Wax proud of red and green legacy

By Dan Fagan
University Communications

BISMARCK, N.D. – Even as a young boy, Mark Wax could have served as a student ambassador at Minot State, helping incoming freshmen find their way around campus. 

At the time, Minot State shared its campus with the Campus Lab School where Wax went to grade school. His father, Joseph Wax, was the principal of the school, and a professor of education at Minot State for 30 years.

“Minot State was a big part of my upbringing,” Wax recalled with a chuckle. “It’s a part of my family, it’s a part of me, so it’s easy to get excited about it.”

As Wax sees it, his formative years are intertwined with Minot State. He attended high school across the street at Bishop Ryan, and, after graduating, decided to head back to the Minot State campus, this time as a college student, receiving a call from then football coach, Randy Hedberg, to play for the Beavers.

Wax quickly discovered that the college experience was limited only by the individual desire of the student. He double majored in management and finance, played in the band his first two years, was a member of the Business Administration Club, and played defensive end for the football team.

“Competing in football and being a member of two conference championship teams in ‘83 and ’85 was a highlight for me,” Wax said of his undergraduate years.

After graduating from Minot State, Wax attended the University of North Dakota where he earned a Master’s in business administration.

Initially, Wax thought he would work in banking but instead landed a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency.

The agency assists rural communities in securing grants and loans for development projects such as water, farming, and commerce.

“You know you’re effecting a lot of people and you’re making their lives better for a very long time,” said Wax, who has now worked for the agency for 29 years.

Wax currently resides in Bismarck, but he and his wife Jocelyn make several visits to his hometown every year especially during football season to watch his old squad play ball on the gridiron. And, interestingly enough, there is another Wax on the roster, his son, Derek.

“It is wonderful to have Derek competing in college athletics and to be able to compete for Minot State is even better,” Wax said.  “Coaches Mike Aldrich and Mark Del Monaco have been very supportive of Derek competing in both football and track and it would be difficult to do this without them.”

It’s impossible to listen to Wax talk about his alma mater and not glean a sense of pride in his voice.

So where does this pride come from?

“I would say, blooming where I was planted, and my roots were planted with Minot State at an early age,” Wax said.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 10/13/20   

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