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Lowe’s Senior Class Award | First Street Gang Maximizes Scholarship | Al Peterson: Alumni Board President | Scholarship Promotes Future Leaders | Google Expert Named ACM Fellow

Lowe’s Senior Class Award


UMD hockey player Jack Connolly is one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior Class Award. The award is presented annually to an NCAA Div. I athlete in 10 sports including men’s hockey, based on achievement in the “Four C’s” -- classroom, character, community and competition.

Connolly, a Duluth native, maintains a 3.30 cumulative grade point average as a communication major and will graduate this May. Show your support for this two-time All-American by casting a vote for him every day until March 18 at

First Street Gang Maximizes Scholarship

It was once the largest school-recognized social organization on the UMD campus, dominating intramural sports, holding legendary parties, and attracting an array of talented people. The group, First Street Gang, hasn’t stopped. The members formed the “Geoff Spencer Memorial Scholarship” in 2002, relying on the donations of 43 members to build an endowment fund. Since 2003, the fund has been large enough to offer a $1,000 scholarship to one Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) student each year. Through the yield on investments and increased donations, the fund has reached $100,000.  “First Street Gang is delighted to be able to continue its contributions in furthering the education of deserving UMD students,” said Bob Hofstrom. “Nine years ago, we dreamed of achieving a fund balance of $100,000. Today, that dream has been realized.”

As a result, First Street Gang will offer two scholarships beginning in fall 2012. One $4,000 scholarship will be awarded to an LSBE student and a $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student pursuing a degree in education. “We are grateful for the continued donations of so many of our members,” said Hofstrom. “We are particularly proud to be recognized by LSBE as the largest scholarship fund. What UMD gave to us all, we are delighted to return.” The group clearly continues to maximize its impact.

Meet Al Peterson, Alumni Board President

Al Peterson  

The UMD Alumni Association is proud to introduce the 2011-2012 Alumni Board of Directors President, Dr. Alan Peterson.  Peterson became the board president on July 1, 2011, taking over the position from Jake Konerza, a 2004 graduate residing in the Twin Cities.

Al Peterson began classes at UMD in 1966 as a pre-med major.  He was accepted into UMD’s accelerated pre-med program which allowed him to attend Medical School (Twin Cities campus) after only three years of undergraduate courses at UMD. After finishing Medical School, Peterson did his Internal Medicine residency at the University Hospital in the Twin Cities.  He then took a job at the Duluth Clinic as a general internist and worked there his entire thirty-year career in the medical field.  Peterson retired from his practice at age 58.

Peterson originally became involved with UMD’s Alumni Association because of his “sense of gratitude for what UMD is: a calm but enthusiastic, welcoming, academically outstanding University.”  His goal while being President of the Alumni Association is “to expand the base of active, involved alumni.”  Al showed his sense of humor when asked what he anticipates as being his biggest challenge as President, when he jokingly stated, “finishing the board meetings before everyone falls asleep.”

Scholarship Promotes Future Leaders


Your collegiate license plate supports scholarships for children and grandchildren of UMD alumni.

Along with financial support, students who receive the scholarship are given outreach opportunities to continue their success. The recipients become members of the UMD Alumni Board and receive opportunities to network with alumni. They are invited to chair committees and join in alumni activities.

anna and sam  

This year’s scholarship recipients are junior Anna Tucker, (shown on the left) a communication major and daughter of alumna Jeanne Tucker. Anna was chosen not only for her academic commitment, but also for her involvement in student organizations and service projects in the Duluth community. Senior Samantha Berg (shown on the right) is a two-time recipient majoring in teaching life sciences. She is the granddaughter of alumnus Russell Berg. Anna and Samantha are co-chairs of the Alumni Association Board’s Bulldog Committee.

The Alumni Association Scholarship is supported by donations and the license plate program. With a minimum $25 annual fee, purchasing a collegiate license plate directly benefits the scholarship.

Order your license plate through a simple online application: or by visiting the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Help UMD students follow in the footsteps of their UMD family members and become life-long Bulldogs.

Google Expert Named ACM Fellow


Amit Singhal ’92 MS, computer science, was recently named an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Fellow. The ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society. Singhal was selected for providing fundamental knowledge to the field. He is credited with most of the information retrieval design decisions in Google Search – a massive system that has responded to hundreds of billions of queries. Singhal has a deep understanding of Google’s entire algorithmic system. Among many other things, Singhal championed Google Instant, which returns search results as the user types. After receiving his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University, he joined AT&T Labs in 1996 and Google in 2000.

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Last modified on 03/05/12 09:36 AM
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