St. Cloud Times – One of the first conversations that St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis had with Earl H. Potter III was right before move-in weekend after Potter had become St. Cloud State University president.
Kleis had been walking those neighborhoods during move-in weekends, meeting with and talking to students. It was part of an effort to gain some more control over an area that was known more for parties and police presence than academics.
“I told him that I walked the neighborhoods and welcomed the students and I said ‘Why don’t you come with me.’ And without hesitation he said yes,” Kleis said. “It used to look like Woodstock on Fifth Avenue. And Earl with an obvious tremendous ability to connect even though he was a little bit of an introvert. But when you’ve got a bunch of younger folks coming up and everybody wanted to take a picture with the president of the university.”
That’s how Kleis will remember his friend, who died Monday in a one-vehicle crash in Brooklyn Center. Potter, 69, was heading to the Twin Cities for a meeting with the SCSU Foundation Board chair, according to the university.