George Walsh bust will be dedicated Aug. 3

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University of North Dakota


A nearly 1,500-pound pedestal and bronze bust of George Walsh, the man credited with writing the legislation to put the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, will be publicly dedicated at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 3.

The dedication will take place at the location of the statue, just outside the northeast door of Twamley Hall, on the campus quad. Refreshments will be served in 305 Twamley Hall following the ceremony. The public and campus community are invited to attend.

UND President Robert Kelley, Bob Boyd, former UND vice president of student affairs, and Gordon Iseminger, Grand Forks Historic Preservation Commission, will offer comments for the dedication. Several members of the Walsh family will also attend.

A dedication ceremony had been planned to take place last November to coincide with the late Walsh's birthday, but inclement weather forced its postponement.

In addition to being a colorful territorial legislator, Walsh was editor and owner of the Plaindealer, the first newspaper in the Red River Valley, which was later bought out by the Grand Forks Herald. He went on to be a land developer. Walsh County is named in his honor, as is a UND student residence hall.

According to the history of UND at ,Walsh submitted to the Dakota Territorial Legislature "A Bill for an Act Locating the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks..." It was the first time the term "North Dakota" was used, as statehood was not reached for another six years.

The idea for the bust evolved through the 125th Anniversary Historic Preservation Committee, a body formed as part of UND’s recent 125th Anniversary celebration. The committee felt it important to recognize Walsh this way, as he – more than any other individual – is considered the founder of UND.

An informal unveiling of the bust took place in late 2010, with about two dozen UND staff and friends of the University on hand to witness it, including the artist who created the bust, Heidi J. Hoy.