The late Earl H. Potter III, former president of St. Cloud State University (MN), was awarded today with the 2017 Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award* during the opening plenary of ACE2017, ACE's 99th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
The Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award is bestowed annually to acknowledge the substantial role of mentors in the success of ACE Fellows Program participants. Lisa Helmin Foss, associate vice president and associate provost at St. Cloud State and Potter’s 2015-16 nominee, accepted the award on his behalf.
Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has strengthened institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing nearly 1,900 faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration. More than 80 percent of Fellows have gone on to serve as chief executive officers of colleges or universities, provosts, vice presidents and deans.
Potter, who served as St. Cloud State’s president from 2007 until his death in 2016, mentored one Fellow and nominated two others to participate in the program. He also served as chair of the ACE Council of Fellows from 2013-15 and led the Council through the program’s 50th anniversary commemoration. For eight years, Potter also was an interviewer for incoming classes of Fellows.
"Earl’s dedication to the Fellows Program reflected his longtime commitment to mentorship and helping pave a path for future higher education leaders,” said Lynn M. Gangone, vice president, ACE Leadership. “It is terribly sad that Earl is not here to receive this well-deserved honor in person. However, I am confident that his legacy lives on and that his work has contributed to the development of leaders for generations to come.”
Throughout his tenure, Potter was deeply committed to the university’s mission of providing an affordable, high-quality education for students from Minnesota and around the world. He felt strongly about his work to prepare students for life, work and citizenship in the 21st century, and established himself as a leader to position the university as a driving force for progress and problem solving in the region and as a source of great pride for the community and state.
Under Potter’s leadership, St. Cloud State worked to strengthen its dedication to an integrated student learning experience by grounding every professional program in a broad liberal education and a firm understanding of the needs of employers and the region.
Potter, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1969-93 and retired at the rank of captain, also brought his military background and support of veterans to campus and oversaw efforts to increase veterans’ services on campus.
Prior to joining St. Cloud State, Potter was executive vice president and provost at Southern Oregon University; dean of the College of Business at Eastern Michigan University; dean of the School of Management at Lesley University (MA); director for organizational development and employment services at Cornell University (NY); and associate dean for academics and chief negotiator for management and head of the Department of Economics and Management at the United States Coast Guard Academy.
“Earl H. Potter III exemplified the values of a leader and a mentor: dedication, integrity, compassion. Fidelity is honored to celebrate leaders in the higher education community who share our passion for mentorship and are committed to preparing the next generation for ongoing success,” said Alexandra Taussig, senior vice president, Tax-Exempt Market, Fidelity Investments.
Since 2008, Fidelity Investments has been a generous supporter of the ACE Fellows Program, enabling the Council of Fellows to provide support for the discretionary fund of the Mentor Award winner's institution as well as the Fellows Fund for the Future, which provides stipends to defray costs of sponsoring a Fellow for qualified institutions.
*ACE and Fidelity Investments® are independent entities and are not legally affiliated. The recipients of the Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award are selected solely by the Executive Committee of the Council of Fellows. Fidelity employees are not involved, in any way, in determining, selecting or approving the recipient or amount of any award. The selection criteria and guidelines for the award may be obtained directly from ACE.
Lynn Gangone, vice president, ACE Leadership; Nancy Blattner, President, Caldwell University (NJ), chair, ACE Council of Fellows; ACE President Molly Corbett Broad; Lisa Helmin Foss, associate vice president and associate provost, St. Cloud State University (MN); Alexandra Taussig, senior vice president, Tax-Exempt Market, Fidelity Investments; Sherri Lind Hughes, director, ACE Leadership.
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