Dave and Linda Mona will serve as Grand Marshals for the University of Minnesota’s 2017 Homecoming parade on October 20. Each year, the U of M Alumni Association (UMAA) selects as Grand Marshals alumni who have demonstrated exceptional passion for the University and dedication to its mission. These talented alumni also serve as role models for future and current students.
Dave, the founder and recently retired chairman of Weber Shandwick, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism at the University of Minnesota in 1965, and Linda, founder and owner of Creative Environments— a full-service interior design firm— received a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics education in 1967 from the U of M. They each served a term as chair of the UMAA Board of Directors, the only husband/wife duo to do so. They also each chaired their respective collegiate alumni societies and together worked as captains on the fundraising drive to bring Gopher football back to campus.
“We are thrilled to celebrate Dave and Linda Mona as our 2017 Homecoming Grand Marshals,” said Alumni Association President and CEO Lisa Lewis. “Their generosity to the University and the community is inspirational, and their steadfast leadership is helping to keep the U strong in the 21st century.”
Dave Mona served as UMAA president in 1998-99, has led legislative advocacy efforts for the school, chaired the UMAA nominating/board development committee and been a trustee of the Minnesota Medical Foundation. He is a recipient of the U of M Outstanding Achievement Award.
In addition to being a pioneer in the PR industry, Dave is also an accomplished journalist. A former sports editor for the Minnesota Daily and Star Tribune reporter, he currently co-hosts WCCO’s Sports Huddle with Sid Hartman, was a color analyst on Gopher football broadcasts for 13 years, and has won Associated Press and Eric Sevareid and Edward R. Murrow Awards for his writing and broadcasting.
Dave has also provided leadership to numerous civic, charitable and educational organizations including the Minnesota Vikings’ Children’s Fund, Minnesota Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Greater Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce. He helped bring the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament to Minnesota in 1992.
A successful entrepreneur who has made numerous civic contributions, Linda Mona was the national president of the UMAA in 1995-96; it was during her tenure that the decision was made to design and build the McNamara Alumni Center. Linda has also chaired the UMAA Nominating Committee, the University Gateway Communications Committee and the College of Human Ecology Alumni Board. In 1995 she co-chaired the Women’s Final Four basketball championship in Minneapolis and has served on the board of Fairview Southdale Hospital. She has provided leadership to the U of M Foundation, the Goldstein Gallery, and the Women’s Athletic Advisory Council, along with many other civic and philanthropic organizations such as the Girl Scouts River Valleys Council, which named her a Community Champion. Linda and Dave were co-chairs of the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship at Interlachen Country Club in Edina and Linda was subsequently elected to be the first woman board chair in the Club’s 100-year history.
Linda has received numerous awards for her leadership including the U of M’s Outstanding Achievement and Alumni Service Awards. In 2016, she and Dave received the Friend of the Foundation Award from the Minnesota / Dakotas Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for their fundraising achievements and volunteer contributions in conjunction with Camden’s Concert, an annual event they originated eight years ago.
The 2017 Homecoming celebration will begin on October 14 with the U of M Day of Service. More Homecoming event information can be found here.