Gustavus Adolphus College presented Evelyn Bonander ’59, William Green ’72, and Ray Norling ’56 with Distinguished Alumni Citations earlier this spring at the College’s Alumni Banquet.
The Distinguished Alumni Citation recognizes outstanding and exceptional professional achievement, such as to bring unusual honor to the individual in his or her field of endeavor. Criteria appropriate to selection include the difficulty of accomplishment; quality, creativity, and distinctiveness of performance; recognition by professional peers; and lasting contribution to the world of ideas and affairs.
Bonander was honored for her dedicated service to others in the field of social work. After receiving her master of social work degree with honors from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., she held positions in St. Louis as a medical social worker for the neurosurgery service at Barnes Hospital and for the rehabilitation service at Washington University Medical Center. She was eventually named director of social work at Barnes Hospital/WUMC in 1971.
In 1985, Bonander moved to Boston to accept a position as fourth director of social services at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and soon became the executive director. During her tenure at MGH for 19 years until her retirement in 2004, Bonander promoted fundamental changes in practice and care delivery; she spearheaded a new clinical focus on end-of-life care, wellness, and survivorship; and she pioneered social work’s enhanced involvement in patient care delivery across the continuum.
Bonander has been recognized with several prominent awards for her work, including the Alumni Award from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work; the Ida M. Cannon Award, the highest honor given by the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Social Workers.
Green is the current superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools. He was elected to the Minneapolis School Board in 1993 and served as its chair from 1996 to 1998. In 2006 he was named interim school superintendent following the forced resignation of the previous superintendent Thandiwe Peebles. In February of 2007 he had the interim tag removed after he received an overwhelming show of public support. Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed him to his Task Force on School Finance Reform in 2003.
Green earned a master’s degree in educational psychology and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Minnesota in 1976 and a juris doctorate from the University in 1989. Hired by Augsburg College in 1991, Green taught several history classes at the college. He has written two books, including A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Early Minnesota (2007), and is also an adjunct professor at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.
Norling was honored for the significant impact he has had on the turkey industry in Minnesota, the nation, and the world for several decades and for the ongoing research and development being conducted by Life-Science Innovations (LSI), the umbrella organization he formed to provide leadership, coordination, and capital resources for his poultry operation and nine other affiliated Willmar-area agribusinesses.
In 1958, Norling started working for Willmar Poultry Company (WPC), which his father had helped to found in 1945. As the company diversified and expanded to include 18 subsidiary businesses, Norling took on more responsibility, becoming plant manager and vice president, then executive vice president, and ultimately president.
In 1983 WPC partnered with an independent entrepreneur to form Nova-Tech Engineering, which would develop automation and robotic systems that are leased to turkey, chicken, and duck hatchery customers in North America, Europe, and Asia. Then in 1986 Norling’s company began the research process to develop proprietary vaccine technology and five years later successfully introduced an SRP (siderophore receptors and porins) vaccine to its breeder operation.
Today WPC and its affiliates in LSI employ more than 1,200 people in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Virginia and produce and market 30 million day-old turkey poults yearly. In 2007 Norling, now semi-retired, and his longtime business partner, Ted Huizinga, were recognized by the National Turkey Federation with the NTF Lifetime Achievement Award for their dedication to innovation in turkey production.
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