A photo of Steve Spruth looking at the sunset

Remembering Senior Lecturer Steve Spruth

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

With sadness, the Carlson School shares that Steve Spruth died March 9 following a courageous battle against lung cancer. He was 65.

A senior lecturer in the Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship Department (SME) for nearly 20 years, Steve made a lasting impact on students and the school. He was a kind, gentle, very thoughtful, and dedicated teacher who really got students thinking deeply about their projects and coursework. His efforts earned him the inaugural Universitywide Entrepreneurship Teacher of the Year Award in 2014, which recognizes the contributions of teachers such as Steve. He personifies the curiosity, humility, and optimism that every teacher strives to instill in their students.

Steve Spruth teaches a class on entrepreneurial development during a canoe trip on the Mississippi River.
Steve Spruth teaches a class on entrepreneurial development during a canoe trip on the Mississippi River.

Steve taught innovation courses in SME. A longstanding relationship with the Carlson Global Institute (CGI) kicked off with a graduate program in ethics that he led to Brussels and London in May 2007. From there, he developed IBUS 3010 in China, which he led eight times from 2008 to 2015. In 2016, he transitioned that course to Cuba, leading four trips. In addition, he developed and led IBUS 4050 to Brazil, which ran nine times. His final program, IBUS 3055, in partnership with Soumya Sen went to China in May 2019. In all, Steve led 23 programs for CGI, leaving an indelible mark on the hundreds of students he taught on those courses. Always willing to try new approaches, Steve brought a class of students down the Mississippi River--in canoes--to learn about the entrepreneurial development of the Twin Cities.

The Carlson School sends its deepest sympathies to his wife, Frances, his sons, Jack and Henry, extended family members, and many friends.

Steve made an incredible impact on so many here at the Carlson School. We will miss him dearly.

Spring 2023 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Spring 2023 alumni magazine

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Spring 2023 table of contents