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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Urban & Regional Studies Institute to Celebrate 50-year Anniversary

Celebration event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 21.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 10-18-2016

Mankato, Minn. – The Urban and Regional Studies Institute at Minnesota State University, Mankato will celebrate its 50-year anniversary with a dinner and recognition program on Friday, Oct. 21 from 6-9 p.m. at the Country Inn & Suites (1900 Premiere Drive) in Mankato.

In addition to celebrating its 50th anniversary on Friday, the Urban and Regional Studies Institute will also celebrate the recent national accreditation of its Urban and Regional Studies, Master of Arts program by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), as well as Professor Janet Cherrington-Cucore’s 18 years of service to the institute.

Miriam Porter, professor and department chair of the Urban and Regional Studies Institute, described the institute as the first of its kind nationally and a model on which many professional education programs are based today. She said NASPAA is considered the “global standard” in public service education and that earning NASPAA accreditation affirmed the excellence of the Urban and Regional Studies Institute at Minnesota State Mankato.

“This accreditation heightens the already strong impact that URSI has on local governments and ensures employers that our graduates have received a state-of-the-art education,” said Porter.

Porter said that 90 percent of Minnesota cities with populations of over 10,000 either currently or in the past have employed a graduate of Minnesota State Mankato’s Urban and Regional Studies Institute. In addition to a widespread presence in Minnesota communities, Porter said that graduates of the institute have served or are serving every state in the country and in nine countries worldwide.

The institute was founded by the late Robert (Bob) Barrett, a long-time professor at Minnesota State Mankato, and a small team of interdisciplinary faculty in 1966, when Barrett initiated the urban studies graduate program. It was developed to focus on applied professional education for city managers, city planners, and other government professionals.

Colleagues remembered Barrett for his dedication to the interdisciplinary nature of urban studies and his support to various programs around campus. Barrett taught in the program until his death in September 1998. His wife, Mary, along with friends, later established the Robert Barrett Graduate Fellowship within the Urban and Regional Studies Institute at Minnesota State Mankato in his memory to assist graduate students intending to pursue a career in urban management.

For more information about Friday’s 50th-anniversary event, contact Nathan Pasmore, office coordinator, by email at or by phone at 507-389-1714. More information about Minnesota State Mankato’s Urban & Regional Studies Institute is available online.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Urban & Regional Studies Institute is part of the University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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