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The strength of generations – Atkinsons honored with first Legacy Family award

Published: Jun 08 2016
The strength of generations – Atkinsons honored with first Legacy Family award    - Photo
Generations of the Atkinson family have been associated with BSC since its founding in 1939. Myron H. Atkinson Sr. was city administrator in the 1930s, when citizens approved a mill levy authorizing the Bismarck school district to operate a junior college. He spoke favorably of the college and sent his children there –Myron H. Atkinson Jr., ’47, and Caroline Atkinson. A generation later, four of Myron Jr.’s seven children went to BJC – Tim, ’74, Tom, ’77, Kathleen and Patrick. Myron and Patrick support current BSC students with named scholarships.

“When I attended, I had a very personal relationship with the institution,” Myron Atkinson Jr. said. “With 78 of us [enrolled], most classes were eight to 10 students.”

Myron Jr. formed a band with classmates and wrote the words to the first BJC “fight” song. Inspired by Dean Walter Swensen’s economics classes, Myron followed a law and real estate career and became a civic leader, state legislator and company founder. He was among the first three BJC graduates honored as outstanding alumni and later received BSC’s Distinguished Service Citation. Myron taught a real estate class at BSC, and he and wife Marjory took classes of interest.

Family members were involved in several BSC milestones, including the 1955 groundbreaking for BJC’s first campus building. In 1963, Myron became secretary of the Bismarck College Corporation, a 1930s entity that preceded the BSC Foundation. A trustee since 1979 and now emeritus, he held all foundation board offices and was instrumental in the first development campaign, “50 and Forward.” Tim Atkinson joined the foundation in 1997. He serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Finance Committee.

Tim, Tom and Kathleen work in Bismarck, where they live with their families. Tim is chairman of North Dakota Guaranty & Title Co. and served as chairman of the Bismarck-Mandan Development Association and Burleigh County Planning Commission. Thomas is an environmental engineer with Western Area Power Association, member of the City of Bismarck Planning Commission, and state coordinator for North Dakota Science Bowl. Kathleen is a Benedictine Sister with Annunciation Monastery and founder of Ministry on the Margins. She is a leader in hunger and homeless education and serves on the boards of CHI St. Alexius Health Foundation, Dacotah Foundation, and Burleigh County Housing Authority.

Paul is a commercial business broker in the Minneapolis area and lives with his family in Prior Lake. Elizabeth and family live in Minnetonka, Minn., where she is active in church and community service. John teaches computer technology to developmentally disabled adults in Mesa, Ariz., where he and his family are involved with the Pilot International service group and their church. Patrick is founder and CEO of the international GOD’S CHILD Project and related charities, including the Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons. He is an international public educator and frequent court witness on gang and domestic violence and organized crime. He volunteers with Special Olympics and local literacy programs and lives in Bismarck, Minneapolis, and Antigua, Guatemala.

For more on this story and others like it, check out the Spring 2016 issue of BSC Magazine.