July 22, 2021 — Bernt Lloyd Wills was born in this week in 1909 in Drake, ND. After graduating from high school in Casselton, he started teaching, got his bachelors’ degree from Valley City State, his masters Montana State and his doctorate from Northwestern University. He served in the Navy during World War II and taught at UND, where he became chair of the Geography Department.

Dr. Wills wrote two books on North Dakota geography and was the first president of the Association of North Dakota Geographers. He also served as National Vice President of Gamma Theta Upsilon, a national professional geographic fraternity, and served as National President for the group from 1955 — 1957. He was also awarded UND’s Alumni Award for outstanding teaching in 1976.

“Dakota Datebook” is a radio series from Prairie Public in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council. See all the Dakota Datebooks at prairiepublic.org, subscribe to the “Dakota Datebook” podcast, or buy the Dakota Datebook book at shopprairiepublic.org.

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