Following graduation from Fergus Falls High school in 1933, Dr. Sidney Rand attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul and the University of Chicago. Throughout his life, Rand dedicated himself to public service and education. He served as president of three colleges founded by Norwegian immigrants: Waldorf in Iowa, Augustana in South Dakota, and St. Olaf in Northfield, MN, where he served for 17 years. In 1984, he was recognized by the Minnesota Private Colleges for distinguished service in education. In the early 1980s, Rand was honored as United States ambassador to Norway. Rand has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, in cooperation with the Nobel Institute.
Artist Charles Beck was born in Fergus Falls in 1923 and graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1941. He received a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College in 1948 and his master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1950. Concordia College awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1980. His art has been included in exhibition throughout the United States, including: The Metropolitan Art Museum, The Denver Art Museum, The Minneapolis Institute of Art and The Walker Art Center. Beck, a lifelong resident of Fergus Falls, taught art at Fergus Falls Community College for 27 years.
Bob Bruns began his teaching career in 1947 as a history teacher and coach and later served as a junior high principal. He joined the staff of School District 544 in 1966, when he was hired as audio-visual director. Throughout his career in Fergus Falls, Bruns’ goal was to encourage both students and teachers to enjoy learning. His department also created many of the Otter designs and logos, as well as signs and programs for Otter events. Even after his retirement, Bruns’ dedication to the Fergus Falls schools was demonstratred by his volunteer activities in classrooms and by his enthusiasm for Otter athletic teams.
Ev Faunce, a 1944 graduate of Fergus Falls High Schoo, was a xxx athlete in football, basketball and track during his xxx. He was an all-state football player in 1943 xxx MVP in both football and basketball. Faunce went on to play at Iowa State, then for legendary coach Bernie Bierman at the University of Minnesota. During his senior year in 1948, he was chosen as the Gopher MVP. His football career included time with the Baltimore Colts and as head coach at Utah State University. In 1998, he was chosen as the Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce’s Athlete of the Century. (xxx means information provided is unreadable. Will fill in blanks at a future date.)
Carleen (Rose) Holm was a standout athlete at Fergus Falls High School, where she was a five-year letter winner in tennis and a four-year letter winner in both basketball and track. She made state tournament appearances in tennis and track. When she graduated in 1989, Holm held numerous school records in track and in basketball, where she is among the all-time leaders in rebounding, assists, scoring and steals. Holm went on to become a three-year basketball starter at South Dakota State University, where she had a full athletic scholarship, and is among the school’s leaders in career points, rebounds and assists. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at SDSU and pursued a career as a school counselor.
Alfred Jacobs received his bachelor’s degree from Luther College in 1949 and his master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1950. He became an instrumental music teacher for School District 544 in 1954 and continued teaching in Fergus Falls until his retirement in 1984. Jacobs’ goal was to expose his students to fine music, to foster an appreciation for music, and to challenge students to achieve their potential. Several of his students went on to become professional musicians. Jacobs’ instruction had a lifelong impact on students, many of whom say their experience in band was the highlight of their school years.
Odis “Oats” LeGrand‘s career in Fergus Falls includes teaching, coaching, and earning national recognition as a sportscaster. LeGrand joined District 544 in 1951 as an elementary phy. ed. teacher, then later taught at the junior high while he also coach at Fergus Falls High School and Fergus Falls Community College. He began as a sports announcer on the local radio station in 1951, and during the next 50-plus years announced more than 4,000 high school, college and independent sporting events. In 1985, Sports Illustrated named him “Sports Voice of Small Town America,” and he was twice named Minnesota Sportscaster of the Year.
Lizabeth Bradford Wing is a 1965 graduate of Fergus Falls High School and was the recipient of the school’s John Philip Sousa Band Award. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Luther College, her master’s degree in music theory from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, and her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana. She taught general, instrumental and vocal music in the public schools before joining the faculty at the University of Oregon and later Crane School of Music, Potsdam College. In 1993 she joined the faculty at Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, as professor of music and head of the Division of Music Education. She has written numerous articles for state and national music education publications.