Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient
Carlson School of Management, June 10, 2008
Robert W. Fleming earned a B.S. in business from the University of Minnesota in 1949. He was born in Toronto, Canada and came to the University in 1945 on a hockey scholarship. After graduating, he played for the Rochester Mustangs and became a U.S. citizen. While playing hockey for the Rochester Mustangs in 1950, he accepted an entry-level job at the Mayo Clinic in the insurance and collections departments. Over the next five decades he rose quickly through the ranks and in 1982 he was named vice president and chief administrative officer for the Mayo Clinic system, a position he held until his retirement in 1993. His contributions to hockey were made more so through his business acumen than as a player. He helped form a team for the 1960 winter Olympic games and subsequently managed the 1961 U.S. national team. He was the president of the board of directors of Minnesota Hockey from 1963-65 and chairman of the United States Olympic Hockey Committee in 1969. He served as the top official of Olympic hockey until 1981. He is credited with creating the team that achieved the "Miracle on Ice." During his career with the Mayo Clinic, he influenced Medicare legislation, helped plan and lead the construction of Mayo's Harwick Building, and led efforts to continuously improve and advance key administrative systems at the Clinic. He is also credited with the establishment of the medical, education, and research programs for which Mayo is recognized internationally.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.