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Last Fighting Sioux Sign Removed from Arena - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Last Fighting Sioux Sign Removed from Arena

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  It's the end of an era at the University of North Dakota.  The last "Home of the Fighting Sioux" sign was removed from the Engelstad Arena, as part of the settlement with the N-C-A-A to retire the nickname.

  Back in December of 2000, Ralph Engelstad, the man who donated $100-million dollars for the arena, wrote a letter that said in so many words… if the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo were changed, he'd walk away from his investment and let the place turn to rubble. But now, more than a decade later, the last of 6 "Home of the Fighting Sioux" signs on the exterior of the building came down. New signs saying "Home of North Dakota Hockey" will replace them.

  Earl Strinden is former Alumni Director and a member of the Engelstad Foundation.

Reporter: "So what do you think Ralph Engelstad would say about the signs coming down from the arena he built?"

Earl Strinden, Engelstad Foundation: "Well, keep in mind that the symbol stays. So, I think Ralph Engelstad would say under the circumstances with what we were facing that this is a very responsible settlement."

 Students seem to be taking the change in stride.

Student: "It's sad to see it go, since its been such a big part of this school. But, you have to follow the rules."

Student: "UND is UND. So, nothing will really change, just our name.

  So, while the Fighting Sioux nickname has now vanished from the Engelstad Arena, reminders of that era still remain in the logos that remain on the exterior and interior of the building.

 Meanwhile, Engelstad Foundation Board member, Earl Strinden says, a special display is now being planned for the lobby of the "Ralph" that will tell the story of nickname.

  UND can't implement a new nickname until 2015.

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