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September 22, 2020

We regret to announce that David B. Laird, Jr. passed away at his home on September 13, 2020. Dr. Laird was born, raised, and educated in the State of New York. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, he moved to Minnesota where he spent his entire professional career in higher education. He was an accomplished musician, regularly playing drums with local musicians at Twin Cities jazz venues.


His contributions to higher education and society were both numerous and significant. Dr. Laird was instrumental in the development, establishment, and initial operation of the Minnesota Higher Education Facilities Authority (the “Authority”). His guidance in working with the legislature to enact legislation authorizing and setting up the Authority, along with his help and counsel helping establish guidelines and policies for the operation of the Authority have been of significant benefit to developing the Authority’s position in the higher education public finance market.


Dr. Laird spent 20 years as the President of the Minnesota Private College Council (the “MPCC”). At the MPCC he was a consistent and passionate advocate for college opportunities for lower-income and at-risk young people. He was a strong advocate for the State Grant Program and positioned the MPCC as a leader in strategic demographic and economic research. David retired from the MPCC in 2009.


Since then, he continued to work with higher education institutions and industry groups to enhance the opportunity for all people to access higher education.


In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in David’s memory to College Possible, 755 Prior Ave, Ste 200, St. Paul, MN 55104 or Minnesota Private College Access and Equity Fund, 445 Minnesota St, Ste 500, St. Paul, MN 55101.