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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Leadership & Service

Born in Harstad Hall, Larson never severed ties to PLU

Paul Larson and President Loren Anderson
Paul Larson (left) received the President's Medal from PLU President Loren J. Anderson at the Q Club banquet in May.
The PLU President's Medal, one of the university's highest honor, was awarded to Paul V. Larson '38 for his service to the university. The award was given during the May 6 Q Club Banquet. During the banquet it was also announced that the Q Club service award has been renamed the Paul Larson Service Award in his honor.

Larson was born in Harstad Hall–Old Main–the oldest building on the PLU campus, and has been a life-long friend and supporter of the university.

His father, Ludvig Larson was a student here and graduated in 1903 from what was Pacific Lutheran Academy. He later served the university for years as a faculty member and business manager during the Depression.

After receiving a B.A. in education from Pacific Lutheran College, Larson continued with his studies for a graduate degree and taught mathematics and physical education at the Parkland Junior High School before becoming principal. Larson's wife, Nina Anderson, also studied at PLC and graduated in 1941.

Throughout his career, Larson has supported PLU in various ways but he has been most associated with the Q Club. He was invited to join the club as a charter member when it was founded in 1972. The invitation came from David Berntsen '58 who was his pupil at the school and who now is a development director for major gifts at PLU's Development Office. Larson went on to serve as Q Club director for 10 years, retiring this year.

"We called a few people for the Q Club," Larson modestly characterizes his work. The fact, though, is that he is credited with recruiting more than 850 people to the club.

Berntsen says, "some volunteers recruit a few people over the years, but not Paul. He is amazing. He recruited over 80 people a year in a 10-year span!"

The family has seen three other PLU graduates–Larson's son Larry graduated in 1967, and Bruce in 1992. Larry's daughter Emily graduated this year.

Larson says: "I have been around PLU all my life and the university is important to me. After I retired, I had the opportunity to help, especially in the contacts I have made throughout my life. I have enjoyed being able to help out."

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