MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Former Minnesota Viking and State Supreme Court Justice Alan Page (retired) has been named this year’s recipient of Saint Mary’s University’s Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership; he will receive the award Tuesday, April 18, at the university’s annual Hendrickson Forum.
Page, a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, started his football career at Notre Dame University and went on to play for the Minnesota Vikings for 11 years from 1967 to 1978. While still playing for the Vikings, he attended the University of Minnesota Law School and received his Juris Doctor. Page officially retired from football in 1981, after three years with the Chicago Bears.
After practicing law for a number of years, Page was elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992, becoming the first African American man to serve on the state’s highest court. Page served on the court until his retirement in 2015.
Dedicated to education, Page has been a proponent of the Page Amendment initiative in Minnesota, which would amend the state’s constitution and mandate “that quality public education is offered to all people.” The amendment is named in Page’s namesake.
In 1988, Page and his wife, Diane Sims Page, founded the Page Education Foundation. It provides financial and mentoring assistance to students of color in exchange for those students’ commitment to further volunteer service in the community, an idea suggested by their daughter Georgi.The Page Education Foundation has awarded grants to more than 7,500 students, who in turn have given more than 475,000 hours of their time to young children.
Recipients of the Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership have made significant contributions to the Twin Cities community and exhibit ethical leadership that is globally oriented, innovative, and creative. Further, recipients advocate for engaged citizenship that significantly improves the lives of others’ appreciation for diverse ideas and perspectives. Past medal recipients include Tony Sanneh of the Sanneh Foundation; Mary Jane Melendez of General Mills; Brad Hewitt of Thrivent Financial; Rhoda Olsen of Great Clips; Inge Thulin of 3M; and Mary Brainerd of HealthPartners.
The keynote for this year’s Hendrickson Forum is political analyst and author David Brooks, presenting “Navigating the Road to Character.”
Brooks has a gift for bringing audiences face to face with the spirit of our times with humor, insight, and quiet passion. He is a keen observer of the American way of life and a savvy analyst of present-day politics and foreign affairs. He holds several prestigious positions as a commentator including bi-weekly op-ed columnist for the New York Times and regular analyst on PBS NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered. His New York Times bestseller, The Road to Character, “explains why selflessness leads to greater success. He tells the story of 10 great lives that illustrate how character is developed, and how we can all strive to build rich inner lives, marked by humility and moral depth. In a society that emphasizes success and external achievement, The Road to Character is a book about inner worth.”
The Hendrickson Forum, which begins at 11:30 p.m. in Saint Mary’s Event Center, 2540 Park Ave., is open to the public. Tickets are available at smumn.edu/hendricksonforum.