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Stillwater’s Kathryn Roberts Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

One of 11 2013 alumni award winners.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 5-2-2013

Mankato, Minn. – Kathryn Roberts of Stillwater, Minn., received the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Minnesota State University, Mankato last week.

Roberts, president and CEO of Ecumen in Shoreview, Minn., is one of 11 2013 alumni award winners. She was honored at an April 26 ceremony hosted by the Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Association.

Alumni Achievement Awards go to graduates who have achieved high rank or honor in their professions and have had a major impact on their communities.

Roberts, who graduated from Minnesota State Mankato in 1976 with a master’s degree in continuing studies, has held many titles in her career. In her current position at Ecumen, she oversees a senior housing provider with 4,000 employees and more than 11,000 customers.
Prior to Ecumen, Roberts was the first woman to be the chair of the Metropolitan Sport Facilities Commission, a position to which she was appointed in 1999 by then Governor Jesse Ventura. In that position she fought, and won, against Major League Baseball’s plans to contract and eliminate the Minnesota Twins. She and the Metropolitan Sport Facilities Commission successfully kept the Twins in Minnesota and playing baseball.

Before that, she served 12 years as the executive director of the Minnesota Zoo, where she led a great rebound in attendance and revenues. She also created the School of Environmental Studies at the zoo in collaboration with the Apple Valley School District. The high school graduates about 200 students each year.

Those who want more information about the April 26 awards event may go to or call (507) 389-3235.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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