Magazine Feature / People

Lund acts as DU’s ambassador in Norway

Lars Lund (BSBA ’74) admits he came to the University of Denver for the skiing.

“I’m Norwegian! You have perfect skiing conditions here!”

After graduation, Lund returned to Norway to help run the family’s business. He says he never expected to maintain a relationship with DU beyond that of a typical alumnus. Then, one day in the late 1970s, DU professor Darl Bien contacted Lund and said he was on his way to Norway.

“He said he wanted to swim in a Norwegian fjord, so I took him out on a boat and he swam,” Lund recalls. Not long after, Bien contacted Lund again and said he was bringing several DU students to Europe; he wondered if Lund would set up tours of Norwegian companies.

And just like that, Lund became DU’s ambassador in Norway. Today, Lund continues to play host to annual visits from DU students, organizing everything from company tour to hotel accommodations. He also started DU’s 150-member Norwegian Alumni Association, for which he organizes annual meetings and holds gatherings every time someone from DU visits Oslo.

Dennis Wittmer, associate professor of management in the Daniels College of Business, took over the annual trips following Bien’s death in 2004. Wittmer says Lund is exceptional in his willingness to take on so much as he also runs a successful company.

“Lars makes contacts for us in Norway, he arranges transportation and our hotels, all while he’s running a business,” says Wittmer. “He just goes so far above and beyond the call of duty.”

Lund also helps recruit Norwegian students to DU. Last fall, Lund was in Denver trying to convince a Norwegian student to attend.

“I’m going to put the DU charm on him,” Lund says with a smile. “I’m going to tell him about hockey and skiing. It’s also nice to share ratings from the Wall Street Journal!”

Lund says he maintains connections with DU because of what he has received from the University.

“I had a fantastic time at DU and I made friends that I’ve had for life, so I wanted to do something in return,” Lund says. “I must say, though, that I really didn’t think it would go on and on and on like this!”


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