SignUp
John and Jodi Stewart have given back to UND in numerous ways.
Leaving a legacy: Former accounting major gives back
Text smallerText larger
Updated: Monday 03/14/2011 11:59:42 (ET)
by Josh Morton, UND Alumni Association
Send this article to a friend Print RSS Shop

He calls himself a product of UND's academic environment. After growing up in Parshall, N.D., former UND basketball player John Stewart chose the school for all the right reasons.

"I liked accounting, and at that time, UND had by far the best accounting program in the state," said Stewart, a Minot businessman and 1978 graduate from the College of Business & Public Administration. "I didn't have any athletic offers and didn't think much about sports until the fall of '74, when I decided to try out for the JV team. Fifty guys tried out and I made it."

His accounting career eventually took him to Minot as a partner for Brady Martz. While he didn't come to UND to play basketball, it was basketball that has kept him close to his alma mater.

"I got as much out of my experience as anybody," Stewart said.

Stewart, 1977
Now, he and his wife Jodi are making experiences possible for current and future students and student-athletes at UND. It started with the John & Jodi Stewart Impact Scholarship through the UND Foundation supporting men's basketball. This year's recipient was Nick Haugen.

"John sets a great example for alumni of all of our sports, and it's something we talk to our current student-athletes about," UND director of athletics Brian Faison said. "There's someone out there helping you have this opportunity, and when the time comes for you to help out and you have the ability to do it, you should return the favor."

The Impact Scholarship was just the start of the Stewarts' involvement in North Dakota Spirit | The Campaign for UND. They already had teamed up with other former players of coach Dave Gunther to support a scholarship in Gunther's name. The Dave & Jane Gunther Scholarship Endowment was established this fall through the UND Foundation.

"The friends I made and the relationship with coach Gunther are like fine wine — they get better with age," Stewart said. "It took me 10 years before he I saw him as something more than a coach. He was not always likeable because he was all about preparation and discipline. Now, when I call or see him it's about a friendship, and I give him a big hug."

The Stewarts also have joined a growing pool of former student-athletes who have discovered another way of giving back — by leaving their legacy at UND. They've left a bequest to the UND Foundation to support a basketball scholarship endowment, as well as, a gift to the John & Jodi Stewart Professorship to benefit the College of Business & Public Administration.

"I'm honoring my parents, coach Gunther and accounting instructors who prepared me for life," Stewart said. "I have two passions, and it's important to remember that student-athletes are there as a student first."

"Bequests, life insurance designation, 401(k) designation all are great ways to leave a legacy at UND through the UND Foundation," said Steve Brekke, a fellow UND basketball alumni and current Associate Athletic Director for Development. "John defines North Dakota Spirit with his generosity on so many levels through annual gifts like the Impact Scholarship, to endowments, to a planned gift. It's what the campaign is all about."

As for Stewart's thoughts on North Dakota Spirit and what it means to him?

"It means achievement, getting the most out of yourself," he says. "You have to maximize what you have and I see it in UND's move to Division I."

Interested in leaving a legacy for UND through the UND Foundation? Contact Steve Brekke (steveb@undfoundation.org) or Josh Morton (joshm@undfoundation.org).

Baseball off to the Windy City in third place
North Dakota heads to Chicago State Friday to begin a three-game Western Athletic Conference series against the Cougars. UND heads into the series in third place in the WAC standings at 6-3, a... MORE
#DayByDay - Spring Football Practice Report No. 11
For the first time this spring, head coach Bubba Schweigert gave his team some extended looks in live drills and the first-year head coach said he saw some good things among the 25-plus plays... MORE
Bissell shatters school record in hammer throw
LOS ANGELES North Dakota's three-day trip to California got off to a sunny start Thursday night as senior Jakob Bissell destroyed his own school record in the hammer throw. MORE
Griep, throwers open California trip for UND
LOS ANGELES Sophomore Molly Griep recorded a pair of fourth-place finishes and two other North Dakota throwers achieved personal records Thursday night at the Cal State L.A. Twilight Open. MORE
UND Insider Weekly - Best of: Features
Watch host, Tim Hennessy, as he goes through UND Insider Weekly's features that showcased the teams and student-athletes here at UND. MORE
Carts ready for the Champions Tour stop in Bismarck at the Hawktree Golf Club.
Great numbers turned out for the Champions Tour Golf stop in Bismarck last week at the Hawktree Golf Club.  MORE
The dining room is set as golfer hit the course at the Detroit Lakes Country Club.
It was another successful day on the course, as Detroit Lakes hosted the third stop of the UND Champions Golf Tour.  MORE
Find out information about men's hockey ticket wait list.
Champions Club Executive Director Josh Morton explains the Wait List for men's hockey season tickets.  MORE
Another edition of the Champions Club video blog with Josh Morton.
Josh Morton takes look at how one team is determined to make their mark on UND football for years to come.  MORE
The instant impact of an Impact Scholarship can help student-athletes like Ross Brenneman.
In the new blog, a look at Impact Scholarships and how they are different from the Champions Club.  MORE

advertisement