Local 4th grader gets a VIP tour of NDSU

A Facebook post from Parker Swenningsen's mother got the University to go all out for his visit to campus.

Parker Swenningsen (left) poses with NDSU President David Cook (right) at the end of his grand tour of NDSU.
Jay Dahl / WDAY News

FARGO — After seeing a Facebook post from Cara Hubbard asking if her fourth-grade son could get a tour of North Dakota State University, NDSU rolled out the red carpet for a VIP tour of all things green and gold for Parker Swenningsen.

The weather was not ideal for a grand tour, but Swenningsen was giddy nonetheless, if you couldn't tell by his hair green and gold dyed hair he says Hubbard helped him dyed for the occasion.

"Cause it's a big event and I know you dye your hair for like big events, so she asked me if I wanted to dye my hair and I said yes."

Parker says his favorite thing about NDSU is Football. He started playing the sport himself after going to his first game this year.

"That's one of the things I wish in the future to become is a professional football player," Swenningsen said.


And after seeing some of the University's classrooms and the Wallman Wellness Center, he got to meet some of the football players face to face.

Maybe even more exciting for Swenningsen was meeting a wide variety of furry friends. He got to pet lambs, pigs, and even named a pair of cows; Tina and Moona.

He was very impressed by all the animals he got to see, but he said one of them stood out as his favorite.

"I've gotta say the chicks, the baby little chickens," Swenningsen said.

After visiting the animals, the tour stopped by the dining hall for pizza fresh from the oven. Swenningsen said he had his order figured out before he walked through the door.

"I like sausage on my pizza, and I hope they have green M & M's for me."

When it came to lunch, it wasn't just pizza stacked with sausage and other meats of his choosing, but a burger and fries as well.

After the feast at the dining hall, the tour made its way downtown to Renaissance Hall and Barry Hall before coming back to Old Main on campus for cookies with President David Cook.


Parker got to tour the president's office and sit down for a Q & A with President Cook and his wife Kate.

The end result, capped off with Bison shaped cookies, was more than Hubbard could have ever dreamed of when she sent out that Facebook post.

"The amount of people that came together to make this happen, it's incredible," Hubbard said.

Swenningsen's tour has inspired NDSU to consider doing similar kid-friendly tours in the future.

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