Larry Lundblad, president of Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples, is one of 20 college presidents receiving the 2012 Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction. The award was presented April 13 in Nashville, Tenn., at the national convention of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society for two-year colleges.
College presidents are selected for this award on the basis of outstanding efforts given toward promoting the goals of Phi Theta Kappa.
The Award of Distinction is named after the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, who served as chair of Phi Theta Kappa’s Board of Directors for 20 years. She was President Emeritus of Highline Community College in Washington.
Lundblad was nominated by Julie Jo Larson, president of the Upsilon Omega chapter of PTK at Central Lakes College, along with other PTK members.
“We consider President Lundblad to be a gentle, quiet leader who is among the first to acknowledge others and celebrate their success,” Larson said. “He is also a believer in group decisions versus those dictated by the individual leader. He’s a good listener and an inquirer, getting all the facts before making a decision.”
Larson said she had Lundblad as an instructor 25 years ago, when he taught a “credit and collections” class at Mankato Technical Institute, which later became South Central College.
“I thought he looked familiar when I started taking classes at CLC,” she said.
Lundblad was an instructor in the sales and marketing program at the Mankato school. He later became a dean of curriculum, vice president and chief academic officer at South Central before appointment as president of CLC in 2006. Supporters cited his ability to build partnerships with business and school districts as among attributes validating the appointment.
He earned a doctorate from the University of Minnesota with emphasis in career, technical and adult education. His two master’s degrees are in psychology and continuing studies. His two bachelor’s degrees are in horticulture-agronomy and history-political science.
Lundblad is active in several area organizations and contributes time to national endeavors such as the Higher Education Learning Commission, for which he has served as a consulting evaluator for the Accreditation Review Council.
“Central Lakes College has a long history of commitment to PTK,” said Lundblad. “We are fortunate to have committed, long-standing faculty leadership in our local chapter and our region. As a result, many successful students have evolved from the ranks of our local PTK Chapter.”
The Gordon award recipients have provided extensive support and a variety of resources for their colleges’ Phi Theta Kappa chapters, including faculty adviser release time, a line-item budget for the chapter, financial support for chapters to participate in regional and international events and scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa members.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,280 chapters on two-year college campuses.