Carleton commencement address will be given by Toni Carter ’75

Carter serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners for Ramsey County.

Erica Helgerud '20 11 May 2022 Posted In:
Portrait photo of Toni Carter '75
Toni Carter ’75

Commissioner Toni Carter ’75 will give the commencement address for Carleton College’s 148th Commencement. The ceremony will take place outdoors on the Bald Spot on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. The event will also be live-streamed and archived so family and friends can share in the experience wherever they are in the world.

Commissioner Carter came to Carleton as a first year at only 16 years old from Cleveland, Ohio.

“At Carleton,” she said during her February 2022 convocation, “I found friendships [and] relationships that I continue to value, appreciate and to call on today.”

Carter’s dedication to her chosen career also stems from Carleton.

She serves on the Board of Commissioners for Ramsey County, the second most populous county in Minnesota with its seat at St. Paul, the state capitol. The first African-American to ever serve on a county board in Minnesota, Carter’s interest in public service was sparked during her first year at Carleton in 1971. She joined a busload of Carls on a trip to Mississippi, where they participated in a voter registration drive. That trip had a profound impact on her and was the foundation for her career in public service.

Committed to the delivery of efficient and effective county services, eliminating disparities in county services and systems, and raising grassroots awareness of county decision-making processes, Carter has led several Ramsey County system change efforts. These include the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, which has reduced the number of youths held at Ramsey County’s Juvenile Detention Center, and her advocacy of the proposed Central Corridor light-rail transit.

“I have been delighted in the work that I’ve chosen to do these past 20 years as an elected official,” Carter said.

Prior to her election to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, Carter served as a member and chair of the Saint Paul Board of Education. Active in community building for over 30 years, Carter has served on numerous community boards, including the Saint Paul Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Area Library Service Agency (MELSA), the Walker West Music Academy, the West Side Community Health Center, the Saint Paul YWCA and the Jeremiah Program.

For further information about Commencement, including disability accommodations, contact Noel Ponder at (507) 222-4309 or email The Bald Spot is located on the Carleton campus between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.

Erica Helgerud ’20 is the news and social media manager for Carleton College.