What started in 1998 by two bright and ambitious NDSU students working toward degrees in biotechnology and pharmaceutical sciences is about to become a permanent part of the NDSU campus.
When the addition to Sudro Hall opens in 2020, Aldevron Tower will serve as a hallmark of the opportunity that is always here, and a symbol of the amazing journey of a North Dakota kid whose business experience involved tending bees for his grandfather's honey company in Carrington, North Dakota, and a young man who traveled across the world from New Zealand to Fargo – and stayed.
With their can-do attitudes, NDSU degrees and connections and space at NDSU’s Van Es Hall to work, Michael Chambers and John Ballantyne named their company Aldevron.
Today, Aldevron has grown into a world-class service organization specializing in nucleic acid and protein production and antibody development with operations in the United States and Europe. Throughout the years, Aldevron’s headquarters remained in Fargo, and the company is celebrating its 20th anniversary this fall. A new GMP DNA manufacturing facility was dedicated Oct. 2 in southwest Fargo.
Aldevron Tower will be the result of philanthropic support provided by alumni, businesses and friends who are funding the entire construction of the project, up to $28 million. The project is historic in that it will be the largest privately-funded, academic facility on campus.
Construction of the approximately 74,000-square-foot, six-story tower addition to Sudro Hall is anticipated to be completed by January 2020, and the facility will provide collaborative learning, expand research and service capabilities and help meet the region’s growing need for health care professionals.
“In a literal and figurative sense, this project is a game changer for NDSU’s capacity to address critical state needs in the health care arena,” said NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani. “We are grateful to all who have stepped forward with charitable support of the project. The Aldevron-NDSU story is a special one and a perfect example of the importance of long-term partnerships between public research universities, its graduates, companies and service to citizens.”
Charles D. Peterson, dean of the College of Health Professions, also expressed gratitude for the opportunities provided by the expansion. “This new facility is a dream come true. It will provide us state-of-the-art facilities that will allow us to have an even greater impact on our state, region, and nation related to healthcare education, research, and workforce. Without the extraordinary philanthropy and leadership of private partners like Aldevron, this dream would not have become a reality.”
“Aldevron is honored to be a part of this project,” said Chambers, who pointed out that the company’s first lab started a short walk from Sudro Hall. “Scientific advances are changing how healthcare is delivered, requiring specialized training for nurses and other health practitioners. Aldevron Tower will provide the basis for NDSU faculty and staff to provide this training, while providing new opportunities to students and researchers.”
John R. Glover, president/CEO of the NDSU Foundation, said the case for this project has been compelling to philanthropists. “Philanthropy occurs when citizens, businesses and charitable foundations have belief and confidence in a mission that can impact society and change lives, and this project exemplifies just that. Lives are transformed through our student-focused, land grant, research university mission, and we are extremely proud of the Aldevron story, its NDSU roots and commitment to Fargo.”
More than 2,000 students are enrolled in the College of Health Professions’ School of Pharmacy, School of Nursing, Department of Allied Sciences and the Department of Public Health. Once the expansion project is complete, enrollment will be able to expand, and all of the college’s programs will be housed in Sudro Hall and Aldevron Tower, bringing together the next frontier of experiential learning and team-based healthcare for future generations of students and researchers.
SBHE and/or Legislative History
March 28, 2018: SBHE authorized NDSU to proceed with the Sudro Hall Addition project at an estimated cost of $28 million funded from private funds.
Sixty-fifth Legislative Assembly of North Dakota: SB2003 amendment added special fund authority for the NDSU Sudro Hall renovation and addition project.
March 30, 2017: SBHE authorized NDSU to proceed with a fundraising campaign and to seek legislative approval as an amendment to SB2003 to include construction authorization for this project not to exceed $28 million.
Oct. 25, 2018: SBHE will formally vote to approve naming of Aldevron Tower.
As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.