Celebrating a Legacy: Annual Ride Honors the Late 37-Year College Instructor

Local News

It’s been customary for Bismarck State College President Larry Skogen to board his motorcycle for the annual President’s Ride, to raise scholarship money for incoming students.

This will be his last ride as President, but this morning, there was an even more important legacy to commemorate.

It’s an hour and a half ride to Strasburg and Hague before they grab lunch and heading back to Bismarck. This is a tradition that goes back twelve years.

But before these bikes were saddled up, KX News learned all about Ken Paulus. Today’s ride was in his memory.

His wife, Patty Paulus shares, “Ken was a welding instructor here at Bismarck State College for 37 years.”

Ken’s daughter Lacey Long adds, “He loved to talk and tell stories. He was such a hard worker and he was really passionate about the welding program here.”

Lacey Long is one of his four children. All of them and their families were in attendance in honor of their father, who passed away in October of 2017.

President Skogen says, “We’re sad that he’s gone, but we’re delighted that we can honor him today.”

As the President says best, this event is a perfect way to celebrate Paulus.

He shares, “Ken was a great, great guy. And as I told his family after we lost him, I said, ‘Every conversation I had with Ken started or ended with motorcycles’.”

Long shares, “One of my favorite memories of him is, I went on a ride to Rochester, New York with him on the back of his motorcycle. So I rode on the back for over 3,000 miles on the back of his Electra Glide.”

As for Patty and Lacey, they went along in their car.

Patty laughs, “He was the motorcycle person, not us.”

She says many of Ken’s students have gone onto very successful careers, and that’s his legacy.

Patty explains, “He just did whatever he could to help these kids.”

Even though he’s gone, Paulus will still be helping future students achieve their goals. All proceeds from the run will go to the Ken Paulus Memorial Scholarship Fund, to help students pursuing a career in welding.

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