Driscoll and Falkum Earn Distinguished Alumni Awards
John Driscoll ’71 and Peter Falkum ’80 are recipients of this year's University of Minnesota Morris Distinguished Alumni Award. Both exhibited distinguished service to the school and its students. Driscoll, Falkum, and the 2020 honoree James Odden ’71, will be recognized for their achievements during Homecoming 2021, held October 1-3, 2021.
Driscoll graduated from UMN Morris in 1971 with degrees in history and art history and earned a PhD in art history from Pennsylvania State University. He was owner and director of Driscoll Babcock Galleries in New York City, selling and donating art to individuals and institutions across the nation.
John and his former wife and fellow alumna, Jeanne Baker Driscoll ’69 were charter members of the Morris President's Club in 1998. According to Madeline Maxeiner, former Vice Chancellor, External Relations: "John and Jeanne remained devoted donors and actively engaged alumni despite their lack of proximity to the campus and the span of years since graduating. For example, as the Alumni Association founded the Morris Alumni Network, they were among the first volunteers to mentor students, offer career counseling, and return to campus for events. They believed wholeheartedly in the Morris mission and demonstrated that support both financially and in time spent."
Falkum earned a biology degree in 1980 and went on to UMN Twin Cities for a masters in food science. His storied career has seen stints at General Mills, Dannon, and, most recently, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. He played a key role in getting products such as Yoplait and the Silk line of dairy substitutes onto shelves. Van Gooch, professor emeritus of biology, says, "While at General Mills, Pete was asked if he had ideas to deal with the broken cereal bits that result when making Golden Grahams. Pete used this waste to develop a popular Golden Graham snack bar, turning an expensive waste into a multimillion dollar profit."
Falkum has contributed to UMN Morris scholarships and delivered the Joseph J. Latterell Memorial Visiting Alumnus Lecture in 2013. Gooch adds, "When I think of Pete Falkum, I think of the old saying of 'someone pulling themselves up by the bootstraps.' He was exceptional as a student and anxious to learn."
About the Distinguished Alumni Award
The Distinguished Alumni Award honors alumni who make noteworthy contributions in their professional lives, in public service, or in service to the University of Minnesota Morris. Learn more.