Category Archives: Transitions

In Memoriam: U of M Foundation Leader Robert J. Odegard

Robert J. Odegard, age 92, of Naples, FL, passed away peacefully among family and friends, following a full life of service to community, state, and country. A devoted son, brother, husband, father, farmer, naval officer, automobile dealer, legislator, stockbroker, and celebrated fundraiser for the University of Minnesota, Bob's charisma and persistence propelled him to the top of every field in which he endeavored. With his wife Barbara at his side, Odegard engaged leaders from Minnesota's highest echelons in business, politics and education. In 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his distinguished career at the University of Minnesota Foundation. Odegard found his calling at the University. "Education is the Lord's work. The entire concept…

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In Memoriam: Carl O. Graffunder (B.Arch '42)

Carl O. Graffunder (B.Arch ’42), an esteemed Minnesota architect, passed away on August 27, 2013, at age 94 from a brief illness with pneumonia. Graffunder received his Bachelor of Architecture degree with distinction from the University of Minnesota in 1942, entered the Navy where he worked as a naval architect, and received his Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University in 1948. In 1946-47 Graffunder was chief draftsman for Antonin Raymond, who was regarded as the father of modern architecture in Japan and New York City.  Graffunder returned to Minnesota after graduating from Harvard and became a design critic for the School of Architecture under the leadership of former dean Ralph Rapson. In addition to teaching until 1986, Graffunder ran his…

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In Memoriam: Joan Lee (Whitney) Sharp (B.S. Home Economics '59)

Joan Lee (Whitney) Sharp (B.S. Home Economics '59) earned her degree with high distinction in what was known as the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics. An involved student, Sharp was the recipient of the Caleb Doer academic scholar award twice, a member of both Phi Upsilon Omicron and Omicron NU, and was also involved with two other academic honor societies that cannot be identified. She passed away March 7, 2012, but not without making a stamp on her communities. Sharp's teaching career spanned 28 years and included all levels from preschool through high school in Del Rio, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Bellvue, Nebraska; and the Air Academy School District in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1990, she received her…

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