Glen D. Nelson, M.D., Medical School Class of 1963, has been selected to receive the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award.
This award is the University’s highest alumni honor, recognizing those who have earned unusual distinction in their chosen professions or in public service and have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership on a community, state, national, or international level.
Nelson is being honored for his leadership in business, medicine, and community service. He is currently chairman of GDN Holdings, LLC, a financial and social investment company focused on health services and medical devices, as well as the non-executive chairman of MinuteClinic, Inc., and chairman of American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio. He also serves on several other for-profit and nonprofit boards and committees.
“A tireless advocate, dedicated philanthropist, and wise counselor, Dr. Nelson continues to reflect the core values of the University of Minnesota Medical School,” says Dean Deborah E. Powell, M.D. “In many ways, the Medical School’s ability to set ‘the next standard’ in educating future physicians and scientists is due in no small part to accomplished alumni like Dr. Nelson.”
After earning his medical degree at the University, Nelson completed his general surgery training at Hennepin County General Hospital (now Hennepin County Medical Center) in Minneapolis. He then practiced surgery for 17 years, including 11 years as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of the Park Nicollet Medical Center, a large multispecialty group practice in the Twin Cities.
Nelson subsequently was vice chairman of Medtronic, Inc., from 1998 until his retirement in 2002, and served on Medtronic’s board of directors for 22 years.
Described by friends and colleagues as a man of many ideas, many competencies, and excellent judgment, Nelson received the Outstanding Achievement Award at a ceremony April 30 at Eastcliff.
“Considering the fact that I flunked embryology my freshman year, I hope this award will reassure today’s medical students that you don’t have to be perfect to make meaningful contributions and to receive positive recognition,” Nelson says.