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History of the Gold Star Alumni Band

Membership in the Gold Star Band has long been a special fellowship among the affiliations available to students at North Dakota State University. The social bonds established between students and directors during their years at the University have for many continued for a lifetime. It was this strong connection that ultimately sparked the idea to form the group in 1980. A group of Gold Star Band alumni led by Bill Haring, and accompanied by Curt Lundberg, Carol Houglum and Wendy Anderson, began collaborating with Orv Eidem and the NDSU Alumni Association to begin planning a full organization of the group that would culminate in the first full activity at Homecoming 1981.

The first year activities of the group resulted in the drafting of a constitution and bylaws, the formation of a charter membership that resulted in nearly 80 charter members, the establishment of the Gold Star Alumni Band Scholarship Builders Fund, and the first of many annual social and performing events for the group.

The GSAB has held social events and an annual meeting each year at Homecoming. The group has performed at the alumni pre-game activities and football game each year. Additionally, the group has done public performances and social events from time to time in the summer.

Each year, the group has awarded scholarships to deserving members of the Gold Star Band from the growing GSAB Scholarship Builders Fund.

The GSAB was enthusiastic to support the Centennial events of the Gold Star Band in 2003-04, and enjoyed the huge turnout of Gold Star Band alumni that participated in the Homecoming and Spring galas to celebrate the milestone. Among the participants in the events were former directors, Orv Eidem and Roy Johnson, members of the Putnam and Euren families, former North Dakota Governor, Bill Guy, and noted composer and arranger, Alf Clausen.

The GSAB celebrated it Silver Anniversary in 2006 and capped the event with a fund drive for its Scholarship Builders Fund. The drive netted over $5,000, increasing the principal in its account with the NDSU Development Foundation to nearly $22,000. The growing principal of the scholarship fund will ensure that future Gold Star Band members will enjoy the benefit of the stewardship of Gold Star Band alumni. We are confident Gold Star Band alumni will continue to support and promote the activities of the Gold Star Alumni Band and that the proud history and fine traditions will live on long into the second century of the Gold Star Band.

Past Directors of the Gold Star Band
1902-1903 Harry M. Ruud
1903-1914 Dr. Clarence "Doc" Putnam
1914-1916 Harold Bachman
1916-1917 B.A. Orr
1917-1944 Dr. Clarence "Doc" Putnam
1944-1948 Edward J. Schroepfer
1949-1968 William "Bill" Euren
1968-1970 Roger Sorenson
1969 Roy D. Johnson
1970-1993 Orville M. Eidem
1993-1999 Wayne F. Dorothy
1999-Present Dr. Warren Olfert (Director of Bands)
2007-Present Dr. Sigurd Johnson (Director of Athletic Bands)