State Senator Jim Metzen given Distinguished Alumni Award

ST. PAUL, MINN. – State Senator Jim Metzen (DFL – South St. Paul) was given a Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development. The award recognizes and honors alumni who have brought distinction to their professions and communities and cites Sen. Metzen for his outstanding career with the state legislature and distinguished service to the citizens of Minnesota.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award and I am very proud to have been recognized by my alma mater. It has been a pleasure to be a state senator, and is always a pleasure to be associated with the University of Minnesota,” said Sen. Metzen.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is awarded to only 20 to 25 alumni each year, a high honor considering there are over 70,000 living alumni. Honorees represent a diverse selection of professions including business and civic leaders, counselors and social workers, educators and activists, entrepreneurs and the most dedicated of volunteers.

With over 40 years of service in the legislature, Sen. Metzen was considered a perfect fit for the honor by Jon Ruzek, Director of Alumni Relations at the College of Education and Human Development.

“The students and alumni of our college truly make a difference in the lives of others,” said Ruzek. “There are not a lot of alumni who have had such a distinguished career as Sen. Metzen. His long years of service to the state are especially notable.”

Sen. Metzen has continued to be an advocate for the state and the University of Minnesota. In his years in the legislature, he has served as President of the Senate and the chair of various committees, and currently serves as chair of the Commerce Committee. He carried legislation for the building of Ridder Arena (the women’s hockey arena for the University of Minnesota), various bonding requests for the school and has been a long time supporter of funding for higher education.

Additionally Sen. Metzen was a vocal advocate and supporter for the merger of the University of Minnesota and Fairview Health Services. With the merger, more people now have access to high-quality health care that merges the best results of research and care.

For information on this or any legislation, please contact Sen. Jim Metzen at 651-296-4370 or by email at

Senator James Metzen
Sen. Metzen represented District 52, which includes portions of Dakota County in the southeastern Twin Cities metropolitan area. Sen. Metzen passed away shortly after the end of the 2016 Legislative Session.

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