Distinguished servicemen and Fargo Air Museum founders named Legacy Leaders

FARGO - Retired Maj. Gens. Alexander "Mac" Macdonald and Darrol Schroeder have lived parallel lives, growing up just 3 miles from each other. Both developed a passion for aviation and pursued careers in the military.

Alexander "Mac" Macdonald, Darrol Schroeder, Mike Haugen and Craig Whitney
Alexander "Mac" Macdonald, left, and Darrol Schroeder, second from right, are named the joint recipients of the 2014 Legacy Leader Award during a Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber luncheon with Mike Haugen and Chamber President/CEO Craig Whitney, right, Thursday in Fargo, N.D. Michael Vosburg/Forum News Service

FARGO – Retired Maj. Gens. Alexander “Mac” Macdonald and Darrol Schroeder have lived parallel lives, growing up just 3 miles from each other. Both developed a passion for aviation and pursued careers in the military.
On Thursday, they received the same award for their service to the Fargo community. Macdonald and Schroeder were named the 2014 Legacy Leaders by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. It’s the highest honor the Chamber gives.
A video presentation at the organization’s fourth annual meeting highlighted their individual and mutual accomplishments.
Macdonald was commander of the North Dakota Air National Guard 119th Fighter Group for 13 years and eventually achieved the state’s highest rank of adjutant general. Schroeder served 40 years in active duty, and helped lead the Happy Hooligans and Air Forces in Europe.
Schroeder has served as co-chairman of the Fargo AirSho for 20 years, and initiated the first air medical helicopter operation in the area. Macdonald served on the Municipal Airport Authority for more than 20 years.
Together they founded the Fargo Air Museum. Both were inducted into the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame.
On Thursday, retired Maj. Gen. Mike Haugen said an old saying is that there are a lot of old pilots and bold pilots, but not a lot of old, bold pilots.
“But obviously Mac and Darrol, that does not apply,” Haugen said. “They were never satisfied with status quo. They always wanted to be innovative, teach the Air Force to do things better. They demanded excellence.”
Haugen noted both have been retired for a while but are very involved in the community. “I still think they fit better in an ejection seat than a rocking chair,” he said.
“That was close to being too much,” Schroeder said upon receiving the award.
Also honored Thursday were outgoing board members and committee chairpersons.
Doug Restemayer, 2014-15 chairman of the board, announced two new programs the Chamber will debut in 2015.
Women Connect, an eight-month-long series developed by women for women featuring monthly sessions and social hour, begins in January, he said.
Details of the second program, for students in the area, will be shared Sept. 30, he said.
To begin the noon meeting, North Dakota State Bison mascot Thundar joined Chamber President Craig Whitney on stage. An ESPN film crew in town for Saturday’s “College GameDay” filmed a “Go Bison” cheer from the 650-plus attendees.
“This is a distinct honor, one we should all be proud of because the show will give our community the national spotlight it deserves,” Whitney said.
“The nation will again be afforded the opportunity to learn what makes this community a great place to live, work, play and do business.”


Legacy Leaders

  • 2007: William C. Marcil Sr.
  • 2008: Frederick B. Scheel and Edward Stern
  • 2009: Dr. Roland Dille and James R. McLaughlin
  • 2010: John Q. Paulsen
  • 2011: Ronald D. Offutt
  • 2012: Bruce Furness
  • 2013: Margie Bailly
  • 2014: Alexander “Mac” McDonald and Darrol Schroeder
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