ST. PAUL – Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, on Thursday received the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award from St. Cloud State University for his numerous accomplishments since graduating SCSU in 1971.
Urdahl, who earned a bachelor’s degree from SCSU in social studies, taught in the New London-Spicer district for 35 years, is in his seventh term in the Minnesota House of Representatives and has authored eight books.
"My time at State was a very important, albeit small, slice of my life," Urdahl said. "Yet, in another sense, those four years and what I learned there are still with me today. Skills I gained, values I developed – my now-wife, Karen by my side – contributed in great part to whatever achievements I’ve managed."
Urdahl was a history teacher at NLS from from 1971 until retirement in 2006. He also served as a cross country coach for 27 years leading his teams to 18 state tournament appearances and three state championships. Urdahl was the 2013 recipient of the George Haun Award for outstanding achievement and in August was inducted into the Minnesota Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame.
"The relationships I developed with SCSU instructors went a long way toward shaping me as the teacher and coach I became, not to mention how instrumental they were in helping me grow as a person." Urdahl said.
Urdahl was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2002 and currently chairs the Legacy Funding Committee. He has received numerous legislative awards throughout his legislative career.
He has also served on numerous boards and commissions, is a speaker on history and government at events statewide and operated his family’s painting business from 1981-2006.