New scholarship honors CTS founding director

CTS DirectorThe children of Richard P. Braun have established a scholarship to honor his memory and legacy. Braun, the founding director of CTS, died April 11 at the age of 91.

Braun was a University of Minnesota alumnus (’48 and ’55) and a long- time public servant. He served as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation under both GOP and DFL governors.

The Braun family shares their motivation for the endowment: “One of the defining characteristics of our dad was his interest in the future. He was innately curious about things, and quite determined to imagine different and better solutions to challenges—whether this was his infinite number of uses for masking tape or his interest in intelligent vehicles. He felt strongly about encouraging research, specifically around how to stretch the limits and redefine transportation.”

The family also discusses Braun’s legacy: “The importance of public service and education were two of our dad’s core beliefs, and he was a walking example of these at a national and state level.  We have heard from so many people that Richard inspired them in their careers and their lives. We know his hope was that the scholarship would serve as a catalyst for undergraduate students to reflect on how they, too, might use their education to contribute to serving the public.”

The Richard P. Braun Transportation Scholarship will be awarded annually to a University of Minnesota undergraduate student who is pursuing a degree in a transportation-related field of study. To honor Braun’s vision for the center and acknowledge the transdisciplinary nature of the transportation field, eligible students may come from a variety of disciplines including engineering, planning, urban studies, geography, design, environmental sciences, social sciences, economics, and logistics/supply chain.

The merit-based scholarship will be awarded to a junior or senior with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Preference will be given to students who have demonstrated both leadership and technical skills.

“CTS values and appreciates this generous endowment honoring Dick’s contributions to CTS and to transportation research and education,” says Laurie McGinnis, CTS director. “The endowment supports our commitment to undergraduate education and enhances our existing scholarship portfolio. 

The U of M Foundation welcomes additional contributions to the endowed scholarship. Memorial donations may be sent to: U of MN Foundation, Braun CTS Scholarship, P.O. Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266.

CTS is administering the scholarship. Application instructions and further details will be available this fall on our website.