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Published May 28 2012

Forum editorial: Roses to Janssen family

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Russell Janssen, who left $800,000 to the Wyndmere (N.D.) School District with the proviso that the principal remain untouched but that earnings go to students. Janssen’s wife, Patsy, taught for 41 years before retiring 15 years ago. The couple never had children but made provisions in Russell’s will to help others. A large part of his gift, $300,000, is set aside for college scholarships. He also donated $200,000 to a local church and cemetery.


LEAFY SPURGE: To those who are trying to find a dark side to the corporate sponsorships of classrooms and facilities at North Dakota State University. There’s nothing sinister about businesses contributing money to a public college to further the state’s higher education mission and, in return for their generosity, having their name attached. We owe these patrons a thank-you for their contributions to brick-and-mortar, not brickbats.


PRAIRIE ROSES: Posthumously, to Fred Hulstrand, who died in 1968 but left behind a trove of photographs depicting North Dakota’s early days. A resident of Park River, Hulstrand traveled throughout the state and beyond in the late 19th century with his camera. Hundreds of his pioneering prints are collected by the Institute of Regional Studies at North Dakota State University. He specialized in adding color to some of his black-and-white photos. One of his iconic images, a sod house in Walsh County, became a commemorative U.S. postage stamp in 1962 to observe the hundredth anniversary of the Homestead Act of 1862. The 150th anniversary recently was observed, and one of Hulstrand’s memorable photographs once again came into public view.


PRAIRIE ROSES: To Charley Johnson, just named as the next head of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Cole Carley, whom he will succeed. Johnson, of course, is a familiar face in the Red River Valley as a longtime television anchor, most recently with WDAZ. Johnson will inherit an organization with a staff of 11 full-time employees and a $1.4 million operating budget. Carley steps down after 22 years of promoting the metro area to tourists and other visitors. Kudos to them both.


Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board