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East Grand Forks couple donates $2.6 million to UND men's hockey program

The gift will fund needs within the hockey program.

Bob and Jeannie Peabody during a gift signing at the Ralph Engelstad Arena on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. (Sara Titera/UND Alumni Association and Foundation)
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GRAND FORKS — An East Grand Forks couple with deep ties to UND’s hockey program is donating more than $2 million to the team.

Bob and Jeannie Peabody have signed a gift agreement to donate $2.6 million to the UND men’s hockey program — $2.55 million through their estate plan and $50,000 to make an immediate impact on the program, UND’s Alumni Association and Foundation announced Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Bob Peabody was the goalie on the 1958-59 team that won UND’s first national hockey championship. He graduated in 1961 with a degree in business. Jeannie earned an English degree in 1962. The couple own Lumber Mart in East Grand Forks and Grand Forks.

“We are very thankful to be as well off as we are at this point in our lives,” Bob Peabody said in a news release. “It’s time to reward those that have helped us get to this point. The University of North Dakota was good to both my wife and me and gave us the tools to be successful in life.”

The gift will fund needs within the hockey program.


Head coach Brad Berry said the Peabodys are a “very big part of our hockey family” at UND.

“Their gift will impact the student-athletes that come through our doors every day. We can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for our hockey program,” he said.

Midco will now host a 30-minute pregame show from inside Ralph Engelstad Arena before the start of each home weekend.

DeAnna Carlson Zink, CEO of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation, reflected on the passion Bob and Jeannie Peabody have for their alma mater and student-athletes at the university.

“(The gift) is a wonderful testament to their success and their philanthropic spirit,” she said.

The couple has supported charitable and civic projects throughout the local area for years. Bob Peabody says their belief is that they are repaying old debts through their philanthropy.

“If you forget who brought you to the dance then you missed the whole ballgame. Pretty simple. You have to go back and take care of those that took care of you when you needed it and say ‘thank you,’” he said.

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at smook@gfherald.com or call her at 701-780-1134.
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