WILLISTON, ND (KXNET) — Williston State College’s first and longtime President, Garvin Stevens, died December 14 in Grand Forks surrounded by his family. He was 88.

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, 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.

Current Williston State College President Bernell Hirning noted, “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.”