Posted: September 22, 2006

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Robert Erickson, a former Minnesota State Colleges and Universities trustee, has raised $31,015 on his fifth annual 2,300-mile bike tour to create scholarships for part-time students. To date, Erickson has raised more than $290,000 over five years.

Erickson, 60, rode his bicycle to the 53 state college and university campuses. He was received with police escorts, receptions and other fund-raising efforts. Many supporters, including some college and university presidents and David Paskach, chair of the system's Board of Trustees, joined him. Paskach rode 101 miles with Erickson from Austin to Winona.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation and college and university foundations will distribute scholarships with donations generated from the bike tour.

During his month-long bike ride, Erickson spoke about the challenges of part-time adult students who he says are not treated fairly by Minnesota's current financial aid program. Erickson completed his bike tour Thursday at Normandale Community College.

As a former trustee and chair of the finance and facilities committee of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System's Board of Trustees, Erickson also served as senior vice president for finance and operations for the University of Minnesota from 1991 to 1995 and worked as a senior executive for SuperValu for 16 years.

"This extraordinary endeavor shows that Bob understands the true meaning of compassion. Bob has worked hard and is at a place in his life where he could spend his days traveling and reading good books," said Catherine McGlinch, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation executive director. "But he knows the value of education and recognizes that access and equity no longer are the concerns of a few. His demonstration of caring and concern for part-time students is unmatched, and we thank him for that."

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that works with institutional foundations to advocate for the system and to raise and distribute funds for the benefit of students, programs and communities.

Contributions, which are tax deductible as charitable contributions, may be made to the foundations of individual Minnesota State Colleges and Universities or to the system's foundation. To make a contribution, donors may send it directly to one of the institutional foundations or to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation, Wells Fargo Place, 30 7th St. E., Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55101-7804.

About 40 percent of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students are enrolled part-time. The average age of part-time students is 29.