Sen. Pappas Metro State Alumna of the Year

During its annual Breakfast at the Capitol held in March 2024, Metro State University recognized Senator Sandy Pappas as its 2023 Alumna of the Year. She is shown above at right with Metro State President Ginny Arthur. The honor is awarded by the Metro State Alumni Board of Directors to recognize graduates who have meaningfully engaged with both the university and the community.
Sen. Pappas, a member of Metro State’s Class of ’86 and a 40-year member of the Minnesota State Legislature, is well known as an advocate for higher education and a champion of Metro State. She is credited with securing the resources and support necessary to develop the university’s GROW-IT Center, a year-round learning hub for scientists, students, and the community to advance urban food production, healthy food access, and environmental sustainability. She has served as a member of the university’s adjunct faculty, is a past member of its Alumni Board, and is the long-time host of the university’s Breakfast at the Capitol, the very event at which she was honored. Sen. Pappas also served as chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee from 2007 to 2011.
In accepting her award, which she said is “a great recognition of my longtime support for Metro State,” Sen. Pappas credited the university with enabling her to complete her education, saying, “When I was 19, I ran away to California, and then I came back as a community activist and got married. I had already been elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives by then, but I did want to finish my degree. At Metro State, I could take evening classes, get credit for things I’d done in my work life, and it really seemed like a flexible place to complete my degree.” (Photo submitted)


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