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VCSU announces Gary Tharaldson and family will donate largest gift in university history

May 8, 2024

Gary Tharaldson ’67, center, with members of the Forward Together Capital Campaign Task Force including Larry Robinson, right, Dick Gulmon, second from right, VCSU President Alan LaFave, second from left and Shannon Schweigert, left. Tharaldson and his family have made the largest gift in university history to support the capital campaign.

$5 million gifted to the Forward Together Capital Campaign

Valley City State University (VCSU) today announced the largest gift in university history. Gary Tharaldson ’67, and family have given $5 million as part of the Forward Together Capital Campaign. The campaign supports much-needed facility upgrades and student scholarships.

The gift will help jumpstart an expansion to the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse – VCSU’s main athletic building. The facility was built in 1960, when VCSU had 111 athletes. Today, there are almost 300 Viking athletes on campus.

“This gift will be transformative for our campus and community,” President Alan LaFave said. “The Forward Together campaign will bring our campus into the future with updated facilities and new momentum for our students, athletes and employees. We are excited and grateful for the bright future this gift will provide for future Vikings.”

The first phase of the Forward Together capital campaign is underway with work to renovate McCarthy Hall into the future home for the School of Education. The second phase of the campaign is the Fieldhouse expansion project, which includes a turfed multi-purpose indoor practice facility, new strength and conditioning areas, and several locker rooms.

“Our alumni help make Valley City and our state a special place. We are so grateful when alumni support our current students. A gift like this is a game-changer for our campus and it’s an exciting time to be a part of VCSU,” Executive Director for University Advancement Cory Anderson ’89, said. “This is a huge step toward our future and ensuring the experience for future Vikings is a high-quality educational experience.”

“We are thankful for the tremendous support we have received from the Tharaldson family, alumni, business community, faculty, staff and many other friends of the university,” director of the Forward Together campaign Larry Robinson said. “The generous gift from the Tharaldson family will go a long way to capping off a very successful effort. The resulting campus improvements will have a huge impact on VCSU and our entire region for years to come. We owe a big thank you to all of our donors.”

“This gift will have a huge, positive impact for our student athletes,” Athletic Director Dennis McCulloch said. “We firmly believe in the work of helping our students find success through competition, hard work and academics. The expansion of athletic facilities will help our students focus on those important aspects of a college career.”

For more information about the Forward Together campaign or to schedule an interview please contact Tammy Jo A. Taft, director of marketing and communication, by emailing or calling (701) 845-7227.

Rendering of the new athletic facility