At exactly 3 p.m. Central on September 2, University of North Dakota business student Pierson Painter had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The entrepreneurship and marketing major rang the closing bell for the Nasdaq Stock Market—virtually. Painter, along with others from UND’s Nistler College of Business & Public Administration, appeared larger than life on the Nasdaq Tower high above New York City’s Times Square.
Ringing the bell was just one of the prizes Painter received in the 2020 Red River Valley Business Plan Competition. He also took home $15,000 in cash and $25,000 in consulting support. His winning business plan outlined the steps he’ll take to expand his Dakota Lawn & Landscape business by making and selling a liquid salt de-icer.
“Along with winning the cash prize and the consulting hours, which were awesome, I’m absolutely thrilled to be given the chance to ring the Nasdaq closing bell,” says Painter.
The competition, sponsored by Nodak Insurance Co. and the Edson & Margaret Larson Foundation, partners students with industry experts to showcase the tradition of entrepreneurial excellence that makes North Dakota and UND leaders across the globe.
The bell-ringing ceremony is just one example that sets UND and its students apart. With its renowned AACSB ranking, UND is among the top 5% of business schools worldwide. And construction has recently begun on its new building.
Named for Werner and Colleen Nistler, who donated the generous lead gift, the brand-new $70 million Nistler College of Business & Public Administration building is projected to open in fall 2022. It represents a remarkable partnership of donors, including the State Legislature with a $20 million match, the city of Grand Forks with a $1.3 million grant, and countless others.
Located in the heart of campus, the new building will provide students with flexible, state-of-the-art learning spaces and opportunities for small-group collaboration, interaction with faculty, and extensive digital connectivity.