Fall 2019

The power of persistance


Brian Gerhardson, ’86 B.S.B., was determined to be the first in his family to go to college. 

He paid his own way and spent seven years working toward a business degree at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, taking semesters off to work in order to cover tuition.

That hard-earned degree led to a sales job with Land O’Lakes in Boston, then more than 30 years with Ameriprise. “An education is so absolutely essential. The statistics bear themselves out,” he says. 

In order to offer students the financial and social support he didn’t have as an undergraduate, Gerhardson established the Brian K. Gerhardson Scholarship for Carlson School students who have a strong interest in and connection to programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students and their allies. Gerhardson, who remembers what it was like feeling unaccepted as a gay man, hopes to build community among recipients. 

 “Having faced a variety of challenges that could have otherwise kept me from getting an education, I recognize that having an education can make a difference in how you experience the rest of your life,” he says.