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 1136[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
Affiliations APCU; North Star Athletic Association; NAIA
Mascot Knight
Your success. Our tradition.

The 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] and in 2015, Niche named UJ the best college in the state.[6]


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.[7] 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,[8] and one has earned the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics.[9]

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.[10]

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 initial class of DPT students graduated in May 2016. 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 a master's degrees in Counseling.[11]

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 UJ 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 degree program, Jamestown College would henceforth be known as the University of Jamestown.[3]

The 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 the Jimmies, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as a North Star Athletic Association since the 2013–14 school year as one of its charter members. Since joining the NSAA, the Jimmies won early conference championships in football, women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's golf. UJ will become a full member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference in 2018–19 and will be an affiliate member of the GPAC in men's wrestling and women's cheer and dance in 2017–18. The Jimmies formerly competed in the now-defunct Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC), as well as an Independent of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). Starting in 2016–17 The University of Jamestown introduced a men's ice hockey team that competes in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 1 (ACHA). Men's sports include hockey, baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, track and field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field, volleyball and wrestling. Starting in fall 2017, The University of Jamestown will offer women's cheer and dance and a co-ed eSports team.[14]

Notable people[edit]



  • Richard Harrison Smith, director of the Concert Choir from 1969 to 1999
  • Larry Woiwode, accomplished author and poet, serving as Poet Laureate of the State of North Dakota since 1995

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. ^ Jacobs, Peter (September 22, 2014). "The Most Influential College In Every State". Business Insider. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ Martin, Emmie (December 28, 2015). "The best college in every state". Business Insider. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "NAIA Football Championship History" (PDF). National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. 2008-01-03. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  8. ^ "Rhodes Scholarships: Number of Winners by Institution" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-09-23. 
  9. ^ "The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity". Retrieved 2014-09-23. 
  10. ^ "Jamestown College Concert Choir". University of Jamestown. Retrieved February 16, 2012. [dead link]
  11. ^ a b "UJ plans capital campaign | Jamestown Sun". Retrieved 2015-04-06. 
  12. ^ "Character in Leadership at University of Jamestown". University of Jamestown. 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  13. ^ "Jamestown Journey To Success". University of Jamestown. 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  14. ^ Fairbanks, Katies. "UJ starting up eSports team". The Jamestown Sun. Retrieved April 3, 2017. 
  15. ^ Shapiro, T. Rees (2017-06-03). "George W. Johnson, college president who transformed GMU, dies at 88". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-06-24. 

External links[edit]