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Larson ’68 is UMN Morris’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni

Curt Larson portrait
Jenna Ray
Publication date: 
June 3, 2019
  • An inventor by trade, Larson spent his career creating new products at 3M and giving back to the community.

Curt Larson '68 earned the 2019 University of Minnesota Morris Alumni Association (UMMAA) Distinguished Alumni Award. An inventor by trade, Larson spent his career creating new products at 3M. 

Early Career

Originally from Ruthton, Larson graduated from Pipestone and fit in well at UMN Morris: he was the starting guard for Cougar Football and a member of the Phi Mu Delta fraternity. The first in his family to attend college, he graduated in 1968 with a major in chemistry and a minor in physics.

Larson then was hired as a chemist at 3M. Several months later he enlisted in the Navy and served until 1972. He returned home and to 3M, where he worked until retiring in 2001. While there he was credited with 28 patents and was chosen to serve as chairman of Tech Forum.

The Next Phase

In retirement Larson co-founded Mesaba, Inc., BearCade Products LLC, and Savvy Pack, Inc. He also played an important role in establishing Hamline University's innovative studies program, and he created a parent support group for inmates at the St. Croix County Jail.

Larson is co-founder and past president of Minnesota Packaging Professionals (Society of Packing and Handling Engineers). He's also served as a member of the UMMAA boards of directors, president of Youth Action Hudson, and a construction crew member of Habitat for Humanity.

Giving Back

Larson is an avid supporter of his alma mater. Paving the way for tomorrow's innovators and entrepreneurs, he created an endowed innovation in applied science scholarship with his wife, Sandra Guter Larson '71. He's also supported the Phi Mu Delta Scholarship.

Larson has earned three National Packaging Awards for Innovation, two 3M Circle of Technical Excellence awards, and a 3M Outstanding Community Volunteer Award. He also was inducted into the 3M/PSD Professionals Club.

"Curt's professional accomplishments at 3M, his extensive and exemplary community service, and his years of support for UMN Morris make him most deserving of the Distinguished Alumni Award," says nominator Gary McGrath '68, vice chancellor emeritus for student affairs.

Larson will receive his award at the UMMAA Distinguished Alumni Award and Homecoming Banquet on Friday, September 20, as part of UMN Morris's 2019 Homecoming celebration. To learn more, visit

About the UMMAA Distinguished Alumni Award

The UMMAA Distinguished Alumni Award honors alumni who make noteworthy contributions in their professional lives, in public service, or in service to the University of Minnesota. Learn more at