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Former chancellor named BSC Alumnus of the Year

Posted on 4/11/2013

William Goetz
William Goetz
The Bismarck State College National Alumni Association has chosen former North Dakota University System (NDUS) Chancellor William Goetz as the 2013 Alumnus of the Year.

Alumni association directors selected Goetz, class of 1964, for his extraordinary professional achievements in higher education, public service in state government, and sustained leadership throughout his distinguished career.

BSC honors him May 9 at a dinner with friends, colleagues and associates in the Bavendick Stateroom of the National Energy Center of Excellence and during commencement May 10. For dinner reservations, call 224-5692 or 1-800-272-2586.

The dinner also acknowledges Sam Coleman, '99, recipient of the Alumni Association's 2013 Rising Star Award, for his exceptional career as an artist and dedication to youth ministry. The award recognizes alumni age 40 and under who have shown outstanding achievement in a career, public or volunteer service, or a position of distinction.

During his five-years as NDUS chancellor (2007-12), Goetz initiated and nurtured better communication and cooperation between the state's 11 campuses and its presidents. His office developed a dialogue with the state's tribal colleges that led to solutions in course credit and student transfer. Goetz brokered a new strategic plan for the NDUS and initiated a Community College Awareness Project funded by the Legislature. Under his tenure, two-year colleges began to align with four-year universities to provide remedial education on their campuses.

His role as chancellor came after a 30-year career at Dickinson State University and 10 years as chief of staff for two North Dakota governors. Goetz taught in DSU's School of Business and Management from 1967-1997. He also held appointments as the business school's chief academic officer, executive vice president of the DSU Foundation, and briefly director of continuing education his last two years.

Goetz helped establish Business Challenge at DSU and fostered other initiatives to link students with business leaders. His work in business education earned him the North Dakota Educator of the Year award. He began exploring this work further as an appointed member of the North Dakota Education Roundtable during Gov. Ed Schafer's administration.

Goetz left DSU to accept the job offer as chief of staff for Schafer in 1997. Gov. John Hoeven asked him to stay in the same capacity. Goetz also served 20 years in the state Legislature and was assistant majority leader in both chambers. He was assigned to several finance committees where he also applied himself to water and energy issues.

BSC's Rising Star recipient has a lifelong passion for creating art. He channels another purpose for his life's work into people as director of youth ministries at Charity Lutheran Church in Bismarck.

Coleman tried on a couple of career ideas, including paramedic in Michigan and health education with art classes at BSC before deciding to enroll at The Atelier painting school in Minneapolis. While earning his certificate there, he attended Magdalen College nights and weekends. His seminary study culminated in a bachelor's degree in biblical studies and ordination as a licensed minister.

Coleman returned to Bismarck to begin his career as a professional artist, entering art shows and earning People's Choice, Governor's Choice and Juror's awards at the 2008 Bismarck Art & Galleries exhibit. Nine years ago, he decided to volunteer at Charity Lutheran, which led to the job he has now advising and designing faith-based activities for young people. He will transition to third pastor in June.

He continues to paint, teach art workshops and prepare for a one-man show in November. As an avid photographer, Coleman has developed his skills into a business with his wife. Sē Photography in Mandan specializes in outdoor and family photography.

The May 9th event begins with a social followed by dinner and program. Guests are welcome to bring cards or letters or mail them with the reservation and payment. Contact

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information, visit

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