Gerald Meigs ’57

2007 Distinguished Citizen Award

View all Distinguished Citizen Award recipients

Gerald A. Meigs is an optimist. His penchant for saying yes to opportunity has made him a leader in business, in Rotary International and in service projects ranging from independent living for seniors to protection of the environment of northern Minnesota.

As a high school senior, he attended an event of the St. Paul Rotary Club. There he met Macalester President Charles Turck, who interested him in Macalester, where he would later meet his wife-to-be, Jeanne Putz ’58, in Spanish class. His business professor, Forrest Young, recommended Meigs to Trustee E. E. Engelbert, who hired him to work at St. Paul Book and Stationery, where he rose to senior vice president in charge of three divisions and director for two national trade associations covering the office and school products industry. He later went on to work with former Minnesota Gov. Elmer L. Andersen at ECM Publishers, where he continues his involvement as adviser to the company’s Community Affairs Council.

In Rotary International, Meigs served as a director on the international board and as chair of the executive committee, and he has received several of its highest honors. He has been involved in service projects around the world, particularly Rotary’s PolioPlus program, through which he personally distributed immunizations in Ethiopia, India and Nigeria. Meigs chaired the Class of 1957’s 50th Reunion Committee, co-founded an independent living community for seniors, led the establishment of the foundation at Falcon Heights United Church of Christ, twice served as president of the James J. Hill Reference Library and is active in an environmental stewardship organization near Tofte, Minn.

Classmate Alexander G. Hill wrote simply, "Jerry Meigs exemplifies the best of what is Macalester."