Bill Blackwell, Jr.
BEMIDJI, MINNESOTA — Bill Blackwell, Jr., has been named director of the American Indian Resource Center at Bemidji State University.
Blackwell, a BSU alumnus and member of the Grand Portage Band of a Lake Superior Chippewa, will join the BSU campus community after spending the last three years at Leech Lake Tribal College. Since 2014, Blackwell has served as the college’s director of institutional advance-ment. In that role, he directed the institution’s private and public fundraising activities, which included capital campaigns, planned giving, major gifts and annual gift programs. Blackwell also managed the college’s grant writing and reporting efforts and its marketing and public relations activities.
Before overseeing the college’s advancement efforts, he was an admissions and outreach coordinator. He implemented outreach activities and helped Leech Lake Tribal College to an 11-percent increase in student retention. He also managed a project to revamp the college’s marketing and electronic communication materials.
He spent several years in retail management before moving into college administration.
“I went back to school to make an impact on communities — especially Native communities,” Blackwell said. “BSU provides an opportunity to engage with those communities on a wider scope, and it’s a school with a history that’s so rich. The opportunity to do the work I want to do at a school with BSU’s established reputation is very appealing.”
Blackwell succeeds Dr. Anton Treuer as the center’s director. Treuer, who had held the post since November of 2012, announced this spring that he would leave the position and return to BSU’s faculty.
“I’m extremely honored and humbled to be given this opportunity,” Blackwell said. “I was a student at BSU and was in classes with Dr. Treuer, and Dr. Don Day, who had the job before Dr. Treuer, is my boss at Leech Lake Tribal College. To be mentioned in the same vein as those two people is an honor.”
Blackwell’s duties at BSU begin July 1.