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James "Scooter" Pursley hired as Communication Specialist at the DSU Heritage Foundation

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

"Sometimes it takes a while for something or someone to come full circle; even decades".

- Scooter Pursley

Sometimes it takes a while for something or someone to come full circle; even decades.

That went through my mind when I was approached about working as a communication specialist for the Dickinson State University Heritage Foundation. Could I work that into my busy schedule? My response, I’ll make it work.

I recently met the foundation staff, including executive director Ty Orton, and got a chance to mingle with many people I have known for years at the foundation golf scramble in Bismarck. It never gets old, listening to old stories and making new ones.

My relationship with Dickinson State began in 1980 after graduating from Killdeer High School. After a year in school, I took a sports job with the Dickinson Press. After another year in school, I left for the sports writing businesses, a job I just left in July after 42 years.

In that time, I was a sports writer in Dickinson, Minot and Bismarck and Dickinson State was part of my beats at every stop. I worked for 21 years full time in newspapers and continued the next 21 part-time with a stint in the Associated Press while working for the state tourism office.

I won a best sports story while at the Dickinson Press for a story on the city and school’s preparation for its first NAIA home playoff game against Carroll College in the mid-1980s. In 2011, I was presented the Honorary Letterman award from the Blue Hawk Booster Club.

My career with the state ended in 2021 and I retired, but I took a new job as senior communications specialist at Clearwater Communications, where I currently have clients that include the Travel Alliance Partnership, Bismarck-Mandan Civic Chorus, North Dakota Recreation and Park Association and others. I also continued to write for and edit Pigskin Preview magazine (14 years) and worked in sports information at Bismarck State College.

When the foundation decided to hire me, I cleared my three part-time jobs to concentrate on DSU’s needs. Even though I live in Bismarck, I know how important Dickinson State is to the community and all of western North Dakota and how passionate graduates – like my wife, Robin – and attendees are about their time there and to the continued success of the university.

I look forward to being part of that success again, to diving into writing, attending annual events, seeing old friends and making new ones as I help the foundation raise funds to provide opportunities and meet the school’s campus-wide financial needs.

To those I know well, and those I will one day know better, be sure to stop me when at a football game or other event and say hello.

Scooter Pursley

Communications Specialist

Dickinson State University Heritage Foundation

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