Melvin R. LairdMelvin R. Laird
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Donald J. Cowling Cup

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Melvin R. Laird

Awards and Accolades

The Donald J. Cowling Cup

The Donald J. Cowling Cup was presented to Melvin Laird for his distinguished public service in the U.S. Congress and as Secretary of Defense, and for leadership in business and non-profit sectors throughout the country.

Established in 2001, the Donald J. Cowling Cup is awarded for distinguished achievement by an individual in any field of endeavor or for extraordinary service to Carleton College. It is named in honor of Donald J. Cowling, Carleton's third and longest-serving president (1909-1945).

President Cowling built Carleton into a nationally known institution, developed the main campus, created the Arboretum, and sustained the College financially during the Great Depression and through World Wars I and II. He also was a noted leader in education. Among other achievements, he was a founding member of the Association of American Colleges (AAC), a member of the committee that founded TIAA (the national retirement program for faculty and staff of colleges and other nonprofit organizations), and the first president of the American Council on Education.

The award is intended to pay tribute to those who have demonstrated uncommon leadership and who have gone beyond the normal pursuits in their professional or personal lives. The Donald J. Cowling Cup may be awarded to alumni, current and past trustees, current and former faculty and staff members, Carleton parents, and other friends of the College. The president recommends candidates to the Board of Trustees for Approval.

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