February 17, 2009

Dave Durenberger conducts second McCarthy Residency


Former Minnesota Sen. Dave Durenberger, a 1955 graduate of Saint John’s University, conducts the second annual Eugene McCarthy Residency Feb. 9-13 at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.

Highlighting the residency will be two panel discussions which are free and open to the public, including one that includes three former senators and a former representative from Minnesota.
“Improving Congress: Advice and Debate from Former Members of the Republican and Democratic Parties,” is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10 at room 204C, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, CSB. The panel consists of Durenberger, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1978-95; former Sen. Rod Grams, who served from 1995-2001; former Sen. Mark Dayton, who served from 2001-07; and former Rep. Mark Kennedy, a 1979 graduate of SJU who served in Congress from 2001-07. Lori Sturdevant, an editorial writer and columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper, is the moderator of the discussion.

Durenberger will also be part of a panel, “Faith, Ethics and Health Care” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11 at Room 264, Quadrangle Building, SJU. That panel includes Bernard Evans, associate professor of theology at CSB and SJU and the Virgil Michel Chair in Theology; Kathleen Twohy, professor of nursing and chair of the department at CSB and SJU; and Toby Pearson, executive director of the Catholic Health Association of Minnesota.

An invitation-only luncheon and discussion with Durenberger and Dr. Guy Clifton, a neurosurgeon, clinical investigator, administrator and health policy advocate who is now devoting himself to health policy reform, is at 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 12 at room 204C, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, CSB. Although the event is free, you must register by Feb. 2 with Stacy Penk by calling 320-363-3266, or by e-mail at

spenk@csbsju.edu. Registration is limited.
During his residency, Durenberger will speak to political science, nursing and senior ethics seminar classes at CSB and SJU.

Born in St. Cloud, Durenberger was the son of long-time SJU athletic director George Durenberger. While attending SJU, he was involved in Army ROTC, becoming the program’s first cadet battalion commander and the top honor cadet. He went on to serve in the Army as a military intelligence officer from 1956-63.

In 1978, Durenberger defeated Minneapolis businessman Bob Short in a special election to complete the unexpired term of Sen. Hubert Humphrey, who had passed away earlier that year. He was reelected in 1982 (defeating Dayton) and 1988 (defeating Skip Humphrey). During his tenure in the Senate, Durenberger served as chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee.

Durenberger is currently a senior health policy fellow at the University of St. Thomas, and chairs the National Institute of Health Policy, a program of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business. He was also named by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to lead the Minnesota Citizens Forum on Health Care Costs.
Durenberger’s visit is sponsored by the

Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at CSB and SJU. The center seeks to engage the campus and wider community in debate and discourse regarding public policy and public affairs.