The University of Minnesota Alumni Association will present Gov. Mark Dayton its “Advocate of the Year” award Oct. 20, citing his support of the University.
The association will present Dayton the award next Thursday at their Alumni Awards Celebration for his work in his first year as governor.
Mary Kay Delvo, the alumni association’s public policy director, said that Dayton fought to preserve $50 million in funding for the University that was initially cut in the state Legislature’s higher education bill. Part of that extra money will be used to soften tuition increases.
Delvo also noted that Dayton opposed an amendment to prohibit human cloning that would have had a “devastating effect” on the University’s stem cell research.
The alumni association also recognized Dayton’s role in securing $88.8 million for the physics and nanotechnology building — a project that broke ground Wednesday — in the bonding bill passed during the special session.
The award was previously called the “Legislator of the Year” award but was changed to recognize all supporters of the University. Previous recipients include former Sen. Linda Berglin, Sen. Sandy Pappas, and a group of nine legislators that worked to pass the bonding bill that funded buildings for the Biomedical Discovery District.
“It’s critical that we honor and recognize the people who are really spending their time and energy speaking out about the University of Minnesota,” Delvo said.