Three Presidents Recognized with Emeritus Status

Posted: October 21, 2016

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees has awarded emeritus status to three former college and university presidents. In making his recommendation to the board, Minnesota State Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said that bestowing this status not only honored the presidents, but also acknowledged their work on behalf students and the people of Minnesota.

Richard Hanson

Richard Hanson served as president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College from 2010 until 2016. Rosenstone recognized President Hanson for several accomplishments, but especially called out a $36 million capital campaign that doubled the university’s endowment. “The important thing to understand about all of the excitement and support surrounding the campaign is that it began with Dick’s passion for Bemidji State. He hoped Bemidji’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign would foster a culture of philanthropy – and it did.”

Larry Lundblad

Larry Lundblad served Minnesota State for a total of 38 years including 10 years as president of Central Lakes College. Rosenstone credited President Lundblad for many accomplishments including the development of collaborations with regional business, industry, and agriculture partners; positioning the college as a critical player in regional and statewide economic development efforts; and building strong partnerships with the public schools. Rosenstone said, “Over the years, under Larry’s leadership, the college became more responsive, departments began to work together more, student engagement increased, and the decision-making process became more collaborative.”

Earl Potter

Earl H. Potter III, who was recognized posthumously, served as the president of St. Cloud State University from 2007 until his unexpected death in 2016. Rosenstone recognized President Potter for many accomplishments including helping to launch the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, championing diversity and inclusion, and earning St. Cloud State acclaim for internationalization. Rosenstone said, “Earl was a thoughtful, insightful leader who cared deeply about the university, its students, and the St. Cloud community. He understood the challenges facing higher education across the nation, and never shied away from addressing those challenges. He led our thinking about where we need to be five or ten years in the future. He had an unwavering commitment to equity and inclusion, and an unwavering commitment to the values our students need in order to learn and grow. He played a vital role in shaping the strategic direction for both St. Cloud State and for higher education in Minnesota.”

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees awards president emeritus status to former presidents who have provided exemplary service and completed at least five years as president of a state college or university.


Minnesota State, formerly known as Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, includes 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 400,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system in the United States.