students have a chance to strengthen their education and their educational experience.”
Peggy Kennedy, M State president, said Tri-College students add a special dimension to her campus, and she is proud to have them at her institution. “This wonderful partnership is truly something to celebrate,” she said.
“Fargo-Moorhead is one of the few places in the country where this many colleges, universities and schools work together in a partnership like this,” said Jeff Bretherton, Concordia College athletic director, who represented President William Craft. “We see great benefit for the students from all five institutions, and we see great advantages for the economy, culture and civic strength of the community.”
President Bresciani established the Campus Community Partner program in 2012 to recognize public and private sector collaborations with the university that benefit the community. Past recipients include Microsoft, Gate City Bank, Sanford Health, Appareo Systems and John Deere Electronic Solutions.
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