$10 Million from Family Foundation

Carlson School Receives $10 Million from Carlson Family Foundation

Friday, July 27, 2018

Renewing its commitment to excellence in global business leadership, the Carlson Family Foundation has made a transformational investment of $10 million to the Carlson School of Management.

The gift, along with others the Carlson family has made since 2012, brings their total giving to the school to more than $15 million and makes the Carlson Family the biggest donors to date to the Carlson School's Driven campaign.

This new investment will help the school expand and enhance the work it does through the Carlson Global Institute, and support its efforts to bring the world to Minnesota and Minnesota to the world. In recognition of the family’s ongoing generosity and in reflection of the school’s commitment to produce global leaders, the institute will be renamed the Carlson Global Leadership Institute.

The institute includes a profile in 34 countries through student exchanges, faculty-led programs, internships, Global Executive MBA, partnerships, and more.

“The Carlson family’s commitment to the University began in 1932, the year my grandfather, Curt Carlson, enrolled as a freshman,” says Wendy Nelson, board chair of the Carlson Family Foundation and a co-chair of the Driven campaign, as well as a member of the Carlson School Board of Advisors. “Over the years and into our fourth generation, our commitment and our belief that the success of the University and Minnesotans are directly linked, has only gained strength. With this gift, three successive generations stand with Minnesota, the University, and the Carlson School in partnership to cement the school’s position as a leading business school with a global reach and a powerful purpose—Business as a Force for Good.”

This recent gift is among the largest gifts to the Carlson School since Curt Carlson made his commitment of $25 million to the University in 1986. Carlson family philanthropy now stands at more than $68 million in gifts to the University, ranking the family as its largest individual contributor.

“The foundation laid by Curt Carlson over 30 years ago propelled the Carlson School to the global stage,” University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler says. “This gift will advance the Carlson School’s capacity for global leadership and have far-reaching benefits for students, faculty, our vibrant business community, and our partners around the world.”

Curt Carlson's groundbreaking 1986 gift ushered in a new era of philanthropic support for the school. Donors since have helped construct two new facilities, establish more than 200 new endowed scholarship funds, and created 42 endowed faculty positions. As a result, the Carlson's School's enrollment has nearly tripled, and its faculty are ranked among the best in the world.

“For over 60 years, the Carlson family has been our partner, allowing us to achieve greater capacity to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving and growing global marketplace,” Carlson School Dean Sri Zaheer says. “Today’s Carlson School graduates have each had an international experience as part of their academic requirements and are well positioned to look ahead and shape the future.”