With hundreds of people in attendance, including dozens of legislators, both former and current, the University of Minnesota Crookston formally dedicated its library to longtime senator and campus supporter Roger D. Moe on June 2, 2023. The ceremony and reception involved remarks from several regional and national leaders, a ribbon cutting on stage in Kiehle Auditorium, champagne toast and birthday cake at an outdoor garden party, and tours of the library with a trip through history, including information on the current building’s groundbreaking in the late 1970s where Moe was present with shovel in hand.
Speakers at the event included UMN Crookston Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Executive Director of National Indian Impacted Schools Association Brent Gish, University of Minnesota President Emeritus Robert Bruininks, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor Devinder M. Malhotra, UMN Crookston Chancellor Emeritus Don Sargeant, UMN Crookston Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Rosemary Erickson Johnsen, UMN Crookston Interim Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations Kevin Thompson, Senator Emeritus Rod Skoe, and Senator Emeritus LeRoy Stumpf, plus video greetings from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and UMN President Joan T.A. Gabel.
“It is in recognition of Roger’s great service to the region and to the university that we honor him today,” said UMN Crookston Chancellor Holz-Clause at the ceremony. “A library is a fitting location as it’s the seat of knowledge, but it’s also an archive of those that preceded us and left legacies such as Roger has on this campus.”
During her remarks, Senator Klobuchar recalled seeing how Moe earned the respect of people he ran against, including when he ran for governor in 2002.
“I remember how Roger was able to work across the aisle and literally get the respect of democrats and republicans,” mentioned Klobuchar. “You think of getting elected majority leader over and over again, that takes a lot of respect. That takes someone that’s able to understand people, not just across party lines, but within his own party, and let them shine and bring them up; and not always make them, the leader, the center of attention.”
“This library will be a place to share Roger for generations to come,” she added. “Books will be written in the future about Roger Moe’s legacy, and now we have a great place to put them.”
Gish shared with the audience that Moe was adopted by the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe and given the name, “Ginew”, meaning “Golden Eagle”, which correlates with UMN Crookston’s mascot. Gish, who was also a former member of the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council, thanked Roger for his “wisdom and contributions to make Minnesota a beacon of hope, and a quality place for all citizens.”
“The best public leaders lead by example, empowering others by their own selfless service,” Bruininks proclaimed during his remarks. “Senator Roger Moe, in the words of Robert Greenleaf, is a true servant leader, with a lifetime of commitment to advancing public value and public purpose. The dedication of the Roger D. Moe Library is a most fitting tribute to your enduring public contributions.”
Malhotra praised Moe for being a “passionate advocate for higher education” and noted Moe’s beliefs for continuing Minnesota’s “social nobility and economic vibrancy” through increasing postsecondary credentials “by providing access and a successful path to college and university credential for all Minnesotans.”
Sargeant spoke about the start of Moe’s career as a teacher and coach, and went on to lift up his passion for service and outstanding leadership.
“Naming the library in his honor is the right choice,” Sargeant confirmed.
“Any kind of a building named after you is pretty special, but having the library named after you is a distinct honor,” Moe declared on stage. “No elementary school, no high school, no college or university is without a library. It’s the one essential in all of these educational institutions, it is the heart of any educational institution.”
About the Roger D. Moe Library
The original library on the Crookston campus of the University of Minnesota was located within Kiehle Building. Built in 1910, Kiehle Building has been remodeled several times, and the library’s footprint increased with each renovation. Eventually, Kiehle Annex was built in 1972 to house the library and media services. When it was deemed this solution was not enough, the present building was constructed. Groundbreaking for the current library was in August 1978, in which Moe was present, and the dedication was held in May 1980. During the 2001 renovation of Kiehle Building, a technology room was added to the library. This room houses back issues of print journals plus the children’s collection of books used primarily by the early childhood education and elementary education programs.
Unique library services over the years included check-outs of art for offices, records and a record player, GPS units, fishing maps, Walkman cassette players, 8-tracks, video cameras, digital cameras, iPads, and other electronic equipment.
The library at UMN Crookston went online early, and most of the library’s resources are currently online. Today, the library has over 27,000 physical volumes available not only for students, faculty, and staff, but for the community as well. Patrons have access to nearly 710,000 e-books, 170,000 e-journal titles, and over 120,000 online videos.
About Roger D. Moe
Roger D. Moe was born and raised in Crookston, Minn. and graduated from Crookston High School. He received his bachelor of science degree from Mayville State University in North Dakota, and completed graduate studies at Minnesota State University Moorhead and North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D. In 2004, Moe received an honorary doctorate-level academic degree in law from the University of Minnesota.
Moe was elected to the legislature in 1970, and represented northwestern Minnesota’s 2nd Senate District. He served until January 2003 and was the longest serving Senate Majority Leader in the history of the state, serving in that position for 22 years.
Legislative achievements include the landmark measure streamlining the state’s higher education through creation of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities governance system (Minnesota State), champion of quality K-12 education and high standards, Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, Midwest Higher Education Commission, and author of the Environmental Trust Fund.
Moe’s honorariums and recognitions include:
- One of only three (ever) to be adopted into the Red Lake Tribe by the Hereditary Chiefs of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and given the Anishinabe name “Ginew” meaning Golden Eagle
- Senator of the Year (2000) by the Minnesota State College Student Association
- William M. Bulger Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award (1999), presented every two years jointly by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Council of State Governments, for his efforts in building the public trust in state government and improving the legislative process
- Mike Synar Memorial Public Service Award (1999) from the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, American Heart Association, and American Cancer Society for his efforts in combating youth smoking
- Politician of the Year and Politician of the Past 25 Years (1999) by Politics in Minnesota
- Gillette Children’s Lifetime Achievement Award
- Minnesota YMCA’s Youth in Government Award
- United Way of Minneapolis Area’s Success by 6 Honors for his dedication to children’s issues
- Commendations from Governor Arne Carlson and the Regents of the University of Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota-Crookston’s Golden Torch Award for commitment to quality education
- Legislator of the Year by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities for unfailing commitment and extraordinary contributions to Greater Minnesota
Watch the library dedication ceremony