September 10, 2009

2 St. John’s alumni to be honored for public service

September 10, 2009

2 St. John’s alumni to be honored for public service
Men will receive the first Eugene McCarthy Public Service Award

St. Cloud Times staff report

COLLEGEVILLE — St. John’s University will honor two alumni posthumously for their public service.

John Brandl and Gerald Christenson will receive the first Eugene McCarthy Distinguished Public Service Award during the third annual McCarthy Lecture and Dinner on Sept. 23.
Brandl served in the administration of President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s, first as an analyst with the Defense Department and later as a deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He later served 12 years in the Minnesota Legislature representing parts of south Minneapolis.

Brandl also was a regent at St. John’s from 1991-2000 and helped launch the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement. He was a distinguished professor of public policy at St. John’s and the College of St. Benedict, and a professor and former dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Christenson, a native of Litchfield, helped design the Minnesota school funding system known as the “Minnesota Miracle” because it made the state responsible for most public education funding. He helped create a federal youth employment program during the 1960s and was chancellor of the Minnesota community college system.

He was also the first commissioner of the state’s Department of Finance, and instituted the revenue forecast.

Christenson was a chief of staff for Fourth District Congressman Joe Karth and a candidate for lieutenant governor in 1966.
Brandl died in 2008; Christenson in 2005.