University of Minnesota Driven to Discover

CTS remembers Jim Oberstar

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2002oberstarspeech.jpgFormer Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar, who died May 3, inspired the establishment of the James L. Oberstar Forum on Transportation Policy and Technology at the University of Minnesota.

From CTS Director Laurie McGinnis:
"Jim Oberstar was a true friend to transportation research and innovation at the University of Minnesota. At heart, he was an educator and storyteller who loved talking to students about their studies and their research. Jim amazed us all with his ability to recall detailed transportation facts and figures when making a point about a particular issue. Over ten years ago, CTS and the University founded the James L. Oberstar Forum on Transportation Policy and Technology to provide a venue for national, state, and academic leaders to gather and generate a 'cornucopia of ideas' for the latest transportation issues of the day. Jim was always in the middle of those debates and discussions sharing his passion and knowledge with everyone in attendance, then taking what he learned back to Washington to share with his colleagues in Congress."

From Max Donath, director of the Roadway Safety Institute at the U of M:
"He was a giant among legislators, fearless to fight for what he believed in and at the same time willing to work with anyone to get important bills passed. He was always interested in new ideas that could solve our pressing transportation problems. He was passionate about improving our transportation infrastructure and finding new ways to finance its operations. His knowledge of all matters related to transportation was awesome. His departure from the scene is a loss to all of us."

CTS invites you to share your remembrances of Jim Oberstar in the comments.

1 Comment

Over the years, I have had the great opportunity to plan seven Oberstar Forums and numerous other events where Congressman Oberstar would be speaking and participating. I always knew my carefully planned agenda was in danger of going off schedule when his speech started off with something like "Back in 1789..." Even after he left Congress, Mr. Oberstar remained engaged with the University and I continued to be amazed by his energy and his passion for the U, for Minnesota, and for transportation.

Gina Baas, Associate Director, CTS

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Center for Transportation Studies

University of Minnesota

200 Transportation & Safety Building

511 Washington Ave SE

Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-626-1077

Fax: 612-625-6381


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