Williston State College Teton family mourns the loss of former President Garvin Stevens
Posted: Dec 19 2022
WILLISTON, N.D. – Williston State College’s first, and longtime President, Garvin Stevens, passed away on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, in Grand Forks surrounded by his family. He was 88.
WSC President Dr. Bernell Hirning said, “On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students, past and present, of Williston State College, we are saddened by the recent news of the passing of Mr. Garvin Stevens, the first executive leader of the college. Mr. Stevens, in working with UND, Williston Public Schools, and the City of Williston, laid the groundwork for UND-Williston Center to become a reality. He then helped guide the college in becoming a stand-alone campus as UND-Williston, and later Williston State College. With the shift to Williston State College, Mr. Steven’s retired in 2000. Today’s success for the college would not be possible without Mr. Stevens’s early vision for higher education in northwest North Dakota.”
Stevens began his career at UND-Williston in 1962, and served as a counselor, teacher, and basketball coach. By 1965, Stevens was Dean of Students, and throughout his tenure here he served as Director, Dean, Executive Dean, and eventually President of WSC. In 2000, Stevens retired and became the Executive Secretary/ Director of the Williston State College Foundation. He retired from that position in 2007.
During his time at WSC and WSC Foundation, Stevens was instrumental in overseeing the transformation of our campus from our initial main building, Stevens Hall, that was finished in 1967, and named in his honor, to numerous additions of academic, housing, and athletic facilities. He helped grow the college academic program offerings and was prevalent in developing WSC’s Workforce Training programs.
“Garvin was a firm, but fair leader. When he made decisions, he stuck to it, and when he told you something, you could count on it. You always knew where he stood.” stated longtime teacher and WSC basketball coach, Phil Rabon.