Former Star Tribune Publisher Roger Parkinson on Wednesday received one of the University of Minnesota's highest honors, the Award of Distinction.
University President Eric Kaler said Parkinson "has been an extraordinary citizen and a role model of civic engagement."
Parkinson, 73, has served 15 years on the Humphrey School Dean's Advisory Council. The Humphrey School of Public Affairs prepares students for careers in public service.
In accepting the award Wednesday, Parkinson, known for his firebrand work ethic, said he hoped to see the day when the Humphrey School is considered among the best in the country. It is currently ranked third by US News and World Report's survey of nonprofit management programs.
Parkinson has lived in Toronto for the past 20 years. During his years in Minnesota, he organized Mikhail Gorbachev's visit in 1990, chaired the 1990 Olympic Festival and helped create the Homer Hanky used in the 1987 and 1991 World Series.
His career in journalism began in 1969 at Newsweek; he also worked at the Washington Post. He was publisher of the Star Tribune from 1983 to 1992 and the Toronto Globe and Mail from 1994 to 1999.
He earned a Bronze Star for service in the Green Berets, received an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Dartmouth, an MBA from Harvard Business School and, in retirement, a masters of arts in international relations from the University of Toronto.
Parkinson said receiving the award was a special honor. "When you've lived other places, you truly realize what a special place Minnesota is."