April 18, 2018

NDSU alumni, Partner in Excellence to be honored


The NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association has announced the recipients of the 2018 Alumni Awards and the Partner in Excellence Award. The award winners will be recognized during the annual Evening of Distinction banquet, scheduled for Thursday, April 19, at 5:30p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Fargo.

Gregg Halverson, BS ’71, animal science, honorary doctorate ’12, will be honored with the Alumni Achievement Award which honors alumni who have achieved exceptional distinction in their professional field. Halverson is president and board chairman of Grand Forks-based Black Gold Farms, a family owned business that produces potatoes and other crops on 12 company owned farms in 11 states. Under his leadership, Black Gold Farms has become the largest producer of fresh-crop chipping potatoes in the world. The business is recognized as an international leader in the adoption of technologies that improve food quality, customer service and land stewardship. 

Chris Hawley, BA ’04, architecture, BA environmental design, will be recognized with the Horizon Award, which honors graduates of the past 15 years who have distinguished themselves in the profession or service to the community. Hawley is the founder and principal architect at Fargo-based Chris Hawley Architects. His attention to detail and one-of-a-kind designs have garnered prestigious awards and a growing demand for his talents. His work includes the new North Dakota governor’s residence in Bismarck and the transformation of the iconic Fargo Laundry building. His designs can be found throughout the area, from high-end homes to restaurants and other commercial properties.

Barry Batcheller, BS ’77, electrical and electronics engineering, honorary doctorate ’10, will receive the Heritage Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding support of time and talent to NDSU projects or activities. Batcheller is chairman of the board of Appareo Systems, an electronics design and manufacturing company. He also founded three other successful companies, including Phoenix International Corp., which was purchased by John Deere in 1999. He was instrumental in the establishment of the NDSU Research and Technology Park and serves on its board of directors. He is past president of the NDSU Alumni Association. He also is generous with his time and business experience, serving as a mentor to startups and budding entrepreneurs.

Bob Heller, BS ’68, industrial engineering, will be honored with the Service Award, which recognizes dedicated service in fundraising and outstanding contributions to NDSU and the Foundation and Alumni Association. Heller is president of Heller Capital Inc., a finance and consulting service to growing businesses. Heller spent nearly 20 years at Advance Circuits Inc., where he led the company’s growth from $3 million in annual sales to $150 million. He also led other manufacturing companies to similar growth trajectories. Heller is a member of NDSU’s Old Main Society and he supports the Gordon Heller Scholarship Fund for NDSU students. He served on the foundation’s investment committee for more than 20 years and is a life trustee. He continues to serve on the department’s alumni advisory board.

Dr. Ann Rasmusson, BS ’79, human nutrition, will be recognized with the Henry L. BolleyAcademic Achievement Award, which honores alumni who have attained noted achievement in eductation. Rasmusson is an associate professor at Boston University School of Medicine and the VA National Center for PTSD. She earned her medical degree at University of Chicago, and completed a pediatrics residency at Johns Hopkins, a post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychopharmacology at Yale Child Study Center and a psychiatry residency at Yale University School of Medicine. Rasmusson is credited with groundbreaking research that has broadened the medical community’s understanding of PTSD and spurred development of precision medicine approaches to treating PTSD. While advancing her research and caring for Veterans, she also teaches at VA Boston and Boston University School of Medicine.

Sanford Health will be acknowledged with the Partner in Excellence Award, which recognizes a business or organization that has provided outstanding support to the university. Sanford Health actively supports NDSU students, faculty, staff and programs by providing preceptors and clinical instructors, and offering clinical rotations, internships and hands-on learning experiences in their many state-of-the-art facilities. They also co-fund various NDSU clinical faculty positions, collaborate with faculty on research, participate in advisory boards, curriculum and admissions committees and hire hundreds of NDSU graduates each year. Sanford’s support of NDSU nursing and allied health education is also evident in their contribution to expand and update Sudro Hall for 21st century learning and research. Sanford’sphilanthropic support also was instrumental in the completion of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, a first-class, Division I facility for NDSU student athletes to train, learn and compete.

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