By any measure, 2012 was a great year at the University of North Dakota, but one look at the top ten stories of the past year suggests it was truly exceptional.
After posting record spring and summer enrollments, UND surged into the fall setting the school's all-time student enrollment record at 15,250 students.
It was a year of transition for UND Athletics. Following the June 12 vote on Measure 4, the State Board of Higher Education directed UND to resume the transition away from the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. Just weeks later, on July 1, all UND sports teams shed the transition label and entered the Division I era (although Men's Hockey has been Division I for decades). On this day, many of UND's sports teams officially were accepted into the Big Sky Athletic Conference.
UND announced $14 million in private and public partnership funding, greatly enhancing efforts in petroleum geology and related fields. The announcement also included the naming of the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering in the College of Engineering and Mines.
Altru Health System pledged $10 million in support of a sports medicine partnership, of which $9 million would fund an indoor UND Athletics Complex.
The dedication of the Gorecki Alumni Center marked the opening of what would be North Dakota's first Platinum-certified LEED building and the first of its kind in the nation for alumni centers.
The new UND Art Collections Gallery at the Empire Arts Center was established in downtown Grand Forks. The exhibition includes art of ancient Egypt and later works by Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Roy Lichtenstein and others.
Two first doctorates of their kind were graduated from UND in 2012: - Kirk Ogaard in computer science - Hai Wang in chemical engineering
UND Football broke records when it secured a 40-34 victory over Montana. Senior Braden Hanson threw for a school and Big Sky record 660 yards and five touchdowns, while junior Greg Hardin hauled in a career-high 12 of the school-record 42 completions.