The Campaign for the Carlson School of Management
Support Students

A Force for Leadership

Support Students

Businesses across every industry and sector, in Minnesota and around the world, are demanding innovative, adaptable, globally minded workers—the kinds of budding professionals who study at the Carlson School.

To find the types of leaders in the making who will shape the business landscape in the decades to come, the Carlson School must attract and nurture high-performing and high-potential students, regardless of their financial means. Our student body should also reflect the world in which our graduates will work and live after earning their degrees.

New funding for scholarships and fellowships will strengthen the Carlson School’s place as a force for leadership, helping us recruit in-demand students who will create ideas and solutions to benefit their organizations and communities.

  • Giving back to those who serve

    Amanda Freeberg Donovan
    Shannon Gregory Carlson School Veteran Student

    When Amanda Freeberg Donovan met the students she supported, she was overjoyed.

    In memory of her late grandfather, Freeberg Donovan gifted fellowship dollars to support both undergraduate students and military veteran MBA students.

    It was during last fall’s visit to the Carlson School during the Veterans Day gala when she was able to meet the service members her gift had supported. To her, seeing all the students she and her foundation had helped made a lasting impact.

    “It was really impressive to hear their stories and hear about their accomplishments,” she says. “To be there and be able to meet them in person and have them say ‘thank you’ was really rewarding. You can see, just from some of the students we talked to, that we were able to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of their families.”

    Freeberg Donovan is the executive director of the Don and Lorraine Freeberg Foundation. The foundation, which was founded by her grandparents in 1990, supports organizations focusing on education, healthcare, children, and veterans. The foundation takes the namesake of Freeberg Donovan’s grandparents, Don and Lorraine. 

    Both Don and Lorraine Freeberg were graduates of the University, with Don Freeberg graduating with degrees in both business administration and electrical engineering. After a short time at IBM, Don Freeberg develop his own real estate development company, crediting much of his success to his education at the Carlson School.

    “All the things he learned while he was there and the experiences he had helped shape his future successes as a businessman,” Freeberg Donovan said.

    Before coming to the Carlson School, Don Freeberg served as an aviation cadet in the Navy.

    When Freeberg Donovan heard about the Carlson School’s commitment to getting more military veterans into the MBA program, she thought it was a natural fit, and donated fellowships to support those students.

    “The Veterans MBA program at the Carlson School is fantastic with the different opportunities the veterans get for getting a great education and all the companies in the Minneapolis area that work with them,” Freeberg Donovan says.

    Freeberg Donovan says she one thing her grandfather felt passionately about was supporting military veterans when they returned from service. His feelings were that service members had the skills that could translate to the business world and their future career bath, but they needed some help getting started with a degree, such as an MBA.

     “My grandfather always felt it was very important to give back to the service members who had made sacrifices to help protect the country,” she says. “He said there were a lot of skills they learned during their time they were serving in the armed forces that could really benefit businesses.”

     

    My grandfather always felt it was very important to give back to the service members who had made sacrifices to help protect the country. He said there were a lot of skills they learned during their time they were serving in the armed forces that could really benefit businesses.
Your investment develops leaders, spurs innovation, and sustains excellence.

Naming opportunities are available to support students, faculty, experiential learning, and facilities. 

More About Naming Opportunities »

  • A Gift for the Long Run

    A $6 million commitment to support students

    Brian Gerhardson
    Brian Gerhardson

    For seven years, Brian Gerhardson, ’86 BSB, persevered. He was going to get his degree.

    Despite taking semesters off to work at The Foursome clothing store in Wayzata, Minnesota, or to sell shoes at Dayton’s to cover his tuition. Despite his father telling him he should just get a steady job and forget about college. Despite facing a lack of acceptance—and feeling isolated—as a gay man.

    So now, nearly 32 years later, Gerhardson takes considerable pride in having made a $6 million commitment to the Carlson School of Management to support scholarships, affording students the kind of financial backing he didn’t have as an undergraduate. “An education is so absolutely essential. The statistics bear themselves out,” says Gerhardson, the owner of South End Wealth Management, a Boston-based private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services. Gerhardson is living proof of the dramatic effect a college education can have on one’s life.

    “What I love about my work is that my role, in the lives of individuals and families who hire me, has an absolute direct impact in how they can build their own financial security,” says the 56-year-old Gerhardson, who’s worked with some clients for nearly all of his tenure at Ameriprise.

    Perhaps it’s fitting that long-run impact resonates with Gerhardson. He’s evolved from someone who “maybe ran 3 miles” in college into an accomplished marathoner. He’s run five of the six so-called World Marathon Majors and plans to check the last one (Tokyo) off his list next year. He also has designs on completing marathons in all 50 European countries after finishing his 10th on the continent earlier this year in Reykjavik, Iceland. And he’s amused countless spectators through his personal tradition of running the Boston Marathon in costume.

    Last October, he returned to the Carlson School to serve as a panelist at an LGBT+ alumni reunion hosted by the undergraduate student organization Compass. He called the event “a larger gathering than I could have possibly imagined in my time here.”

    “If you told me there was going to be an LGBTQ gathering for Carlson students and alums back when I was here in the 1980s, I would have thought I (would be) the only one showing up, because I didn’t know anyone else who was gay or lesbian at the university,” he says.

    If Gerhardson has his way, no current student will struggle with that level of isolation. He hopes his scholarship fund will help, in part, build a community of support. He started the fund in 2014 and describes his latest gift as “hunkering down” on his commitment.

    “Having faced a variety of challenges that could have otherwise kept me from getting to an education, through an education, and to the end of that education,” he says, “I recognize that having an education can make the difference in how you experience the rest of your life.” 

    I recognize that having an education can make the difference in how you experience the rest of your life.
Your investment develops leaders, spurs innovation, and sustains excellence.

Naming opportunities are available to support students, faculty, experiential learning, and facilities. 

More About Naming Opportunities »

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