Growing Older: Reader Essay by Margaret Carlson

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Winter 2017

As the face of the Alumni Association for 25 years, my passions fueled my profession. I gave speeches many times a day, wrote a magazine column, interacted with alumni across the globe and talked with the Twin Cities media. Every day was different and I relished the opportunities as much as the challenges.

[Since retiring in 2010,] I have found tremendous pleasure and satisfaction in reversing my role as a public persona to serve as an invisible mentor, coach, and guide—in paid and pro bono capacities—rather than being center stage.

I’ve been privileged to lend my expertise to organizational leaders in autism and Alzheimer’s; marine mammal research and astronaut scholarships; contemporary art and historical music instrument museums; fundraising bike rides and political campaigns.

At 73, I’m learning, sharing, and giving back. My hope is to follow in the footsteps of my golden Gopher role model, Tom Swain (B.S.B. ’42), who is 95 and as active and alert as he was in his prime, lending his wisdom to those who will lead future generations.

- Margaret Carlson (Ph.D. ’85), Minnetonka

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