On May 18, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago President James Kenneth Echols presented the school’s Distinguished Service Award to LeRoy T. Carlson, chairman emeritus of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (TDS), and director of U.S. Cellular, and to his wife, Margaret D. Carlson. LSTC’s board of directors annually presents the Distinguished Service Award to individuals whose commitment to Jesus Christ and partnership in the life of the seminary have been exemplary.
“Mr. and Mrs. Carlson have been generous and committed supporters of theological education,” said President Echols. “It is my great joy and delight that the board of directors has chosen to recognize their support of LSTC by presenting them with the seminary’s Distinguished Service Award.”
The Carlson family established the Axel Jacob and Gerda (Maria) Swanson Carlson Chair in Homiletics at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1996. It is currently held by the Rev. Dr. Craig A. Satterlee. In October 1997, Mr. Carlson donated his mother’s meticulously collected church papers to the library archives. In 1946, Mr. Carlson and members of his confirmation class at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Chicago, established the St. Matthew Memorial Scholarship Fund which continues to be awarded annually to LSTC students.
In 2006, the Carlsons established the James Kenneth Echols Prize for Excellence in Preaching to promote quality preaching in a charitable spirit of competition, to inspire students at LSTC to fully use their varied gifts to improve their preaching skills, to increase the visibility and importance of preaching the Gospel on the LSTC campus and the world beyond, and to recognize the Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Echols and his many contributions to LSTC by naming the prize in his honor.
LeRoy T. Carlson is the founder of Chicago-based Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, which was recently named by Forbes.com as one of the “100 most trustworthy companies.” TDS provides wireless communications services through its subsidiary, U.S. Cellular; wireline communications through TDS Telecom; and printing, distribution, and web enabled communication solutions through Suttle-Straus. Currently, the Carlsons' son, LeRoy T. Carlson, Jr., serves as president and CEO of TDS.
Mark Van Scharrel
Vice President for Advancement
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.