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Discussions between UND, McGarry 'successful,' spokesman says

Kris Engelstad McGarry1 / 2
Mark Kennedy2 / 2

LAS VEGAS—Discussions between the University of North Dakota and one of its biggest donors were called successful on Wednesday, May 30, but participants said little about the meeting itself.

The meeting between UND President Mark Kennedy, other university officials and Kris Engelstad McGarry was held in Las Vegas, where McGarry lives.

"The University of North Dakota had successful discussions today with the representatives of the Ralph Engelstad arena," Peter Johnson, a spokesman for the university, said in a statement. "We look forward to a strong relationship that will benefit UND's student athletes and the UND community into the future. We would like to thank Kris Engelstad McGarry for her leadership in this process."

Johnson declined to expand on his statement as to what made the discussions successful, as well as who from the university was involved with the discussions.

McGarry also released the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:

"We had a productive meeting today with UND, and our agreement should be finalized in the next seven to 10 days. This outcome is a positive step in moving forward and continuing our lasting and deeply rooted relationship with the University."

McGarry, the daughter of Ralph Engelstad, claimed earlier this month that communication between her and Kennedy had been "quite hostile at times."

She also complained that Kennedy refused to meet with her, and said she had told Kennedy she was free in "April or May, I'm open—he said, 'I'm not—not available.' "

Emails obtained by Forum News Service show a Kennedy assistant offering meeting dates on April 12-13, 19-24 and May 1. McGarry's representative had responded that McGarry would be out of town during the dates suggested.

Johnson said that May 30 was a day that worked for both schedules.

Sydney Mook

Sydney Mook has been covering higher education at the Grand Forks Herald since May 2018. She previously served as the multimedia editor and cops, courts and health reporter at the Dickinson Press from January 2016 to May 2018.  She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in three and half years in December 2015. While at the USD, she worked for the campus newspaper, The Volante, as well as the television news show, Coyote News. She also interned at South Dakota Public Broadcasting and spent the summer before her senior year interning in Fort Knox for the ROTC Cadet Summer Training program. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys cheering on the New York Yankees and the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as playing golf. If you've got an idea for a video be sure to give her a call!

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