U of M Removes Garrison Keillor Plaque

U of M Removes Garrison Keillor Plaque Photo: AP/Jeff Baenen

February 12, 2018 08:37 PM

The University of Minnesota has removed a plaque honoring humorist Garrison Keillor after allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Minnesota Daily reports Keillor's plaque is no longer displayed on the Scholars Walk, which honors outstanding university faculty and alumni. But some of Keillor's song lyrics from an early radio show are still featured on campus.

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Keillor graduated from the university in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in English.

The longtime Minnesota Public Radio personality is known for telling folksy stories about his fictional Minnesota hometown of Lake Wobegon on "A Prairie Home Companion." He was fired last year after facing allegations of workplace sexual harassment.

In a statement Monday, the university said Keillor's plaque was removed along with others last month as part of a regular rotation. Thirteen new names were added, including former Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Minnesota Lynx player Lindsay Whalen.

"The panels were designed to be rotated on a regular basis in order to keep the gallery dynamic and highlight a larger group of individuals over time," the university said.

On his Facebook page, Keillor said Monday the removal of his plaque was "a relief."

"The idea of the Walk was some nameless bureaucrat's and was an embarrassment anyway: a great public university is about equality and anonymity and I'm proud to be a U of M grad, no need for a plaque," Keillor wrote.

Keillor was accused by a woman who worked on his radio show of dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents over several years, including requests for sexual contact and explicit sexual communications and touching.

Keillor has denied the allegations and says that the radio station fired him without a proper investigation.

An outside investigation looked into dozens of allegations regarding Keillor's sexually inappropriate conduct, MPR President Jon McTaggart wrote in a letter to members published last month.

MPR has removed from its website archived "A Prairie Home Companion" shows featuring Keillor. The network also ended broadcasts of "The Writer's Almanac," Keillor's daily reading of literary events and a poem, and ended rebroadcasts of Keillor-hosted "Prairie Home" shows.

Keillor, 75, retired in 2016 as host of "Prairie Home," a Saturday evening radio variety show he created in 1974. The show, now titled "Live from Here," continues with Keillor's hand-picked successor, mandolinist Chris Thile.

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Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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