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Friday, May 22, 2015


Each year, the School of Theology at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, sponsors a Business and Theology lunch at the Minneapolis Club, and for the past few years I’ve been privileged to attend.  This year’s speaker was Chris Lowney, and the presentation was excellent as always.

Lunch was served . . . 

 . . . Before the presentation.

Perhaps, what I enjoy most, is that these lunches are hosted by the Minneapolis Club.  When I moved here fourteen years ago and began exploring my new city, one of the very first buildings I encountered was the Minneapolis Club.  In a sea of standard glass office towers, this beautiful ivy covered brick building stood out, and its sophisticated style and beauty, captured my attention.  It is by far one of the most distinguished buildings in downtown Minneapolis.

The club was founded by John Pillsbury and Charles Loring (prominent early figures in Minneapolis) in 1883, and was housed in several locations before finally settling at its current location in 1909.  Over the years the Club would host world leaders such a Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, as well as several U.S. Presidents and other noted figures.  It reminds me of the era of private “Men’s Clubs” but has evolved to meet the current times; doing so with the dignity and grace that befits the institution. 

The Minneapolis Club is still a private club, so membership is by invitation only, but unlike the stuffy stereotype of private clubs, their website reminds us that they seek out “A diverse membership with no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, disability, age, marital status or national origin.”  This is the forward thinking that has come to symbolize Minneapolis, and is the element that has allowed the Minneapolis Club to flourish while so many other clubs have folded.

The Club is ranked among the Five Star Platinum Clubs of the world, and it's an honor it truly deserves.  Their staff is amazingly friendly, helpful, and polite, and the Club always provides a gracious and welcoming atmosphere, rooted in the traditions of their past.  I’ve mentioned before how providing a contemporary environment while maintaining a traditional grounding is a difficult line to tow, but I truly feel the Minneapolis Club has perfected it to an art form.

While I suspect it is unlikely I will be asked to join, I feel honored and grateful to attend these meetings there each year, and to be hosted by the Clubs first-rate staff, which always makes me welcomed.  I have a great love for heritage and tradition which continues to draw me to the Minneapolis Club, but it is their genuine care, concern, superior service, and welcoming atmosphere that keep me coming back.  It is truly a privilege and an honor to be hosted by this fine institution.

***What private clubs are in your area?

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