Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Laws
University of Minnesota, Duluth, May 17, 2008
Ann Bancroft, a native of Minnesota, is internationally recognized as one of the world’s pre-eminent polar explorers. She is one of two women who has skied and sailed across Antarctica. Over three million students in more than 100 countries followed the expedition and used the K-6 Antarctic Curriculum. In 2001, she launched The Dare to Dream Mini-Grant Program, which provides small grants of $100 - $500 to girls in grades 6-10 who need financial support. This program has provided more than $210,000 to 570 girls in Minnesota. She is the founder of the Ann Bancroft Foundation (1996), a non-profit organization that recognizes leadership and achievement of adolescent girls in Minnesota. She led the American Women’s Expedition to the South Pole in 1993, which became the first all-women expedition in history to cross the ice to the South Pole. She has earned the distinction of the first woman in history to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles. She was also the only female member of the Steger International Polar Expedition, which dogsledded 1,000 miles from the Northwest Territories in Canada to the North Pole. Building on her teaching career, she has developed educational curricula for teachers from elementary school through college, in mathematics, science, geography, the environment and women in non-traditional roles. She is a spokesperson for the Learning Disabilities Association and has served with the Special Olympics. She has been featured in numerous TV shows and magazines articles. In addition, she has been featured in two books.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.