|Forum Communications CEO William Marcil will receive honorary degree|
The CEO of Forum Communications, William "Bill" Marcil, has been approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education to receive an honorary degree from the University of North Dakota.
"Bill Marcil is an outstanding, nationally-recognized leader in the communications field and is truly deserving of an honorary degree from his alma mater. Since he became president of The Forum Publishing Co. and publisher of the newspaper in 1969, he has built a communications empire that has enjoyed tremendous growth. He served as chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1994 to 1995. He has been a staunch supporter of the state, volunteering his time, energies and wisdom to many state wide causes over the years, including chairing the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce and the North Dakota Vision 2000 Committee. A proud alum, Bill and his wife, Jane, have given generously to the University of North Dakota. Without question, Bill demonstrates the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes the University of North Dakota," said President Robert O. Kelley.
"Bill has achieved uncommon success and national recognition as a leader in the field of publishing and communications," said Tim O'Keefe, executive vice president and CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation. "He has established himself as an extraordinary leader in his community, state, and nationally; and has exhibited a strong degree of loyalty to the University of North Dakota. Bill has always expressed immense pride in his North Dakota and UND roots. He is an extraordinary person who has positively impacted many lives and communities in our region, bring them critical information and creating employment opportunities for others."
A native of Rolette, N.D., William "Bill" Marcil graduated from the University of North Dakota with a degree in business administration in 1958. He started a career in newspapers in 1961, when he joined The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead as a retail advertising salesman. He would move up within The Forum organization, holding positions such as classified advertising manager, promotion director, production manager and assistant to the publisher.
In 1969, Marcil was named president of The Forum Publishing Co. and publisher of the newspaper upon the death of his father-in-law, Norman D. Black, Jr. The move made Marcil a fourth generation family owner of the newspaper. He was 33 at the time and had experience in every department of the newspaper except editorial.
Under Marcil's 37 years of leadership, the company has experienced significant growth and change. Marcil formed Forum Communications Co., adding news and printing operations in four states -- North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. In 1997, Marcil joined the news gathering powers of The Forum newspaper with WDAY Television on the Web, creating online synergies and collaboration between two once fierce competitors in the news business. The move was hailed as ground-breaking and innovative in the region and has proved to be a successful partnership. More recently, in 2006, Forum Communications acquired the Grand Forks Herald, the Duluth News Tribune, The Daily Telegram in Superior, Wis., and weekly newspapers in Cloquet, Minn. and Two Harbors, Minn. Today, the company owns 35 newspapers, seven commercial printers, two interactive Web sites, and is the licensee of television stations in North Dakota's four largest cities. It is the third-largest media company in Minnesota and the largest in North Dakota, employing about 2,200 people.
Marcil served as chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1994 to 1995, helping to promote the chamber's "grassroots communication program" for effectively lobbying support from the federal government.
Marcil also has been committed to building a strong future for North Dakota and helping to advance economic development in the state. He has chaired both the Greater North Dakota Association and the North Dakota Vision 2000 Committee. I n 1990, he received the Greater North Dakotan Award from the Greater North Dakota Association for his outstanding business leadership. That same year, he received the Sioux Award, the highest honor given by the UND Alumni Association.
In 1992, Marcil was presented with the North Dakota National Leadership Award of Excellence by the State of North Dakota.
Marcil was inducted into to the North Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame by the North Dakota Newspaper Association, and a year later, he be became the 35th North Dakotan honored with the Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Award, the states' highest honor of life achievement.