Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient
College of Liberal Arts, September 16, 2009
Robert J. Ulrich received a bachelor's of arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1967 with major in speech and a minor in journalism. He started working at Dayton's in 1967 as a merchandising trainee and in ten years he became vice president and general merchandise manager, and in 1984 he took over as president of the 215-unit Target Stores division. In 1987, he became CEO and later he moved into the top job of chairman and CEO at Dayton Hudson Corporation (later renamed Target Corporation). He retired as CEO in May of 2008 and stayed on as chairman through the end of 2008. Under his leadership, Target has achieved an international reputation, not only in the way in which it treats its customers, but its creative marketing and its commitment to philanthropy. Presently, Target is ranked as the sixth largest retailer in the country, with annual revenues exceeding $60 billion and 1,684 stores nationwide. In 2005, Forbes magazine named Target the "most philanthropic company in America." Since 1946 the company's community giving program has contributed five percent of its income - as of 2007, it reached the level of $3 million per week. In addition, he is a dedicated champion of the arts, serving as a longtime trustee for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He is also the founder of the Musical Instrument Museum scheduled to open in Tempe, Arizona in 2010.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.