The University of Minnesota Medical School did itself credit Wednesday when it officially put the good name Carl Platou on the outdoor gathering space outside the new biosciences complex that his many years of prodigious fundraising helped build.

Platou himself helped make it so. When a microphone was handed to the former Fairview Hospitals chief, now ailing with cancer, he turned the Platou Plaza dedication ceremony into a tribute to his alma mater. 

The career counseling and education he received as a returning GI after World War II made him an innovative hospital executive, he said.The university's invitation in 2005 to create the Medical School Dean's Board of Visitors led to more than an avocation.

Since then, Platou has been a near-fulltime volunteer solicitor of major gifts and adviser to school leaders. He set an ambitious $250 million fundraising goal for the research complex known as the Biosciences Discovery District, and was well on the way to reaching it when illness slowed his pace.  

For all who know him, the Platou name stands for "a generosity of spirit and a drive for the common good," said Board of Regents chair Linda Cohen.

Those are traits he shares with the institution that educated, nurtured and inspired him. It's fitting that at the University of Minnesota's Platou Plaza, their names are linked for good.