In October 1990, a buoyantly self-confident Norwegian educator named Steinar Opstad walked into the president’s office at UND and met his American equal, Tom Clifford.
“In the president’s office at UND I met a strong type, informal in attitude and outfit,” Opstad recalls. “We liked each other from the first minute.”
Within two hours, they had mapped out plans for an American-style college in Norway and UND’s central place in serving its students. Since the college’s founding 20 years ago, about 1,700 students have traveled from Norway to Grand Forks, and hundreds of UND students have made the reverse trip.
A delegation from the American College of Norway is in Grand Forks this week to mark the anniversary, celebrating with UND students, faculty and others who see the connection as part of a broader linkage between UND and a country important to this region for contemporary trade, artistic and technology reasons as well as for historic cultural ties.