November 16, 2015

2014 GAA – Dr. Edward and Patricia Lindell

The following SCA Great Achievement Award was presented
at the SCA Awards Banquet at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota,
on Friday, September 19, 2014.

“Their humbleness and modesty would cause them to blush were they to read this letter – which is but a scratch on the surface of a more encompassing description that could be written of all they have contributed.”

Both Ed and Patty Lindell are familiar figures to those associated with Swedish Council of America, as Ed served on the SCA Board for many years. They were faithful in their attendance and participation in the work of SCA and continue to be vitally interested in the mission it serves.  Ed was a key steadying force on the SCA Board during his years of active service and was of great support to Board chairs and executive leadership.

Ed’s service to the Swedish-American community has had a broad reach and deep impact. As an academic leader, he’s most noted for his presidency of Gustavus Adolphus College in 1975-80. His presidency came at a time when the college, like many other small colleges, was struggling under financial strains and shortfalls. His efforts to grapple with the college’s accumulated deficit in working capital were successful and righted the college’s financial ship.

Early in his academic career, while Ed was at the University of Denver, he provided critical guidance in the 1960s to Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, another college founded by Swedish immigrants, during a period of great challenge. Both Gustavus and Bethany benefitted from Ed’s sage counsel and it may well be said that he played an important role in securing the future for these two important educational institutions that are among the important and lasting achievements of the Swedish immigration to this country.

Patty was the driving spirit in the establishment of the Gustavus Library Association (GLA) and served as its chairperson for three years. Her spirit, enthusiasm, and vision were responsible for the strength of the Association and its success from its inception to the present day. The mission of GLS ha been to strengthen the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library on the Gustavus campus, and it has achieved that mission admirably. Patty continues to be active in the work of GLA to this day.

For their joint efforts on behalf of Gustavus Adolphus College, Patty and Ed were presented with the college’s premier award, the Greater Gustavus Award, and Patty was also presented with an honorary doctorate from the college.

During their years living in the greater Twin Cities area, Ed and Patty have lent their talents and enlisted their broad network of friends to join them in supporting many Swedish-American causes and celebrations. Both have served on the Board of Directors of the American Swedish Institute, and Patty was a co-chair of ASI’s successfulLinking Generations, Linking Communities capital campaign which resulted in significant campus enhancements that were dedicated by His Majesty, King Carl XVI Gustav in October 2012.

Patty was a co-chair of several committees formed in Minnesota over the past years to spearhead local activities associated with important bi-national projects: the New Sweden ’88 celebrations, the 1983 Scandinavia Today cultural festival, and the 1996 Emigration Jubilee festivities.

Ed has been a Board member of one of the Wallenberg Foundations, and through his work on behalf of Swedish-America, has cultivated many friendships and partnerships in Sweden which have resulted in stronger links between our two countries and institutions on both sides of the Atlantic.

For their contributions to sustaining links between Sweden and America both Ed and Patty have both been separately recognized by His Majesty with the Royal Order of the Polar Star.

It’s a privilege to submit this nomination of Dr. Edward Lindell and Patricia Lindell for the SCA Great Achievement Award for their lifetimes of outstanding achievements. They richly deserve this honor. Our community has been immeasurably strengthened by their involvement and their genreosiy in ways that sustain our ongoing ties to Sweden and deepen our appreciation of our heritage.

The Lindells were nominated by Bruce Karstadt, President and CEO of the American Swedish Institute.