Riverland college seeks nominations for  alumni award

Published 8:55 pm Friday, January 21, 2022

Nominations are open for the 2022 Riverland Community College Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes contributions Riverland alumni make and increases the pride all alumni, students, staff and faculty have for Riverland.

The award is bestowed on an individual who attended Riverland and has distinguished himself or herself. Since 1979, 23 Distinguished Alumni Awards have been conferred, according to a press release. 

The Riverland Distinguished Alumni Award honors alumni in recognition of their achievement and contributions to their career field, meaningful service to their community and advocacy of higher education and/or Riverland. By honoring former students, the school hopes to inspire today’s student to strive for both personal and professional success. 

The Distinguished Alumni recipient will be recognized at the Riverland Community College commencement May 13.

To be considered for the award, a nominee must have attended one of these colleges that now are considered Riverland Community College:

  • Albert Lea Area Vocational Technical Institute
  • Albert Lea/Mankato Technical College
  • Albert Lea Technical College
  • Albert Lea Technical Institute
  • Austin Area Vocational School
  • Austin Community College
  • Austin Junior College
  • Austin State Junior College
  • Austin Technical College
  • Austin Technical Institute
  • Minnesota Riverland Technical College
  • Owatonna Extension Center – Austin State Junior College
  • Owatonna Higher Education Center
  •  Owatonna College and University Center
  • Riverland Community College

Past awardees include a Broadway actress, the 1987 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, a serial entrepreneur (Robinson) and the mayor of Rochester. One even created a long-running local television program. Some awardees have earned advanced degrees: three Doctorates of Philosophy (PhD), three Doctors of Jurisprudence (JD) and one Doctor of Medicine (MD). Of the 16 males and seven female awardees, seven had careers in education, seven in business, three in health care, three in the law, two in the arts, and one in ministry. Seven awardees have been elected to public office at a local or regional level.

The most recent Distinguished Alumni, Nancy Christopherson, was named in 2018. Christopherson is now retired from a long career as an instructor at Riverland Community College.

Deadline to nominate for the 2022 award is 4:30 p.m. March 4. Late nominations will not be considered. Online nominations to https://www.riverland.edu/alumni are encouraged.