Dr. Donny Bungum Awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Year by Bismarck-Mandan Chamber EDC

Donald Bungum with his class

BISMARCK, ND — The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber EDC surprised University of Mary professor Dr. Donny Bungum during his class with the Crystal Apple Award as the 2024 Higher Education Outstanding Teacher of the Year.  

Bungum, an associate professor of Philosophy and Catholic Studies at the University of Mary since 2016, holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Saint Louis University. Bungum chairs the philosophy program and directs the graduate MBA/MA in Philosophy, engaging students through courses in ethics, logic, epistemology, and more. His innovative teaching methods, which include integrating technology and promoting student-led discussions, have significantly enhanced the learning experience. Bungum's leadership contributes to the growth of the philosophy department, now supporting 47 majors and 35 minors, along with a robust involvement in Catholic Studies, impacting 65 undergraduate majors and 180 minors.

 Bungum's Statement of Teaching Philosophy offers insight into the values guiding his educational practices. He aims to nurture intellectual and moral virtues among his students, employing enthusiasm and rapport as crucial elements of his teaching methodology. This approach not only makes philosophy and theology accessible but also engenders a passion for learning that extends beyond the classroom. Bungum's dedication to education and his innovative teaching practices have left an indelible mark on his students, embodying the true spirit of educational excellence and commitment.

The student who nominated Bungum stated, “Dr. Bungum actively helps actualize his belief that every human is on a Search for Truth and helps guide them to whatever conclusion reason takes them. He sees each student as witness to truth, goodness, and beauty. Therefore, he will encourage growth so kindly, in such a mentoring way, that it is hard for students not to want to philosophize, be better human beings, and seek truth.” 

The Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award is an annual award that encourages community members to nominate a teacher who has positively affected their life, or the lives of others, to receive the top honor in three categories – elementary, secondary, and higher education.

This is the 37th year the Chamber EDC has honored teachers in the Bismarck-Mandan area with the Crystal Apple.


Anyone who wishes to learn more about the University of Mary can do so at www.umary.edu or by contacting an admissions representative at enroll@umary.edu, or by calling (701) 355-8030. The University of Mary is one of only 15 Recommended Cardinal Newman Society Residential Colleges and Universities in the US. 

About the University of Mary: True to its motto “lumen vitae”—The Light of Life—the University of Mary offers education for the whole of life through cutting-edge professional programs and graduate programs animated by moral courage and leadership in chosen professions and service to the community. A private, co-educational Catholic institution, the University of Mary welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.

A Christian, Catholic, Benedictine institution founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 bachelor’s, 18 master’s, and five doctoral programs—in Business Administration, Education, Nursing Practice, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. The 20-sport Athletic Department adheres to its Greatness Through Virtue mission under the governance of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), and the USA College Clay Target League. With more than 3,800 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Rome, Italy, as well as vibrant online offerings.