Charles E. Kupchella earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1964, and the Ph.D. in Physiology and Microbiology from St. Bonaventure University in 1968. He previously served as Provost at Southeast Missouri State University, and in academic and administrative roles at Western Kentucky University, Murray State University, and the University of Louisville. Dr. Kupchella and First Lady Adele both grew up in coal mining families in Western Pennsylvania.
The Kupchella administration began July 1, 1999, as the University was still recovering from the devastating flood of 1997. President Kupchella led the campus in fashioning a comprehensive strategic plan to carry the University into the new millennium. His calm, focused and thoughtful approach fostered economic development for Grand Forks and North Dakota, and helped ensure UND’s growth and prosperity. His involvement with the Legislative Higher Education Roundtable allowed UND to develop new partnerships with public and private sectors and to begin commercializing University research.
During the Kupchella administration, UND received six State Center of Excellence for Economic Development awards. Research activity nearly tripled, and the campus expanded dramatically with such facilities as the Ralph Engelstad Arena, the Neuroscience Research Facility, the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center, the Student Wellness Center, University Place residence hall, townhomes and retail operations on the Bronson Property, and much more standing as a testament to his vision.
The University continued to grow as an institution of national stature. It earned wide recognition for research in energy and medicine, implementation of technology, community engagement, international exchanges and programs, entrepreneurship education, and fostering of new businesses. Academic standards were raised and enrollment grew, particularly in the Graduate School. Long recognized for its nationally ranked Division I hockey program, the University, under Kupchella’s leadership, decided to move all athletic programs to Division I.
As a biologist and cancer researcher, President Kupchella was an advocate for wellness, as was First Lady Adele. Under their leadership, UND won several awards for wellness, began a student and employee wellness program, and built the award-wining Student Wellness Center, one of the finest collegiate fitness facilities in the nation.
The Kupchella presidency left UND a stronger research university poised to continue growing and fulfilling its mission of teaching, research, and service to the Grand Forks community, the state of North Dakota, and the world at large.
President Kupchella retired in June 2008 after spearheading the celebration of the 125th anniversary of UND’S founding. He and Adele moved to the mountains of Pennsylvania to be closer to family. They plan to continue their involvement with the University.
Source: Historical Storyboard, 3rd Floor, Twamley Hall
Donation; Acc.# 2009-2973
These publications were cataloged and placed in Special Collections Stacks:
Books written by Charles E. Kupchella:
The Tree Shack: a Story About the Foundations of Morality and the Origins of Humankind. CreateSpace: North Charleston, South Carolina, 2014.
--Call number: PS3611.U62 T7 2014
Publications written about Charles E. Kupchella:
The Kupchella Years: 1999-2008. University of North Dakota, 2008.
--Call number: LD3982.7.K8 K82 2008
The Charles E. Kupchella Papers have been divided into four series:
Series 1: Biographical Material
Series 2: Research Articles
Series 3: Abstracts of Presentations