Leland "Lee" K. Bohnet was the first and longtime sports information director at the University of North Dakota. He was born April 23, 1923, in Kulm, ND. He graduated from Kulm High School in 1942, and served in the U.S. Navy in World War II aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Wilkes. Active in the Pacific Theater, he separated from the Navy in May 1946 as a Water Tender 3rd Class.
In 1946, Bohnet enrolled at UND. He graduated in 1951 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. Upon graduation, Bohnet became a sports writer for the Fargo Forum. He worked there for a short time before he became the editor of the Hillsboro Banner. In 1953, Bohnet was hired as UND's first sports information director, at that point a part-time position. He was named full-time sports information director in 1958. Bohnet held this position for 35 years, before retiring in 1988. In 1994, Bohnet published his book, A Century of UND Sports.
Bohnet was named to the North Central Conference Hall of Fame in 1974, the UND Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981, and the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame in 1977. He received the UND Letterwinner's Club Honorary Award in 1976.
Bohnet married Marjorie Vareberg in 1948 and they had two daughters, Patricia and Diane. Marjorie passed away in 1975 and the following year Bohnet married Elaine LeTourneau. Lee Bohnet passed away August 8, 1999, in Grand Forks.
Donation; Accession 98-2182
The Lee Bohnet Papers consist of material related to Lee Bohnet's life, as well as the University of North Dakota (UND). Much of the information in this collection was used by Bohnet in his book A Century of UND Sports.
His personal material and writings are arranged first, including obituaries, drafts of A Century of UND Sports and numerous program articles written for UND athletic publications.
Material regarding UND athletics follows; these materials are arranged alphabetically by sport, and chronological within a given sport. Information related to specific persons will be found within the sport in which the person was affiliated. General athletic information is arranged last.
General University materials and miscellaneous items round out the collection.