The Magazine of the University of Minnesota Duluth
Promise and Past
Steve Fox 74, and his wife, Connie Fladeland, have watched UMD and the city of Duluth mature. Because Foxs family lives in Duluth, they have made regular visits from their home in Wayzata, Minnesota, up Interstate 35 to Foxs boyhood haunts.
We have seen the changes as they occurred, says Fladeland. One of the most significant for me is the transformation of Duluth into a tourist destination. There is a lot more to see.
Fox agrees, The number one difference, by far, is the addition of the Lake Superior Boardwalk. It is a real asset, as is the Canal Park area which ranks as one of the top scenic spots in the state. When I was in school at UMD, northeastern Minnesota had a depressed labor market and the Canal Park area was light industrial. It wasnt very prosperous. I never envisioned that it would become such a popular attraction.
We love the lake; we love the cold and snow, said Fladeland, so when we get invited up, we come.
Fox and Fladeland stay involved with UMD because education is important to them both. Fladeland, who just received her Ph.D. in education from the University of Minnesota, is the principal of the Schumann Elementary School in Orono, Minnesota. Her dissertation examined why teachers decide to teach. She looked at factors that include salary, work schedules, and the knowledge that teaching can make a difference to children and the community.
Fox is proud of her achievement. He said, Connie has given me some insight about the school system and, of course, I am interested. Education was always valued in my family. Higher education was a topic that got respect.
That concern for a university education has brought Fox, who received the UMD Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997, closer to UMD. He now serves on the Chancellors Council and consults with Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin on UMD issues. She relies on him for marketing advice, and he is happy to give it.
UMD has grown and prospered right along with Duluth, he said. The new residence halls are the result of a booming student population. I think the students are as captivated as I am by the quality of departments like the Center for Economic Development and the engineering program.
UMD has a lot of competition for Foxs time. In addition to his position as publisher of Minnesota Monthly Magazine, Midwest Home and Design, TC Taste, WHERE TC, Minnesota Retreats, the Official Guide to the Twin Cities and other publications, Fox also serves on the board of directors of a number of non-profit organizations. The list reads like the Whos Who of Minnesota Art Organizations and includes the Minnesota Opera, the Loft, the MacPhail Center for the Arts, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the University of Minnesota School of Music, the Dale Warland Singers, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
He has come a long way from the young college student slumped in Joe Hueys corner booth. I can only hide from the past for so long, he said. If I walk just a block from my Minneapolis office to the Loon Cafe, Im reminded of my college days again. You see, the Loon Cafe bought the seats from Joe Hueys Duluth restaurant when it closed. History lives on.
Regardless of the other organizations that now take his attention, Fox is attentive to developments at UMD. I have been especially aware of the changes under Kathryn Martin. She is invigorating; she throws herself into projects and the results have been phenomenal. Fox enumerated some of the programs that have been recently initiated. The Large Lakes Observatory, the Center for Fresh Water Research and the new pharmacy program in the medical school have tremendous potential, he said. Of course, the new library has transformed UMD. In my mind, it wouldnt have been as stunning or occurred as soon without Kathryn. Fox says he only has one concern. He asked, How long will we be able to retain the remarkable leadership of Chancellor Kathryn Martin?
Shogren remembers sitting in the Griggs Hall TV lounge and watching as the numbers were called for the Vietnam Wars first military lottery draft.
When Susan Meyer and Dan Shogren talk about UMD, they reminisce about
more than classes, sports and parties. They attended UMD from 1969-1973,
during a time when world politics, particularly the Vietnam conflict,
were on everyones mind.