Former Student Centerdirector Larson dies

Paul Whitney Larson, director of the St. Paul Student Center from 1952 to 1978, died of cancer Dec. 28 in his daughter’s home in Minnetonka, Minn. He was 85.
Larson, who earned his degree in music education from the University in 1934, sought to bring the arts to the St. Paul campus. In 1979, the Paul Whitney Larson Art Gallery was named after him.
“He always placed the arts high on the scale of things,” said Charles Rausch, who is the current director of the student center and worked with Larson for 14 years.
Jean Larson, his wife, said her husband took a strong interest in the students and their development. “He always worked for improving the cultural and intellectual aspects of what used to be the farm campus,” she said. He also set up housing for married students on the St. Paul campus.
Larson, who was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago, was active until this fall. He is survived by his wife of more than 40 years, his three daughters, Nancy Heuer and Kim Parkhurst of Minnetonka, and Jodi Ely of Minnetrista, and seven grandchildren.
— Colleen Winters