McCarthy Center to host Gary Eichten as scholar-in-residence

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February 1, 2013

Gary Eichten

Gary Eichten, Minnesota Public Radio news editor-at-large and retired host, will be the sixth annual scholar-in-residence at the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at Saint John's University. Eichten is a 1969 graduate of SJU.

Eichten will be a part of three public events, which are free and open to the public, during his residency from Feb. 11-14.

"An Evening with Gary Eichten" will be held at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, in the SJU Art Center. Nick Hayes, Saint John's University Chair in Critical Thinking, will interview Eichten and explore his life, accomplishments and many contributions to society.

Eichten will then moderate a student debate over the legalization of medical marijuana at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in room 264, Quadrangle Building, SJU.

The residency keynote address will be "Ask the Governor" with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in room 204, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, College of Saint Benedict. Dayton will be a part of a question and answer session led by Eichten and will provide the opportunity to learn more about Gov. Dayton's views and agenda for the current Minnesota legislative session.

While at CSB and SJU, Eichten will also speak to several classes, visit with faculty and staff, deliver a "Lunch and Learn" talk for the Benedictine Institute of Saint John's and speak at a St. Cloud Rotary club luncheon.

Eichten has worn many hats during his 40-plus-year career at MPR, including news director, special events producer and station manager. He has served as host for MPR's live, special events news coverage, and has hosted all of the major news programs on MPR, including "Midday," which he hosted for more than 20 years. Eichten began his career at MPR as a student announcer at KSJR in Collegeville (MPR's first station).

Among the honors he has received during his career is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting award for best local news program. Eichten also assisted in the development of two Peabody award-winning documentaries. In 2007, he was inducted into the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting's Hall of Fame. Eichten has also been awarded the prestigious 2011 Graven Award by the Premack Public Affairs Journalism Awards Board for his contribution to excellence in the journalism profession.

Eichten is the sixth person to serve a McCarthy residency, which showcases the work and skills of someone who has a distinguished career in public service, policy or politics through a week-long on-campus residency. The primary purpose of the residency is to give students at CSB and SJU extended access to someone with real knowledge and wisdom about policy, civic engagement and public life.

Previous residents have included Al Eisele '58, editor-at-large of The Hill and former press secretary to Vice President Walter Mondale; former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger '55; Sean Kershaw, executive director of the Citizens League; Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor of communication in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania; and John Chromy '64, Cooperative Housing Foundation International.