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Sunday, June 21, 2020
3:00 pm

Ann Bancroft
Teacher / Adventurer

Opening Ceremonies
Ann Bancroft is one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized leader who is dedicated to inspiring women and girl audiences around the world to unleash the power of their dreams. Through her various roles as an explorer, educator and sought-after speaker, Bancroft believes that by sharing stories related to her dreams of outdoor adventure, she can help inspire a global audience to pursue their individual dreams. Bancroft’s teamwork and leadership skills have undergone severe tests during her polar expeditions and provided her with opportunities to shatter female stereotypes. The tenacity and courage that define her character have earned Bancroft worldwide recognition as one of today’s most influential role models for women and girls. She has been named among Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year” (2001); featured in the book Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century (1998); inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame (1995); named Ms. magazine’s “Woman of the Year” (1987); and honored with numerous other awards for her accomplishments.

Bancroft is the first known woman in history to cross the ice to the North and South Poles. In 1986, Bancroft dogsledded 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from the Northwest Territories in Canada to the North Pole as the only female member of the Steger International Polar Expedition. In 1993, she led the American Women’s Expedition to the South Pole, a 67-day expedition of 660 miles (1,060 km) on skis by four women. In February 2001, Bancroft and Norwegian polar explorer Liv Arnesen become the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica’s landmass – completing a 1,717-mile (2,747 km) trek in 94 days. Throughout this journey, she stayed in contact with children across the country via the internet.

Born in 1955 in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, Bancroft’s love of the outdoors began early in life. Aside from the two years she spent with her family in Kenya, East Africa (in fifth and sixth grades), Bancroft was a student of Minnesota’s vast wilderness. Her father often took her on camping and canoe trips in northern Minnesota. At age eight, she began to lead her own mini-expeditions, cajoling her cousins into accompanying her on backyard winter camping trips.
Bancroft’s passion for polar adventures is matched by her enthusiasm for teaching children. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from the University of Oregon, Bancroft taught physical and special education in Minneapolis schools and coached softball, basketball, track and field, volleyball and tennis. She also was an instructor for Wilderness Inquiry, an organization that helps disabled and able-bodied individuals enjoy the wilderness year round. Bancroft’s other achievements include founding and leading the Ann Bancroft Foundation, a nonprofit organization that celebrates the existing and potential achievements of women and girls.

Bancroft, who was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child, appeared in Ennis’ Gift, a film about learning differences; a documentary produced by the Ennis Cosby Foundation featuring celebrities who have dealt with learning disabilities, such as James Earl Jones, Henry Winkler, Danny Glover and Bruce Jenner. Most recently, Bancroft partnered up with fellow explorer Liv Arnesen to write, No Horizon is So Far, about their extraordinary journey across Antarctica, published in October 2003.
A nationally and internationally known entity, Bancroft has been featured in Time, People, USA Today, Ms., McCall’s, Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Glamour, National Geographic, Outside, Sports Illustrated for Kids and on BBC, CNN and National Public Radio. She is currently serving on the National Women’s Hall of Fame board of directors and has been a spokesperson for the M.S. Society, United Way, United Cerebral Palsy and the Learning Disabilities Association.

With Bancroft’s polar expeditions come severe tests of teamwork and leadership, as well as opportunities to shatter female stereotypes, making her a sought-after speaker and seminar leader on these topics among corporations, schools and nonprofit organizations.
 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020
8:00 am - 9:00 am

Justice Alan C. Page

Plenary Session
Justice Alan C. Page was born August 7, 1945, in Canton, Ohio. He graduated from Canton Central Catholic High School in 1963, and received his B.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame in 1967 and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978. After graduating from law school, Alan Page worked as an attorney for a law firm in Minneapolis, then served seven years as an attorney in the office of the Minnesota Attorney General.

He sought election to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992 and won, becoming the first African American on the court and one of the few associate justices ever to join the court initially through election, rather than appointment by the governor. When Justice Page was reelected in 1998, he became the biggest vote-getter in Minnesota history. He was reelected in 2004 and 2010 and served until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2015.

Law was Alan Page’s second career; he was first known for his skills in football both in college and in the NFL. At Notre Dame, he led the school’s storied football program to the 1966 national championship, and in 1993 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

It was his being chosen in the first-round draft of the Minnesota Vikings in 1967 that raised excitement. He played for the Vikings the majority of his career, and finished the last three years with the Chicago Bears, 1978–1981. Over the course of his professional football career, Alan Page played in 218 consecutive games, earning All-Pro honors six times, and was voted to nine consecutive Pro Bowls. In 1971 he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, becoming only the second defensive player in history to be named MVP. In 1988, Page was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Also in 1988, Justice Page and his wife, Diane, founded the Page Education Foundation, which assists Minnesota students of color in their pursuit of post-secondary education. To date, the foundation has awarded $15 million in grants to 7,000 students. Justice Page and his daughter, Kamie Page, have written three children’s picture books, Alan and His Perfectly Pointy Impossibly Perpendicular Pinky (2013), The Invisible You (2014), and Grandpa Alan’s Sugar Shack (2017). Bill McGrane also penned an authorized biography about Justice Page’s life, entitled; All Rise: The Remarkable Journey of Alan Page (2010). Justice Page is also an honored recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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