University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Life is good co-founder visits campus Oct. 11

Catch the Spirit at UND Homecoming with Life is good.® co-founder and Chief Optimist Bert Jacobs at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in life-is-goodthe Chester Fritz Auditorium.  Jacobs will speak about the power of optimism and giving at the Spirit Celebration, which wraps up North Dakota Spirit  |  The Campaign for UND.

The Campaign broke its goal of raising $300 million for the benefit of the University of North Dakota’s passionate students, inspirational educators, innovative programs, and extraordinary places in February. The final dollar figure will be announced at the Spirit Celebration. As testament to the philanthropy exhibited during North Dakota Spirit  |  The Campaign for UND, students at the event will have the chance to win one of five $1,000 UND scholarships, and one student organization could win $5,000.

During the celebration, Jacobs will speak on the importance of philanthropy and optimism, which he calls fun, healthy, and empowering.  Life is good.®, known for t-shirts sporting its iconic logo and illustration of a contagious grin, was co-founded in 1994 by Jacobs and his brother, John, and the products are now sold by more than 3,500 retailers. The brand spreads the power of optimism and helps children in need by donating 10 percent of net profits to the Life is good Kids Foundation.

“We are excited that Bert Jacobs is sharing his time and values with us at the Spirit Celebration during Homecoming week,” said President Robert O. Kelley.  “The company’s history and ideals, resiliency, optimism, and perseverance, align with those of North Dakota Spirit  | The Campaign for UND.  We look forward to his inspiring words about philanthropy and optimism as we celebrate what the campaign, UND’s investors, and their beneficiaries — UND’s students and faculty — have achieved.”

Jacobs, one of six children, is from Needham, Mass.  He graduated from Villanova University in 1987 with a degree in Communications, and worked as a ski instructor, pizza delivery person, and substitute teacher before co-founding Life is good.® The company has been featured on CNBC, CNN, ABC News Nightline, The Today Show, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other national media.