2017 Parade Grand Marshal – Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson has been the longtime spokesman for his alma mater, the University of North Dakota. Peter worked with six presidents during his nearly 30 years at UND. He graduated from UND with degrees in English and education. After a six-year stint as a journalist, culminating in the editorship of the Devils Lake Daily Journal, Peter was hired in 1988 as UND’s Media Relations Coordinator, a title he retained throughout the years as he was promoted up the ranks in UND’s communication function. During that time he also taught journalism and public relations and directed the Northern Interscholastic Press Association, North Dakota’s high school journalism program. Peter retired June 30, 2017, from full-time service as Interim Vice President for University & Public Affairs, although he continues to be employed quarter time through December. A third-generation Grand Forks citizen, Peter’s paternal grandparents farmed on the outskirts of the Red River Valley before moving to Grand Forks. Over the years, Peter has been involved in a number of Grand Forks organizations, often as a board member through presidency, including The LISTEN Center, The Arc Upper Valley, Grand Forks Master Chorale, Grand Cities Children’s Choirs, The Chamber, Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals, Sons of Norway Gyda Varden Lodge, March of Dimes, North Dakota Special Olympics, Grand Forks Kiwanis, Wranglers, and Franklin Club. Peter is not new to the Potato Bowl: he served on the organizing committee in the 1990s, during which time he was involved with the Miss Potato Bowl Pageant. Peter and Marsha Johnson celebrated their 30th anniversary this year. They have four children: Jake, Carly, Tom, and Zoe.