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BSC honors Alumnus of the Year

Published: Apr 21 2017
BSC honors Alumnus of the Year
Bismarck State College will honor several alumni during its annual recognition event May 11 on campus.
The BSC National Alumni Association Board of Directors has chosen Bob Martinson as Alumnus of the Year, and Justin Reinicke as BSC’s Rising Star. The association chose the Frank and Barbara Gilchrist family as this year’s Legacy Family award recipients.
All recipients will be honored at a campus dinner for friends, colleagues, family and the public May 11 at 6 p.m. in the Bavendick Stateroom, BSC National Energy Center of Excellence.
Martinson, ‘67, was selected for his career in the North Dakota Legislature and his dedication to the community.
Reinicke, ‘05, was nominated for his determination in pursuing his childhood dream, starting with an education at BSC. The award acknowledges young alumni of exceptional achievement.
The Gilchrists were chosen in recognition of the family’s attendance at Bismarck Junior College and their continued role as ambassadors for BSC.
Martinson graduated from BSC in 1967, and the University of Mary in 1972. He’s served the state of North Dakota as a legislator for 22 legislative sessions totaling 42 years in office. Martinson is known for his fair, consistent legislation, and an insightfulness that has served his district, and the state of North Dakota well since he was first elected in 1972. He was Majority Leader from 1993-95, then stepped down from office in 1997 to serve as the North Dakota Tourism Director. He ran again successfully in District 35 in 2000 and has been in office since.
Martinson serves on the Appropriations Committee as well as the committee’s Education and Environment Division. He also chairs the House Procedural Committee on Employment. He’s married to Dr. Jodi Roller, and they live in Bismarck.
Reinicke didn’t go straight on to college. He entered the workforce, but after a while began thinking about what might come next. He decided to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist. He enrolled at BSC, and took 18-21 credits per semester earning straight As. He graduated with two associate degrees, and went on to double major in Biochemistry and Marine Biology at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU), graduating summa cum laude. 
Today he works as an instrument specialist for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and is in the early phases of starting up an aquaculture business. He’s translated the hunting and fishing tradition he learned in North Dakota to spearfishing and free diving in the Pacific Ocean.
Nominated for the Legacy Award, the Gilchrist family truly signifies BSC family – all five children are BSC graduates – and the siblings agree that their years at BSC were the most rewarding of their college year, the instructors unparalleled.
“The professors were the institution – they lived and breathed that school,” Bridget (Gilchrist) Whittey says.
Frank and Barbara Gilchrist were adamant that all five kids would attend college. But money was tight. Attending BSC meant the siblings could attend school and work at the same time.
Marie (Pinky), Kevin, Bridget, Chad and Martha all graduated from what was then Bismarck Junior College between 1973 and 1983. All went on to earn four-year degrees, and several earned advanced degrees, but BSC has their loyalty. Bridget’s son played basketball for the Mystics. Kevin, a dentist, has been a BSC Foundation Board member since 1979. Chad, who works in finance, established a scholarship in 2002 in honor of their late father, Frank, a standout high school, college and amateur basketball player that provides scholarships to basketball players.
“Our whole family is a huge believer in BSC. It’s pure gold up there,” Marie says.
Dinner reservations will be accepted until May 4. Tickets are $25 per person. Make checks payable to the BSC Alumni Association and mail to the alumni office, P.O. Box 5587, Bismarck, N.D. 59506-5587. For more information or about credit card orders, contact Rita Nodland at 701-224-5692, 800-272-2586, or