Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Monday, January 16, 2023

The annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration emphasizes the continuing struggle for civil rights in the United States and around the world. Gustavus was honored to be joined by Justice Alan Page, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice of Minnesota. As a justice of 23 years, as well as a former college and NFL football player, Page is well-versed in the realities of racism in the worlds of athletics and the judicial system.

MLK Memorial Celebration from 10-11:20 a.m. CST
A Conversation with Justice Alan Page
Christ Chapel

View a copy of the 2023 printed program.

An archive of the conversation is only available to Gustavus students and employees. It may be viewed here if you are signed in to the Gustavus site.

Gustavus Class Modification Schedule
Classes that normally meet at or after 10:30 a.m. will start (and end) one hour later than they normally would. Thus, classes that begin at 10:30 a.m. will start at 11:30 a.m., classes beginning at 11:30 a.m. will begin at 12:30 p.m., and so on. 

Alan PageAlan C. Page was born August 7, 1945, in Canton, Ohio. He graduated from Canton Central Catholic High School in 1963, and received his B.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame in 1967 and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978. 

After graduating from law school, Alan Page worked as an attorney for a law firm in Minneapolis, then served seven years as an attorney in the office of the Minnesota Attorney General.

He sought election to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992 and won, becoming the first African American on the court and one of the few associate justices ever to join the court initially through election, rather than appointment by the governor. When Justice Page was reelected in 1998, he became the biggest vote-getter in Minnesota history. He was reelected in 2004 and 2010 and served until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2015. In 2018, Alan Page was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Law was Alan Page’s second career; he was first known for his skills in football both in college and in the NFL. At Notre Dame, Alan Page led the school’s storied football program to the 1966 national championship, and in 1993 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Alan Page was a first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 1967 and he played for the Vikings until 1978. The last three years of his football career were with the Chicago Bears, 1978–1981. During his career, Alan Page played in 218 consecutive games, earning All-Pro honors six times, and was voted to nine consecutive Pro Bowls. In 1971 he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, becoming only the second defensive player in history to be named MVP. In 1988 Alan Page was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Also in 1988, Justice Page and his late wife Diane founded the Page Education Foundation, which assists Minnesota students of color in their pursuit of post-secondary education. To date, the foundation has awarded $16 million in grants to 8,000 students.

Justice Page and his daughter, Kamie Page, have written four children’s picture books, Bee Love (Can Be Hard) (2020), Grandpa Alan’s Sugar Shack (2017), The Invisible You (2014) and Alan and His Perfectly Pointy Impossibly Perpendicular Pinky (2013).

In November 2018, Justice Page received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

This event is sponsored by the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies Department, the Office of the Chaplains, the Center for Inclusive Excellence, and the President's Office.