University of Jamestown

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University of Jamestown
Motto Latin: Lux et Veritas
Motto in English
Light and Truth
Type Private Liberal Arts
Established 1883 (1883)
Affiliation Presbyterian
Endowment $36.1 million[1]
President Robert S. Badal
Dean Paul J. Olson
Students 967[1]
Location Jamestown, ND, USA
46°54′50″N 98°41′53″W / 46.914°N 98.698°W / 46.914; -98.698Coordinates: 46°54′50″N 98°41′53″W / 46.914°N 98.698°W / 46.914; -98.698
Campus Urban (110 acres)[1]
Colors Orange and Black          
Nickname Jimmies
Mascot Knight
Affiliations APCU; DAC; NAIA
Your success. Our tradition.

University of Jamestown is a private liberal arts college founded by the Presbyterian Church[2] located in Jamestown, North Dakota, United States. It has about 1,000 students enrolled today and has been co-educational from its founding. Until August 2013, the school was known as Jamestown College.[3]

In 2007, Jamestown became the first North Dakota college or university to make US News and World Report's "Tier 1" for undergraduate colleges in the Midwest, a distinction repeated annually ever since.[4] As of 2014, the University of Jamestown ranks 37th in the region.[1] In 2014, Business Insider reported that the University of Jamestown is the most influential college in North Dakota.[5]


The University of Jamestown was founded as Jamestown College in 1883, but closed fairly quickly during the depression of 1893. The school reopened in 1909 and has remained in operation ever since.

The University of Jamestown has been notable for three things: its athletics, its academic success, particularly in science and nursing programs, and its choir. In 1979, its football team went to the NAIA Division II National Championships.[6] Jamestown's pre-medical students have a long-standing tradition of higher-than-average medical school acceptance rates, two students have gone on to become Rhodes Scholars,[7] and one has earned the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics.[8]

In 1972 the college's choir—directed by Richard Harrison Smith and for decades one of the top small-college choirs in the United States—became the first American choir to sing at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, an honor they repeated four more times during the 1970s and 1980s. The choir continues to tour internationally every four years. The choir performed on a tour of Italy in May 2006, with concert venues including the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. The choir's most recent international tour was to China in May 2010.[9]

1980s: Low Ebb[edit]

In the mid-1980s, a difficult farm economy, along with alleged mismanagement by several former college administration officials, led the college into difficult times; in 1986, the school graduated 92 students, had a full-time enrollment of only 500 students, and reportedly came within 24 hours of closing its doors. A few 11th-hour donations and some radical restructuring brought the college back from the brink. The fundraising charge was led by Marvin E. Seibold ('56) and R.G. "Bob" Lyngstad who formed the "Committee of 100"—a group of 100 donors who each gave $10,000 to keep the College open.


Today, after nearly twenty years of aggressive fundraising, the school has nearly triple the students, and has been able to embark on a large building program to replace some of the buildings, which in many cases date from the college's original heyday in the 1920s.

The $30 million capital campaign to finance both this new construction and a larger scholarship base recently surpassed its goal several months ahead of its self-imposed 2008 deadline.[3]

In the fall of 2013, the university welcomed its first students into its Fargo-based Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The university announced in April 2015 that it plans to add new academic programs in the near future including bachelor's degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Technology beginning in the fall of 2016 and master's degrees in Leadership and Counseling.[10]

In April 2015, the university announced a major new capital campaign with a goal of raising $50 million for the construction of a new 2,200-seat on-campus arena and a new turf practice field. The campaign also includes funding for the renovation of the Larson Center, Hansen Center, and Lyngstad Hall.[11]

Recent developments[edit]

The Unruh and Sheldon Center for Business and Computer Science

The University of Jamestown has recently added many new buildings to the campus:

  • renovations to the nursing program building, featuring a state of the art simulated Intensive Care Unit.
  • the Unruh and Sheldon Center, home to the college's Business, Accounting and Economics, and Computer Science and Information Technology departments. This building is one of the most wired and high-tech buildings in the midwest; construction of the $5 million facility was completed in the summer of 2006 using gifts from Jim Unruh and Agnes (Sheldon) Griffin.
  • the Ed and Elaine Nafus Student Center, including a two-story atrium entrance, an open commons area for students, a new coffee lounge, and full handicap-accessibility.
  • an expansion of the Larson Center gymnasium and indoor track facility.
  • the Foss Wellness Center, a modern student wellness and physical education center.
  • the Student Media Center, featuring a studio, control room, and the Kurt Schork Newsroom, an integrated center for video, audio, and print media production.

A recent addition to the JC curriculum as of the 2006-07 school year is the "Character in Leadership" program, giving entering freshmen the ability to receive a minor in leadership.[12]

In August 2013, College President Robert Badal announced that, in light of a new Master's, online Bachelor's, and an applied doctorate degrees, Jamestown College would henceforth be known as the University of Jamestown.[3]

The Jamestown Journey to Success[edit]

In 2007, Jamestown announced the Journey to Success, a new program targeted at preparing students for rapidly changing environments. The program has five elements: a combination of liberal arts education and professional preparation, more personalized advising and career counseling, first-year student mentors, a proven placement service and guaranteed internships, and finally, guaranteed graduation in four years.[13]


The University of Jamestown athletic teams, nicknamed athletically as the Jimmies, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as an Independent of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). The University of Jamestown became a charter member of the North Star Athletic Association in the 2013-14 school year and won early conference championships in football, women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's golf. The Jimmies formerly competed in the now-defunct Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field, volleyball and wrestling.

Notable people[edit]



Honorary degrees[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "University of Jamestown - Best Colleges - Education - US News and World Report". US News and World Report. Retrieved 2014-09-20. 
  2. ^ "Our History". University of Jamestown. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Jamestown College is now University of Jamestown" (Press release). University of Jamestown. August 21, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  4. ^ "US News and World Report moves Jamestown College to top tier". University of Jamestown. 2007-08-17. Archived from the original on 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  5. ^ Retrieved 2014-09-22.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "NAIA Football Championship History" (PDF). National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  7. ^ (PDF) Retrieved 2014-09-23.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Retrieved 2014-09-23.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Jamestown College Concert Choir". University of Jamestown. Retrieved February 16, 2012. [dead link]
  10. ^ Retrieved 2015-04-06.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Retrieved 2015-04-06.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Character in Leadership at Jamestown College". University of Jamestown. 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  13. ^ "Jamestown Journey To Success". University of Jamestown. 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  14. ^ "Pablo Garza UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014. 

External links[edit]