Foundation launched by UND’s Dave and Jo-Anne Yearwood donating more computers


Kate Menzies

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Education & Human Development


Effort thrives on support from regional companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota and Gate City Bank

A Grand Forks-based foundation with ties to the University of North Dakota is ready to bolster educational opportunities in areas lacking technology by providing donated computers and software to schools and organizations.

Since 2013, "The Jewel and Randolph Education Technology Foundation" has donated 245 computers to areas in North Dakota and abroad. Two UND employees started the foundation: Dave Yearwood, a professor and chair of UND's Technology Department, and his wife, Jo-Anne, director of the University Children's Center and an instructor in UND's Teaching and Learning Department. The foundation is named in honor of Dave's parents.

The foundation is set to make its next round of donations to areas that lack sufficient modern electronic tools with the hope that the donated equipment will provide access to 21st century technologies. The foundation works with area businesses to provide items to enhance educational opportunities in K-12, after-school programs and adult learning centers in the state and around the world.

This marks the second year that Fargo-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) has donated outdated computers and technology to the foundation. In 2014, the company will donate 106 desktop computers and 22 notebook computers that have reached the end of their business lifecycle.

"Working with the Yearwood Foundation allows us to go green with computers that are no longer useful in the workplace, but can still provide meaningful educational opportunities for others," said Renay Rutter, vice president of enterprise administration at BCBSND.

This summer, the foundation will deliver 40 desktop and 11 laptop computers, donated by BCBSND, to schools in Rolette, N.D. The Rolette Public School District serves a growing population of American Indian students. School officials contacted the foundation after a donation of 55 computers to the Devils Lake Native American Educational Advisory Committee in 2013.

In addition, the island nation of Jamaica will receive 66 desktop computers and 11 laptop computers donated by BCBSND, as well as 11 computer monitors donated by Gate City Bank of Fargo. The technology will assist educational efforts at a theological college, a community homework and reading center, and a high school in Jamaica.

Last year, the foundation donated 50 computers to Liberia and 20 desktop and five laptop computers to Ghana for educational use in a community college, after-school programs, primary and secondary schools and community centers.

The foundation also hopes to being providing computers to Dave Yearwood's homeland of the Island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.

If anyone is interested in helping the Foundation, please call 701.772.2873.

About the Foundation:

Dave and Jo-Anne Yearwood established the Jewel and Randolph Education Technology Foundation in honor of Dave's parents, who not only supported the educational aspirations of their children and grandchildren, but also believed in volunteerism.

The foundation's goal is to provide computer-related technologies to teachers, educational institutions ranging from preschools to colleges, and organizations that work with educational institutions and adults.

The foundation is currently registered with the State of North Dakota and is seeking 501(c)(3) status. In addition to monetary funds for packaging and shipping, the foundation accepts donations of electronic technologies and software.

The following are current members of The Jewel and Randolph Education Technology Foundation:

  • Founding member and co-director Dave Yearwood, professor and chair of the UND Technology Department UND.
  • Founding member and co-director Jo-Anne Yearwood, instructor and director of the UND University Children Center.
  • Permanent member Danny Mastre, director of IT infrastructure and desktop support at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.
  • Dennis Elbert, former dean of the UND College of Business and Public Administration and current Professor in the UND Department of Entrepreneurship.
  • Tim O'Keefe, chair of UND Information and Systems Business Education.
  • Lori Swinney, director of the UND Center for Instructional and Learning Technologies.
  • Nancy Dutot, principal of South Middle School of the Grand Forks Public Schools System.
  • Gwendolyn Puckett, of the University Children Center.
  • Dean Gorder, executive director of the North Dakota Trade Office.
  • Christyne J. Vachon of the UND School of Law.