November 4, 2015

SCA Curtis L. Carlson Swedish-American Scholarship

Curtis L. Carlson on the campus of the University of Minnesota


Curtis L. Carlson was internationally known as a successful entrepreneur, innovative businessman, generous philanthropist and civic leader. He is best known for being founder of Carlson Companies (Radisson Hotels, TGIFriday’s, Country Inns and Suites and others) and the lead funder of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He was also known for his keen interest in all things Swedish, most especially his own Swedish heritage.

Among the many honors Mr. Carlson received, he was named Swedish-American of the Year by Vasa Order of America in 1981, Chairperson Emeritus by Swedish Council of America in 1985 and Philanthropist of the Year by Town and Country magazine two years later.

Reflecting his keen interest in promoting understanding of Swedish heritage in American life and of building stronger ties between Sweden and his home state of Minnesota, in 1992 Mr. Carlson established a donor-designated fund within the umbrella of SCA. The proceeds from this fund allow SCA to annually provide nearly full support for one Swedish student to study at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. Mr. Carlson also stipulated that the scholarship be limited to students currently enrolled at either of Sweden’s most ancient and perhaps most prestigious universities, Uppsala Universitet (1477) and Lund Universitiet (1666).

Appropriately named the SCA Curtis L. Carlson Swedish American Scholarship, this is by far the most generous scholarship at SCA. The recipient’s room, board and books are covered by the stipend from SCA and because Gustavus has a reciprocation agreement with both universities, the student’s tuition is waived. Therefore nearly all of the recipients’ expenses are covered, excluding airfare and personal purchases.

If you are interested in applying for the SCA Curtis L. Carlson Swedish American Scholarship, please contact SCA at Be sure to put “Carlson Scholarship” in the subject line.