Robert E. Challey, 1967 Businessman, NDSU Development Foundation Member
A native of Fargo, North Dakota, Mr. Challey graduated from North Dakota State University in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. In 1969 he earned a Master of Science in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, followed by an MBA in 1972. He received an honorary Doctorate from NDSU in 2009. While at NDSU, Robert participated in the marching band as a trombonist and drum major, was vice president of the student body, a student senator, a member of SAE fraternity, and a varsity tennis letterman. He was elected to numerous honorary societies including Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Eta Sigma, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Blue Key and was producer of the Blue Key musical, “Oklahoma “.
Following service as an officer in the United States Army, Mr. Challey settled in Walnut Creek, California, where he started businesses engaged in tax planning and preparation, real estate syndication and development, and property management. Since 1973, Mr. Challey has acquired more than 40 properties for investment including over 5,000 apartment units and over 500,000 square feet of office space. He also served as General Partner in more than 80 partnerships. He is chairman of the board of The Park Place Group, a real estate development and investment company in Walnut Creek, California. In 1981 Robert was elected to the NDSU Development Foundation Board of Trustees and in that capacity has served on numerous committees and advisory boards. He is a founding Trustee and Treasurer of Smuin Ballet in San Francisco, and is on the Board of Directors of AgroThermal Systems, a division of Lazo TCP Global, an agricultural equipment manufacturer. He is an advisor to Summit Financial Services, a full service investment planning, tax consulting and retirement advisory firm. NDSU named Robert an Alumni Achievement Award recipient in 1986 and in 2002 he was honored with the Development Foundation’s Service Award. Robert and his wife Sheila live in Danville and Lake Tahoe, California.