Recognizing Remarkable Residents
By Carol Van Why
Thor Kommedahl was one of the Coffman pioneers. He spent his career in the Department of Plant Pathology on the St. Paul Campus. At Coffman he was a longtime member of the Library Committee and could be called The Father of Book Night.
In Thor’s memory, the Library Committee purchased Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault by Cory Fowler. Highly illustrated and very readable, it’s a book that chronicles efforts to store and preserve for humanity, seeds of the world’s food crops on a remote, Norwegian island 810 miles from the North Pole. It’s hard to imagine a better book to recognize someone who was intensely proud of his Norwegian heritage and whose career was devoted to the health and betterment of maize, one of the world’s most important crops. Find this book in the Library’s Science/Technology/Math section.
We thought we knew all about the accomplished Gretchen Kreuter. She has been a professor of history, college administrator and author. At Coffman she’s served on the Board of Directors, the Library Committee and more. Then, filling some big shoes, she became Book Night’s convener when Thor Kommedahl resigned. It wasn’t until one Sunday afternoon when Gretchen shared a portion of a memoir in progress with some lucky residents, that many of us learned she was an artist as well.
The Library Committee was happy to add Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear to the Library’s collection in honor of Gretchen Kreuter. Find this book in the Library’s Biography section.
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