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Area native to get honorary degree

By Staff | Mar 11, 2014


Come spring time, a Rugby area native will get one of the highest honors Minot State University can bestow: an honorary degree.

Rod Romine will receive an Honorary Baccalaureate of Arts in Broadcasting degree for his years in broadcasting and for his service to the school and community.

As a former broadcaster, Romine has quite the resume. And it all started in a Rugby classroom.

Romine recalled taking a preference test in high school, administered by Bev Hanson.

“She looked at mine and saw that I had an interest in sports and news, and she thought that I should pursue it,” Romine said.

Romine grew up on a farm five miles south of Silva. He recalls the farm as very rustic, growing up with no electricity or running water. He graduated from Rugby High School in 1950 and went to school in Minneapolis. Before starting his career, however, he served his country first.

Romine enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War. He was with the 23rd Quartermaster Corps, which supplied field supplies and food to the Eighty U.S. Army-the umbrella of U.S. forces in South Korea at the time. His tour of duty lasted just over a year.

“It was something you had to do,” Romine said.

Following his service, Romine moved to Minot in 1954 with his wife, Gladyce, another Rugby native and RHS alumna. He started his career in broadcasting as a disc jockey at KCJB (910 AM in Minot), and he also worked at KXMC-TV in Minot while his wife was getting a teaching degree at Minot State Teachers College.

Romine moved up through the ranks in his 40-year career, becoming president of the North Dakota Broadcasters Association and manager of Reiten Television, owners of KXMC and KXMB in Bismarck, CBS affiliates. He retired from broadcasting in 1994.

Since his retirement, Romine has given his time to other organizations, especially ones related to the university. He is a charter member of the university’s Board of Regents, an organization that serves as advisors to administrators. He has served as chairman and as a member of the Athletic Committee. He is credited for getting MSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame off the ground.

He is also involved with an organization called Marco’s Coffee Club. The 20-member-strong organization, which has been together for over 50 years and is composed of members with strong ties to Minot State, is engaged in community service. Members have served as greeters, tournament hosts and managers of the hospitality rooms at state tournaments held in Minot.

“It takes a few bodies to run those,” Romine said.

Other service projects the group has undertaken include painting Herb Parker’s house one can at a time, raising funds for the university’s all-weather track and keeping up the grounds around Minot’s five welcome signs.

Romine will receive his honorary degree on May 16, 2014, when MSU has its spring commencement exercises.

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