Justice Alan C. Page will serve as Grand Marshal for the University of Minnesota’s 2018 Homecoming parade on October 5. 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.
Page, a former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, is a 1978 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. He served as a U of M Regent from 1989 to 1993. In 2017, the U of M Law School awarded him the Polaris Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Justice Page is a true Minnesota icon, and we are honored and excited to welcome him as our 2018 Homecoming Grand Marshal,” said Alumni Association President and CEO Lisa Lewis. “His success in two challenging professions, his commitment to justice and equity, and the access to post-secondary education he and his family have provided to many aspiring students exemplify what it is to be a public servant and a humanitarian. We are so proud that he is a member of the University of Minnesota Alumni family.”
Justice Page 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.
Law was Page’s second career; he was first known for his skills in football both in college and in the NFL. At Notre Dame, he led the school’s storied football program to the 1996 national championship, and in 1993, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Page was a first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 1967, and he played for the Vikings until 1978. During his career, he earned 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, Page was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 1988, Justice Page and his 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 $14 million in grants to 6,750 students.
Justice Page and his daughter, Kamie Page, have written three children’s picture books: The Invisible You (2014), Alan and His Perfectly Pointy Impossibly Perpendicular Pinky (2013), and Grandpa Alan’s Sugar Shack (2017).