Established on 09.21.2021 by Dr. Janelle Sanda '76 and Dr. Robert Arusell †
When Dr. Janelle Sanda first came to Concordia, she expected to study medical technology. One day in the lab, her mentor, Dr. Darrell Ostercamp, asked her, "Did you ever consider going to medical school?" That well-posed, timely question changed her life. It is one reason why Janelle and her husband, Dr. Robert Arusell, are enthusiastic supporters of student scholarships and the Integrated Science Center. The couple values supporting the education of future scientists and medical professionals – those who, in Janelle's words, "will take care of us as we grow older."
Janelle came to Concordia almost by accident. A high school friend's family was visiting the campus one weekend and invited her to come along. She liked what she experienced. Her biology courses were held in a rustic, one-story wooden building, but the relationships she cultivated were invaluable.
Janelle graduated from Concordia in 1976, then pursued her medical degree at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, and completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa. At the time, she was the only woman in adult medicine. Robert attended Jamestown College, graduated from University of North Dakota School of Medicine, and trained at Mayo Clinic. In 1984, Janelle and Robert joined the Fargo Clinic, now Sanford Health.
Janelle spent most of her career as a physician in the internal medicine department at Sanford, as well as at the Edith Sanford Breast Center. Throughout her medical career, she has served in various leadership roles and inspired numerous young women into pursuing careers as physicians. Robert worked as a radiation oncologist at the Roger Maris Cancer Center for 33 years.
In their free time, Janelle and Robert like to be active. The couple enjoys scuba diving and has traveled around the world to explore the beauty below the water's surface. Janelle has logged over 1,000 dives. They also enjoy downhill skiing in Montana and summers at their lake place outside Fargo. The couple has graciously supported the arts in Fargo-Moorhead. Janelle has volunteered her time for C-400 committees and annual giving at Concordia.
Janelle keeps in close contact with a group of friends who met during their first year in East Complex. The group of women still gets together at least once a year – a testament to the lifelong bonds that develop at Concordia.