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When public radio looks inward for guidance on how to build a strong board of directors, a strong institution, and a highly successful radio service, Minnesota Public Radio stands out on all fronts.

“Building a Community Institution” was presented by Bill Kling at the July, 2006 PRDMC. It highlights essential steps that Kling beleives contributed to MPR's success and that he urges other stations to follow.

One thing Kling omits from his presentation is that Minnesota Public Radio’s first station, KSJR, was initially licensed to St. John’s College in Collegeville, Minnesota. St John’s eventually decided a new community licensee would create more long-term opportunity to develop the public radio service programming it wanted for Minnesota audiences and today, St. John’s continues to see itself as a partner in the Minnesota Public Radio story.

In this second piece, we have Kling again, this time telling the story of founding Minnesota Public Radio from St. John’s perspective as an opportunity developed by Father Colman Berry, a professor at St. Johns, and his decision to mentor Bill Kling. Here's an opening excerpt:

“In the early 1960s Father Colman Barry, then a history professor, was intrigued by the college’s student radio station, of which I was the manager. When I was about to graduate in 1964 and Colman was about to be appointed president, he asked me what I was planning to do. I told him I’d like to attend graduate school in either business or communications. With the support of Dr. Waldemar Wenner, Colman said, “Choose communications and we’ll send you to graduate school if you’ll agree to come back and begin a radio station for Saint John’s.”