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  • Bruce Karstadt and Jonas at Lund University Ceremony
    May 24, 2019

Bruce Karstadt, President/CEO of the American Swedish Institute, Awarded Honorary Doctorate from Sweden’s Lund University

Bruce Karstadt, President/CEO of the American Swedish Institute, Awarded Honorary Doctorate from Sweden’s Lund University  

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Bruce Karstadt, President/CEO of the American Swedish Institute (ASI) since 1990, was conferred with an honorary doctorate by Lund University in Sweden in recognition of his many years stewarding Swedish culture and Swedish-American relations in the United States. Karstadt received the title of Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa from the Faculty of Humanities at Sweden’s prestigious Lund University in a ceremony in Lund on May 24, 2019. 

"Bruce Karstadt has spent 30 years of his life promoting and discussing Swedish culture, Swedish daily life and traditions with an American audience, an audience that often has Swedish roots. His importance for Swedish-American relations is significant, and we are proud to have him as an honorary doctor at our Faculty,” says Professor Barbara Törnquist-Plewa, Dean of The Faculty of Humanities.

The ASI was founded in 1929 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by Swedish newspaper publisher Swan Turnblad. During Karstadt's leadership,  ASI has developed into one of the leading organizations for the conservation and promotion of Swedish culture in North America,  as well as functioning as an important gathering place where diverse people can meet to share and contrast emigrations experiences and stories from different communities. Lund University also cited the influence of ASI’s exhibitions, attention to such topics as design, environmental awareness and daily life in Sweden and Swedish-America, as well as collaborations and exchanges with Swedish academics and artists, as the basis for this honor. 

The recipients of Lund University’s honorary degrees are recognized for achievements of major importance to the University or for society.  Lund University, founded in 1666, ranks among the world's top 100 universities. Karstadt will accept the honor at a ceremony to take place in the historic Lund Cathedral, followed by a formal dinner in the Great Hall of the Academic Society.

Karstadt is also Honorary Consul General of Sweden for the State of Minnesota and was honored by HM Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, with the insignia of the Royal Order of the Polar Star.  The Swedish chapters of the Vasa Order of America selected him as the 2018 Swedish American of the Year and the City of Uppsala also presented him with its Gold Medal for creating a strong Sister City relationship with Minneapolis.  He received the 2012 Carl Sandburg Medal from the Swedish American Historical Society in Chicago.  Karstadt is a Lindsborg, Kansas, native, a town founded by Swedish immigrants in 1869 to which his great-grandparents immigrated in the late 1800s. 

THE AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE (ASI) is a vibrant arts and cultural organization, museum and historic home located at 2600 Park Avenue near downtown Minneapolis.  ASI serves as a gathering place for people to share stories and experiences around universal themes of tradition, migration, craft and the arts, all informed by enduring ties to Sweden.  The Wall Street Journal called ASI “[a] model of how a small institution can draw visitors through exciting programming.”

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