University of Minnesota Alumni Association


From the President

An Investment in the U of M

Joan T.A. Gabel

In mid-January, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced their proposal to fund capital improvement projects for the University of Minnesota System. We are grateful for their support of our capital request this session, as well as the support we’ve received from Republican and DFL members of the state legislature. These are critical investments for our campuses, students, and faculty. 

So many of our friends at the state legislature recognize the value of investing in the University of Minnesota. As University alumni, you know that impact personally and we are so glad to work with you as we ensure that impact going forward.

An investment in the U of M helps us grow Minnesota’s highly trained workforce and forge long-term economic prosperity, because every graduating class injects nearly $200 million in additional earnings into the state economy. 

An investment in the U of M supports the discovery, research, and cures identified by our world-class faculty, whose work is transforming our state and our society.  

An investment in the U of M directly benefits our students because it allows us to use our operational dollars as intended: to support affordability and expand accessibility.

Today’s students will someday join the ranks of proud University alumni, more than 350,000 of whom live in Minnesota, work in Minnesota, and change Minnesota for the better each day. That’s why we can say, uniformly and unequivocally, that an investment in the U of M is an investment in the future of Minnesota as a whole. 

I am asking for your help in sharing the good work of the University with your lawmakers this legislative session. Alumni advocacy is one of the most powerful tools we have as we make our case for support at the legislature each year. Your lived experiences show the impact of the University, not only on your own lives but on the entire state.

U of M alumna Nora Sandstad recently shared the significance of personal advocacy: “My family and career were heavily shaped by my U of M experiences. I received an excellent undergraduate education in Morris, where I made many lifelong friends, including my husband. We attended law school at the Twin Cities campus before making our home in Duluth. The state’ssupport for the U of M was vital to my success as a public attorney and member of the Duluth School Board. I share my U of M stories with my legislators to ensure continued investment in this critical state resource and to provide high quality opportunities for future alumni like my sons, Henry and Charlie, whether they become Cougars, Bulldogs, Raptors, Golden Eagles, or Gophers. I strongly encourage fellow alumni to share with legislators how the U of M has shaped their lives.”

This legislative session, the Board of Regents is asking lawmakers to invest in the University by improving our facilities, repairing and replacing aging buildings, and helping us construct state-of-the-art learning environments for our students. 

Money spent on our facilities will directly support and amplify the work that happens inside those buildings, whether that is the nation-leading education and research at the Institute of Child Development, modern chemistry laboratories for future undergraduates on the Twin Cities campus, or a more comfortable learning environment for liberal arts students at the University of Minnesota Duluth. 

As the legislature convenes, let’s ensure lawmakers know our story and realize the value each University alum provides our state—and that they understand how their support will create a stronger Minnesota for everybody.

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