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Book signing, presentations planned Dec. 9 at WSC

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
Posted by Roxane Molinari

WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College is pleased to announce that Andrea Winkjer Collins and Rick Collins will be on campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Teton Grill [cafeteria] to speak to students, faculty and the public, and to sign their book, "Mr. Wheat, A Biography of U.S. Senator Milton R. Young." They will deliver short presentations about the biography at 10 and 11 a.m. They will also be available throughout the time for any comments or questions. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Andrea, a native of Williston, grew up here and graduated from Williston High School. She attended UND-W (now Williston State College) for her freshman year of college, transferring to UND in Grand Forks where she received a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1976. She currently is employed as editor of North Dakota Horizons magazine.

Her father, Dean Winkjer, practiced law in Williston for more than 50 years, beginning in 1947, before his retirement. He also served in the ND House of Representatives from District 1, from 1973-81.

Rick Collins was a resident of Williston from 1982-86, and was news director at radio stations KGCX, then KEYZ during that time. He is employed as communications and education director for the State Historical Society of North Dakota in Bismarck.

The book, which was published earlier this year, is the first biography written about North Dakota's longest-serving U.S. senator, Milton R. Young, who began his service to the public in 1924 as a member of a township board. He served in the North Dakota Legislature and then, on March 12, 1945, was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Fred Aandahl to fill Sen. John Moses' seat after his death. Young served in Congress nearly 36 years. He retired on Jan. 3, 1981, and died May 31, 1983, at the age of 85.

WSC Assistant Professor of History Richard Stenberg, who specializes in and teaches North Dakota History, is very excited about this biography and the Collins' appearance at the college.

"A number of prominent North Dakota politicians in recent years have had books or films made about them, but the career of Senator Young has been sorely neglected until now," Stenberg noted.

Also included in "Mr. Wheat" is a section with Dr. Allan C. Young's master's thesis about the contested Guy vs. Young 1974 election, an 11-minute DVD of video clips of Young, and 32 pages of photos.