Gustavus to host Justice Alan Page for its MLK Day CelebrationThe Jan. 16 event is free and open to the public.
Posted on January 9th, 2023 by

Justice Alan C. Page

Gustavus Adolphus College will mark its annual Rev. Martin Luther King Day Memorial Celebration on Monday, Jan. 16 by welcoming pioneering Justice Alan C. Page, the first African American Supreme Court Justice of Minnesota, as its honored guest. Justice Page will sit down with Phil Bryant ’73, Gustavus professor of English and African Studies, for a discussion about the realities of racism in the worlds of athletics and the judicial system. The event is free and open to the public. It runs from 10-11:20 a.m. in Christ Chapel and will also be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person. 

Justice Page has reached the pinnacle of multiple professions. After an All-American football career at the University of Notre Dame, helping his team win an NCAA National Championship in 1966, the defensive tackle played professional football for nearly 15 years with the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears. He became the first defensive player in NFL history to receive the Most Valuable Player award, in 1971, and was named to the Pro Bowl nine consecutive times. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

While he was still in the NFL, Mr. Page earned his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978 and began working as an attorney for a law firm in Minneapolis. He later served seven years as an attorney in the office of the Minnesota Attorney General. He was elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992, becoming the first African American on the court and one of the few associate justices ever to initially join the court via election, rather than by gubernatorial appointment. He was reelected in 1998, becoming the biggest vote-getter in Minnesota history, and reelected again in 2004 and 2010, ultimately serving on the bench until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2015. In 2018, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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 $16 million in grants to 8,000 students. Justice Page and his daughter, Kamie Page, also have written four children’s picture books, Alan and His Perfectly Pointy Impossibly Perpendicular Pinky, The Invisible You, Grandpa Alan’s Sugar Shack, and Bee Love (Can Be Hard).

For more information on all events or to watch the livestream of the morning discussion, visit the MLK site. You may also submit a question to Justice Page in advance of the event by filing out this form.

This event is sponsored by the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies Department, the Office of the Chaplains, the Center for Inclusive Excellence, and the President’s Office. The annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Celebration emphasizes the continuing struggle for civil rights in the United States and around the world.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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