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Pay it Forward

The University of North Dakota takes great pride in our student-athletes, leaders in competition, leaders in the community and leaders in the classroom. We, along with our generous donors, invite them to continue to be proud supporters of the University by joining the Champions Club. Dave and his wife Diane Bender will be paying for the first year of a North Dakota Champions Club membership for every graduating and/or exhausted eligibility student-athlete. Dave and Diane’s hope is that they will continue the initiative and “Pay It Forward” in supporting UND Athletics by renewing their memberships the following years.

How it started

As a former student-athlete and now a life-long fan of UND Athletics, Dave Bender wanted to give back and inspire other former student-athletes to do the same. David and Diane currently reside in St. Augustine, Florida. They hope this gift to former student-athletes will also provide some inspiration to others who are looking for unique ways to support the University of North Dakota.

The membership

Championships start with scholarships. The Champions Club makes this possible at the University of North Dakota through providing scholarships to our student-athletes. Our members donate nearly half of the total scholarship dollars for UND Athletics. Our student-athletes know first-hand the impact scholarships have on them and their teammates. As a Champions Club member, their support will directly benefit student-athletes at UND.


After saying yes to the offer from The Bender’s, the membership will begin the next coming season. As a member of the Champions Club, basic benefits begin with: football tailgate tent access, free admission to UND Volleyball, 15% off Sioux Shop discount, auto decals, exclusive presale of single game tickets, priority to purchase different sports’ season tickets, recognition in programs and on the Champions Club website, and the pride with satisfaction of supporting UND student-athletes. As one continues to give and join at higher levels, more opportunities and benefits become available.

Paying it forward

After the first year, it will be up to the former student-athlete to renew the membership. This is their time to continue to give back to the program that gave them so much. Dave and Diane started the initiative, and now it is their turn to give back. For two more years, they have the option to renew for just $50 a year.

To learn more contact:

Val Sussex | 701.777.4078

Deb Wilson | 701.777.6428

David and Diane Bender with Athletics Director Bill Chaves