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No Small Coincidence: How Yale Alumni Made History in Minnesota by Ronald S. Goldser

No Small Coincidence: How Yale Alumni Made History in Minnesota

by Ronald S. Goldser

306 pages
Yale and Minnesota intertwine in ways that many people do not recognize. This history of Yale alumni in Minnesota will surprise many about the substantial impact that alumni have had in the development of the State.

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Category: History
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About the Book
In isolation, the fact that any prominent Minnesotan attended Yale may be purely random. But time after time, a relationship with Yale exists in the histories of so many Minnesotans, that its recurring presence soon appears to be no small coincidence. Stories abound—all around the Twin Cities, throughout the state, and beyond—that provide anecdotal evidence to substantiate this claim.

This is a collection of those stories—tales of individuals who helped make Minnesota what it is today, and what it will become tomorrow.


In this delightful volume, Ronald Goldser explores the intertwined history of Minnesota and one of America’s oldest institutions of higher learning. For over 200 years, Yale alumni have left their mark on the North Star State in business, education, politics, culture, and more. Yalies of all generations and geographies can take pride in the rich legacy of achievement and public service Goldser shares with us.
- Peter Salovey, President, Yale University
“Bright College Years” meets Minnesota Nice in Ronald Goldser’s engaging collection of alumni anecdotes that detail just how many Bulldogs – from different walks of life – made a lasting impact on our state. From North Star natives, to refugees turned farmers, to doctors behind the Mayo Clinic’s groundbreaking medical research, Goldser’s collection of stories unveils a fascinating history of leaders who left their legacy on the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
- Amy Klobuchar, ‘82, United States Senator from Minnesota
Ron Goldser is a Yale man in that same tradition. He also possesses a Yale-trained analytical mind and a Yale-honed gift for storytelling. Goldser puts those skills to fine use in this book as he tells of the unusually strong ties that have bound this state to a higher ed institution 1,300 miles away. Those ties are both ancient and contemporary. Many of Minnesota’s pioneer leaders – or, more often, those leaders’ sons – were Yale educated. But so were today’s U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Gov. Mark Dayton, former state Rep. Phyllis Kahn, Hmong American leader Pakou Hang and 2018 DFL legislative candidate and physician Kelly Morrison. Both subtly and not-so-subtly, Goldser attempts to answer a question that has been on my mind since I first became aware of the uncommon Minnesota-Yale bond: What difference has Yale made in Minnesota? It’s a question that is not susceptible to quantitative analysis. Rather, it must be answered in qualitative terms of trends and tendencies, patterns that seem too pronounced to be the product of coincidence alone.
- Lori Sturdevant, retired Editorial Board, Mpls Star Tribune



About the Author
Ronald S. Goldser Ronald S. Goldser graduated from Yale in 1975, where he resided in Trumbull College—and played on the intramural ice hockey team. Ron majored in urban economics, and engaged in projects ranging from evaluating the racial impact of the property tax in New Haven to the anti-trust aspects of mass transit bus manufacturing. Ron thereafter went to law school at the University of Minnesota. He practiced for thirty six years, before retiring in 2014. In 2015 he became President of YAANW for three years. His focus was developing a strong community involvement for the Club. This includes, among other things, reading to kindergartners at Webster Elementary School. And, Ron has been involved in local politics of all kinds.



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