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Archie Givens, Jr. honored by the University of Minnesota for leadership and service

October 13, 2011

Archie Givens, Jr. will be honored by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Oct. 20 for his outstanding volunteer service and leadership to the organization.

Givens will receive the Alumni Service Award at the Alumni Awards Celebration, held as part of the Homecoming 2011 festivities. The award honors long-time service and a legacy of volunteerism.

“Archie has been a dedicated and passionate supporter of the University of Minnesota for many years,” said Phil Esten, president and chief executive officer of the Alumni Association. “He has led with humble honesty and heartfelt desire to guide the Alumni Association and serve the university in the best way possible.”

A graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Public Health, Givens was a member of the Golden Gopher football team from 1963 until 1966. During his tenure as president of the Alumni Association’s national board of directors, Givens proudly represented the organization as the university community celebrated the return of Gopher football to campus with the opening of TCF Bank Stadium.

Givens was first elected to the board as an at-large representative in 2002. He then served as vice president from 2004-2007, first vice president in 2007-2008, president-elect in 2008-2009, national president in 2009-2010 and past president in 2010-2011. In addition, Givens served as chair of the association’s program committee for several years.

As president of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, his commitment to literacy and education is unyielding and his family’s contributions to the university have made a significant impact. The Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota Libraries provides students, teachers and the public with the opportunity to learn from a rich collection of African American literature pieces.

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association is a nearly 60,000-member organization dedicated to engaging the University of Minnesota’s global community to support and advance the university’s excellence. For more information, go to

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