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Honorary Alumni Award

Wayne Thorson

2018 Inductee
Wayne Thorson grew up in Hendrum, Minn., a small farming community on the banks of the Red River, 30 miles north of Moorhead. After a stand-out high school basketball career, Thorson answered the call of duty by serving in the South Pacific during World War II.

After returning from the war, Thorson met and married his wife Bev. The Thorsons started Thorson Construction in 1958 before acquiring the Bemidji-based company Ritchie and Tell in 1962. The company was subsequently renamed Thorson, Inc., and soon became one of the largest suppliers of asphalt and aggregate in the area.

Thorson has been a regular volunteer and philanthropic supporter for many local Bemidji-area organizations, including the BSU Foundation, WoodsEdge Senior Campus, North Country Health Service, Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota and First Lutheran Church.

In 2017, Thorson was awarded the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce’s Charlie Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and service to the Bemidji area.

Thorson lives in Bemidji.

Wayne Thorson
Wayne Thorson

Previous Honorary Alumni Award Winners

2010 - 2019

2018
Marla Patrias
Wayne Thorson

2017
Justice Anne K. McKeig

2016
Lisa Bollinger
Rob Bollinger
Dianne Hanson
Dr. Richard Hanson
Dr. Darby Nelson
Geraldine Nelson

2015
Jeffrey Kemink

2012
Paul Bunyan 

2011
Susan Marvin

2010
Dr. Jon Quistgaard
Dr. Trish Quistgaard

2000 - 2009

2009
Don Shelby
Joe Dunn

2008
Alex Cirillo

2007
Paul Wellstone*
Sheila Wellstone*

2006
Kathleen Blatz

2005
Jack St. Martin
Gerald Vizenor
Robert Deeds

2004
Joe Lueken*
Robert H. Peters
Herb Brooks*

2003
Edgar Hetteen*

* deceased

1990 - 1999

1999
Naomi Zelinka

1998
Mary Lou Brandvik
Dr. Paul Brandvik
Rick Maynard*
Dr. Ray Nelson*
Frances Peterson*

1997
Dr. Eben Calder
Dr. Jack Downing
Dr. Don Dyrhaug*
Ardis Gillett*
Tim O'Keefe

1996
Edward Aalberts*
Rebecca Eggers*
Dr. Fulton Gallagher
Jack Hoeschler
Linda Hoeschler
Dr. Tom Swanson
Gary Torfin*

1995
Dr. Robert Decker*
Dr. Leslie Duly*
Donald Eng
Dr. Lowell Gillett*
Dr. Beatrice Knodel
Charles Naylor*
William Naylor*

1994
Dr. Art Lee
Don Zuehlke*

1993
Chester Anderson*
Dr. William Britton
Dr. Raymond Carlson
Dr. Samuel Chen*
Dr. Harold Hagg*
Sally James-Lehmann*
Dr. Harold Peters*

1992
Dr. Ruth Howe

1991
Marie Bishop*
Hazel Hogenson*
Dr. Myrtie Hunt*

1990
Dr. Phillip Sauer*

deceased