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Stan Freese standing next to Mickey Mouse

In addition to being a world-class tuba player, Stan Freese is the talent casting and booking director for Disney Entertainment Productions.

Dungy and Freese to highlight UMAA Annual Celebration

By Christie Vogt

April 27, 2007

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association's (UMAA) Annual Celebration on May 8 will feature special guests Tony Dungy and Stan Freese.

The theme for the evening is a celebration of the return of football to campus in the new TCF Bank Stadium, set to open in fall 2009. In that spirit, the UMAA wanted as guests U alumni that included the best football and band representatives. Dungy and Freese are perfect for this, says Denny Schulstad, volunteer president of the alumni association.

Dungy, head coach of the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, will be the keynote speaker for the event.

"Who among our alumni better epitomizes everything good about college athletics and has achieved greater football fame than Tony Dungy?" asks Schulstad.

Dungy is one of the most popular coaches in the National Football League and has led his teams to the playoffs for eight consecutive years. He had one of the top-ranked defenses each year during his tenure as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings.

Dungy was a quarterback for the Gopher football team in the '70s. While at the U of M, Dungy set career passing, touchdown, and total offense records and was named to two academic all-Big 10 teams.

In addition to his athletic achievements, Schulstad added that Dungy is a "decent, good person" who even came back to the U to help lobby the legislature for the new stadium.

The UMAA celebration will also include remarks and a performance by Freese, a world-renowned tuba soloist. Freese will be presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award--the University's highest award presented to alumni.

"I am totally blown away by this award from the U of M and am truly humbled and grateful and still in disbelief," says Freese.

Freese, talent casting and booking director at Disney, is considered one of the best tuba players in the world. He will perform with the Minnesota marching band as part of the evening's entertainment. The resumes of his two sons, which include performances with Green Day, Sting, Nine Inch Nails, and Jewel, demonstrate that the family is, as Freese describes, "a busy tribe of musicians."

The events--all held at Mariucci Area--include a reception at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m., and program at 8 p.m. The dinner tickets sold out in only four days, but there are still program tickets available.

Reserve your seat for the 2007 UMAA Annual Celebration by calling the U's ticket office at 612-624-2345 or by going online at alumni. More details on the event are available at annual celebration.

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