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The University of Minnesota Duluth
BRIDGE - Fall 2008, Volume 26, #1
Minnesota Representative Tom Rukavina
A UMD Distinguished Alumni Award
Tom Rukavina ’72 (BA Political Science) received a Distinguished Alumni Award from UMD at a ceremony held in January 2008. The award was presented to him because of his passionate service as a leading member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, his selfless dedication and service to his Iron Range constituents, and his endless support for higher education for all Minnesota students.
UMD recognized Rukavina’s leadership in the establishment of the Iron Range Scholarship, consisting of a $20 million endowment, which annually provides hundreds of students the opportunity to attend college. “I’m really proud of that scholarship,” said Rukavina. “One in every five freshmen in all the public colleges and universities in Minnesota benefits from the mineral wealth of the Iron Range.”
In 1986, at the age of 37, Rukavina was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. Since then, he has been re-elected ten times. He started his eleventh term in 2006. Rukavina serves on a number of important committees: the Capital Investment Finance Division, the Education Finance and Economic Competitiveness Finance Division, the Finance Committee, the Taxes Committee, and the Higher Education and Work Force Development Policy and Finance Division, of which he is chair.
“Tom truly represents UMD alumni,” said UMD Alumni Director Patty DeLano. “He strongly believes in the importance of education for Minnesota’s young people. He is a tireless advocate.” UMD’s Vice Chancellor Greg Fox agreed, “He’s informed about higher education and all its requirements: for faculty, for students, and for programs. That knowledge goes a long way in articulating our needs to the Legislature. On behalf of all the students he has helped, we thank him.”
“It’s an honor that my alma mater has recognized me,” Rukavina said. “The work I do for the university system and higher education is ultimately to help Minnesota’s young people and to make sure they are treated fairly.”
In January, UMD congratulated Representative Rukavina on two decades of working for Minnesota’s students.
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