Tradition Never Graduates: Grand Marshals

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Fall 2017

Dave and Linda Mona have lived their passion for the University of Minnesota with generosity and enthusiasm for nearly half a century. This year, the couple will serve as Grand Marshals for the University of Minnesota’s 2017 Homecoming parade on October 20.

“We are thrilled to celebrate Dave and Linda Mona as our 2017 Homecoming Grand Marshals,” says Alumni Association President and CEO Lisa Lewis. “Their generosity to the University and the community is inspirational, and their steadfast leadership is helping to keep the U strong in the 21st century.”

Dave (B.A. ’65), the founder and recently retired chair of Weber Shandwick, received a degree in journalism from the U, and Linda (B.S. ’67), founder and owner of Creative Environments—a full-service interior design firm—received a degree in home economics education. They each served a term as chair of the UMAA Board of Directors, the only husband/wife duo to do so. They also each chaired their respective collegiate alumni societies and together worked as captains on the fundraising drive to bring Gopher football back to campus.

In addition to his term as UMAA board chair, Dave has led legislative advocacy efforts for the U, chaired the UMAA nominating/board development committee, and been a trustee of the Minnesota Medical Foundation. He and Linda are both recipients of the U of M Outstanding Achievement Award. An accomplished journalist and pioneer in the PR industry who got his start at the Minnesota Daily, Dave currently cohosts with Sid Hartman WCCO radio’s Sports Huddle and was a color analyst on Gopher football broadcasts for 13 years. He has won awards from the Associated Press as well as Eric Sevareid and Edward R. Murrow Awards for his writing and broadcasting.

Linda, a successful entrepreneur who has made numerous civic contributions, was the national president of the UMAA in 1995-96 when the decision was made to design and build the McNamara Alumni Center. She has also chaired the UMAA Nominating Committee, the University Gateway Communications Committee, and the College of Human Ecology Alumni Board. In 1995, she cochaired the Women’s Final Four basketball championship in Minneapolis, and she’s served on the board of Fairview Southdale Hospital. She has provided leadership to the U of M Foundation, the Goldstein Gallery, and the Women’s Athletic Advisory Council, along with many other civic and philanthropic organizations such as the Girl Scouts River Valleys Council, which named her a Community Champion. Linda and Dave were cochairs of the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship at Interlachen Country Club in Edina and Linda was subsequently elected to be the first woman board chair in the Club’s 100-year history.

In 2016, Linda and Dave received the Friend of the Foundation Award from the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for their fundraising achievements and volunteer contributions in conjunction with Camden’s Concert, an annual event they originated eight years ago.


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