Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of Gordon Mjork

Gordon Mjork was a totally fictional character – but he almost got elected student body president at South Dakota State College (now University) by a gang of ne'er-do-wells who didn't believe much in the democratic process at the time.

We made him up!We were trying to make a point by nominating him to the office as our candidate when he wasn't real.

We got a picture of the back of somebody's head, and used it to identify him as a living, lovable character who deserved the student body's vote.

We even had a campaign song to promote him.  We used the student body newspaper to unveil him to the electorate – though he didn't even exist.  It was our way of showing that anybody could be elected even if the voters didn't know what he stood for.

Gordon Mjork was famous on the campus, and when the election took place he came in a strong second.

After the election he just disappeared, and we never did show his face (it was Ralph Walz, a printing student who was selected by the  shape of his head and his crew cut).  We had proved our point.  And Gordon Mjork became part of the school's history, which was not recorded in the annals of the college.

It was just one of the things which happened when a group of guys and gals got together to have a little fun.

But Ralph's head remained a portion of a graduate's memories.(This column was dictated to daughter Jill who remembered the election as part of the school's past which was worth writing about).

© 2009 Robert F. Karolevitz

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