Advancement News & Notes

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Fundraising Record


New Members Join Alumni Board

The Carlson School recently named five new members to its Alumni Board. Steve Gottlieb, ’86 BSB, ’88 MBA; Steve Silvers, ’04 BSB; Winnie Steffenson, ’02 MBA; Vanessa Tennyson, ’81 BSB; and Emily Weidemann, ’04 BSB, ’12 MBA, will begin their service on the board this fall. The Gophers Of the Last Decade (GOLD) board also named several new members. New members include Juhyun Kwon, ’17 BSB; Vincent Phan, ’13 BSB; Justin Schlitz, ’14 BSB; and Lauren Sheibley, ’16 BSB.

Sarah Vater in Africa




Sarah Vater Named Global Food Challenge Emerging Leader

Carlson School junior Sarah Vater, from Osceola, Wisconsin, earned a coveted spot in the cohort of Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders made possible by Land O’Lakes’ $25M gift to the U. She headed to Africa this summer to work with Land O’Lakes and a team made up of 10 students from a variety of colleges around the U.S. to find new ways to meet the challenge of feeding nine billion people by 2050.

Vater was able to put her supply chain and operations major to work in the real world. “This was a valuable chance to tackle big global supply chain issues, problem-solve, and empower people in a real-world context,” she says. “We were able to see firsthand how one cow can change a family’s life, how crucial access to financing is to subsistence farmers wanting to expand, and the importance of trade. It’s one thing to learn about what is going on in the world in the classroom, and it’s another thing to actually see it for yourself. I have a feeling last summer, especially the time spent in Africa, will play a huge part in the rest of my life.”



Fundraising Number Highlights


Carlson has the Nation’s Best Military Friendly MBA Program

Military Friendly has ranked the Carlson School MBA Programs as the best in the nation in its listing of graduate school programs. Military Friendly has surveyed thousands of institutions and assembled lists that capture best practices in recruitment and retention of military employees, students, and franchisees. The Carlson School was measured in three primary areas: engaging the prospective military student in a recruiting environment, educating the military student once he or she is part of the school, and enabling the military student in finding meaningful employment. This program was made possible by alumni gifts totaling $10M.

Online Giving Made Easier

The University of Minnesota Foundation recently launched a new online giving tool. This new system features many user enhancements, including the ability to make multiple gifts in a single transaction. Visit to experience the device for yourself and to make a donation to help transform a student’s experience at the Carlson School.

AACSB Honors Greg Lais

Greg Lais portrait

Carlson School alumnus Greg Lais, ’91 MBA, has been honored by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International for making an impact in his community and serving as a role model to future business leaders. Lais, the founder and executive director of Minneapolis-based nonprofit outdoor adventure and education organization Wilderness Inquiry, is part of the 2018 class of the AACSB’s Influential Leaders Challenge. Since creating Wilderness Inquiry in 1978, Lais has created inclusive outdoor exploration programs throughout North America and beyond for groups of all types, including Carlson School Senior Lecturer Steve Spruth’s Social Venturing in Action course.


Fall 2018 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Fall 2018 alumni magazine

Collaboration is key to success in nearly any setting. In this issue, we explore partnerships the Carlson School has forged with other colleges and programs that make the University of Minnesota stronger.

Fall 2018 table of contents