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 MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota announced today that the school's namesake, Curtis L. Carlson, founder and board chairman of Carlson Companies, has committed a lead gift of $10 million toward a $20 million capital campaign for a new building to house the business school. Carlson is sole owner of the $10 billion-a-year travel, hospitality and marketing conglomerate Carlson Companies, one of the largest privately held companies in the nation.
 It was also announced that two of the region's most prominent business leaders, Michael R. Bonsignore, chairman and CEO, Honeywell Inc.; and William A. Hodder, chairman, president and CEO, Donaldson Company, Inc., will co-chair the school's capital campaign.
 "The business community is the real winner here and will benefit from the creation of a truly world-class business institution," stated Bonsignore, who will help to spearhead the fundraising effort. "Curt Carlson's generosity shows that the corporate community is willing to go to bat for this project for very fundamental reasons."
 In 1986, Carlson, a 1937 graduate in economics from the University, made a $25 million lead gift to kick off and chair the successful Minnesota Campaign, which far surpassed expectations. From that gift, $18 million went to the Carlson School. His new contribution of $10 million brings his total giving to the Carlson School to $28 million, making him the nation's third single-largest contributor to a business school.
 Most of the $40 million raised by the Carlson School during the Minnesota Campaign went to endow an unprecedented 18 chairs and professorships while attracting some of the nation's top scholars to the Carlson School faculty. The school's commitment to academics has paid off, as it is now solidly ranked as one of the nation's top 25 schools, and second in two key areas -- information sciences and industrial relations. The school is ranked 7th among public schools.
 "My previous contributions were intended to help upgrade the business school into a truly first-rate institution," stated Carlson. "With that done and a clear vision of the school's direction in place, the time is right for us to create a setting commensurate with its high standards -- and which will increasingly attract world-class business students."
 The Carlson School has been rapidly adding new programs and expanding existing programs despite a serious shortage of space and facilities. For example, the school's Executive Development Center has launched at least one new program each of the past three years. In the area of international education, new partnerships have been formed with top business schools in other countries, which will attract numerous students yearly to the school.
 Despite the high quality of the faculty and school overall, the nature of the existing space is not configured or equipped properly for modern management education, making it increasingly difficult to compete nationally.
 Minneapolis-based Ellerbe Becket Inc. has been chosen by the University as the architectural firm for a new $45 million building for the Carlson School, to be located on the West Bank of the Minneapolis campus, adjacent to the Humphrey Institute. Ellerbe Becket has $114 million in annual billings worldwide, making it the largest architectural/engineering firm in the United States. The firm has designed the $140 million LaSalle Plaza Building in Minneapolis, and the business school building at the University of Notre Dame and the Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, both currently under construction.
 The University of Minnesota has requested $25 million from the Minnesota State Legislature in the 1994 session for the building, as part of an overall $107 million University of Minnesota five-year facilities request. The legislative funds are contingent on matching private "partnership" funds from the corporate and foundation community.
 Despite the sizable lead gift from Carlson, the building's name has yet to be chosen.
 "Obviously, my contribution alone will not build a new facility for the business school," stated Carlson. "It does, however, get the process going -- to hire an architectural firm, draw up a design, and hopefully to inspire our generous business community and alumni to support this important drive for our own business building."
 In 1991, the school's new dean, David Kidwell, launched a strategic planning process, which included extensive feedback from the business community. Some 300 business people, opinion leaders and community members participated. The plan, now being implemented, includes a revised MBA program, stronger links with the business community, a renewed commitment to teaching excellence, expanded executive education, increased international activities, a diverse student body, a reaffirmed dedication to research and expanded student services.
 "Each of our key strategic areas unmistakably pointed in the direction of creating an appropriate, professional environment which would open doors to the business community, lend itself to new technologies and research, and continue to attract the best scholars and faculty available," stated Kidwell. "We are well on our way towards fulfilling our goal of creating a world-class professional learning community -- with the exception of facilities."
 The dramatic new MBA program, which debuted this fall, creates closer links with the business community and integrates the curriculum. The Carlson School adds to its 25-year tradition of business field projects with an unmatched five experiential learning components including an executive mentors program, a technology transfer and entrepreneurship field project option, a "top management perspectives" course, a proseminar series featuring contemporary issues and practices, and a professional skill development track.
 "Realistically," said Hodder, "to sustain interactive involvement from the business community -- in mentorships, executive development, proseminars and executive MBA programs -- corporate-grade facilities are a must."
 In July, the Carlson School's board of overseers, chaired by Ecolab CEO Pierson M. "Sandy" Grieve and described at one time as one of the state's "power boards" by CityBusiness, voted to launch a capital campaign for a new building. The 44-member board includes chairs or CEOs from Norwest, NSP, Jostens, Medtronic, Honeywell, Supervalu, H.B. Fuller, National Computer Systems and Hector Communications.
 Business schools at Michigan, Duke, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, NYU, Berkeley and Washington University have all opened new buildings over the past few years, as competition for top business students has increased. Many schools have incorporated new technologies -- such as teleconferencing capabilities, classrooms wired for laptop computers, satellite hookups, and other state-of-the-art features.
 Carlson Companies includes Radisson Hotels International, Colony Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns and Suites, Carlson Travel Network, TGI Friday's and Country Kitchen Restaurants. Carlson Companies also includes a Marketing Group which specializes in loyalty, incentive, learning and sales promotion programs for large and small businesses. Carlson Companies has a workforce of over 98,000 people around the world.
 The son of Swedish immigrants, Carlson began his corporate empire with the Gold Bond (Trading) Stamp Company in 1938. He borrowed $50 in capital and, by himself, began selling his trading stamps to small grocery stores in the Twin Cities area. In 1953, Super Valu, then the largest supermarket operation in the nation, began giving Carlson's Gold Bond stamps, providing the capital he needed to grow and diversify. By the '60s, his trading stamps were being used around the world.
 -0- 11/3/93
 /CONTACT: Martha Douglas of the Carlson School, 612-625-0843; or Josh Kohnstamm of Kohnstamm PR, 612-228-9141, for the Carlson School/

CO: Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota ST: Minnesota IN: SU:

AL-CP -- MN001 -- 9915 11/03/93 07:06 EST
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Date:Nov 3, 1993

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