Given for distinguished service to Minnesota higher education, the Edgar M. Carlson Award is named after the founder and first executive director of the Minnesota Private College Council. Edgar Carlson was the son of Swedish immigrants who attended Gustavus Adolphus College, Augustana Seminary in Illinois and then the University of Chicago. He also served as president of Gustavus Adolphus College from 1944 to 1968.

Dr. Carlson, who died in 1992, spent his life furthering the cause of higher education, as evidenced by his state, national and international commitments, his publications and his belief that higher education should always be “engaged in the quest for truth in its broadest and deepest sense.” He was the first recipient of the award named in his honor

Past award recipients

  • 2019 Larry Pogemiller
  • 2015 John and Karen Meslow – recognized for creating the Innovation Scholars Program and for funding the Meslow First Generation Scholarship
  • 2009 David B. Laird, Jr.
  • 2005 St. Paul Travelers
  • 2002 The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation
  • 2000 Walter F. Mondale and Joan Adams Mondale
  • 1999 3M and Its Employees
  • 1998 Walter B. Saunders
  • 1997 Winston R. Wallin and Maxine Houghton Wallin
  • 1996 Nils Hasselmo
  • 1995 The Reverend Monsignor Terrance J. Murphy
  • 1994 Sandra K. Butler
  • 1993 Gene Waldorf
  • 1992 Luella Gross Goldberg
  • 1991 John B. Davis, Jr.
  • 1990 Edson W. Spencer
  • 1989 James P. Shannon
  • 1988 Carl B. Drake, Jr.
  • 1987 Rudy G. Perpich
  • 1986 Ronald M. Hubbs
  • 1985 Humphrey Doermann
  • 1984 Sidney A. Rand
  • 1983 Elmer L. Andersen
  • 1982 A.A. Heckman
  • 1981 Edgar M. Carlson