U of M Regent David Larson, who endowed scholarships, dies at 70

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University of Minnesota Regent and former Cargill executive David Larson has died at the age of 70, the U of M announced.

Larson, who had served on the Board of Regents since 2005, was motivated by the rising cost of higher education to endow a scholarship at the university three years later, the Pioneer Press reports. Since then, 350 Larson Scholars have been admitted according to the U of M.

The university says his family reports Larson died over the weekend after a brief illness.

U of M President Eric Kaler said of Larson: “He gave generously of his time, wisdom and philanthropy because he cared deeply for students and understood the power of education to change lives. I am fortunate to have known him and worked with him as a regent.”

Larson grew up in Glenwood and graduated from the U of M with a degree in political science. He joined Cargill as a trainee in 1966 and after military service in Vietnam he returned to manage the company's research farm in Elk River. Following a series of promotions, he was elected Executive Vice-President of Cargill in 1999, the university says.

A public memorial for Larson will be held this coming Saturday, Nov. 1, in the DQ Club Room at TCF Bank Stadium.

Gov. Mark Dayton could appoint a replacement for Larson to serve on the Board of Regents, but Dayton's press secretary tells the Associated Press the governor plans to leave the seat vacant until the Legislature elects a replacement during the session that begins in January.

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