MN’s First African-American Supreme Court Justice to Speak at Centennial Commencement

Alan Page, Minnesota’s first African-American supreme court justice, former Minnesota Vikings player and pro-football Hall of Fame inductee, is the recipient of Bemidji State University’s 37th Distinguished Minnesotan honor.

First presented by Bemidji State in 1981, the Distinguished Minnesotan award acknowledges the contributions of current or former residents of the state who have performed exemplary service to the people of Minnesota or the United States.

The Distinguished Minnesotan traditionally addresses graduating seniors at Bemidji State’s commencement ceremony, set for May 10 at 2 p.m. in Bemidji’s Sanford Center. Page’s address will be streamed online as part of the ceremony’s live coverage.

About Alan Page

Alan Page is a retired jurist and former professional football player. He played for 15 seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears before pursuing a legal career. Page earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame in 1967 and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978. He served as an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court until 1993 and is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame (1993) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1988).

Also in 1988, Justice Page and his wife, Diane, founded the Page Education Foundation, which assists Minnesota students of color in their pursuit of post-secondary education. To date, the foundation has awarded $15 million in grants to 7,000 students.

Justice Page and his daughter, Kamie Page, have written three children’s picture books, “Alan and His Perfectly Pointy Impossibly Perpendicular Pinky,” “The Invisible You,” and “Grandpa Alan’s Sugar Shack.”

In November 2018, Justice Page received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

  • Office of the President; (218) 755-2011

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