KARE 11 – The president of St. Cloud State University was memorialized Friday in a place he could have called home.
In fact, interim university president Ashish Vaidya referred to the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center where hundreds gathered in tribute “as the house that Earl built.”
Earl H. Potter III, who spearheaded fundraising for the arena’s renovation, was remembered at his public memorial service as a man of vision.
“He always thought so far in the future and he was a dreamer,” said Rev. Chris Cortte, a St. Cloud State chaplain.
Potter was killed Monday night in a rollover crash after losing control of his SUV on I-694 in Brooklyn Center.
The memorial service reflected Potter’s commitment to inclusion and bridge building, with prayers from several faith and cultural groups.
“Earl’s leadership was about service to country, service to students, and service to each other,” said Vaidya.
Before his nine years at the helm of St. Cloud State, Potter spent nearly 25 years in the coast guard, befitting a New England upbringing with sailing in his blood.
Potter’s son, Earl H. Potter IV, said he was surprised when his father told him he was moving to Minnesota. “However, I quickly grew to understand why, and how excited and happy to be here he was.”
Potter’s wife Christine and the couple’s two sons and two daughters attended the service.
Potter’s funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at St. John’s Episcopal Church in St. Cloud.