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College of Design

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Doris (Schwanz) Bjorklund

B.Arch '46

DorisBjorklund-7th from left1942.jpg

Family members think Doris Bjorklund is pictured here in 1942, 7th from the left, on the steps of Northrop Auditorium. She and her daughter Jan attended the School's gathering of alumni in Boston in February 2013 (second photo). Following the event, Jan shared some stories from her mother's early career.

When Doris was a junior and Hubert H. Humphrey was governor, one of her professors was also doing some planning for the City of Minneapolis. Her professor asked her to help design "homes for relief." She did three designs (one, two and three bedroom homes) for the project and was proud to be a part of that Humphrey initiative. To complete the project, she needed to live in Minneapolis and found home for a time, at a sorority in Minneapolis.

Around that time she was also working for architecture firm in Minneapolis. While there, Doris was part of a project team for one of their clients. When the project was completed, the happy client hosted a celebratory party and invited all the men in the firm to attend. Unfortunately, the women were not included. In protest, the women came to work the following week dressed in suit coats and ties like their male counterparts. To prepare, Doris needed to borrow a tie. To help out, one of her sorority housemates introduced Doris to her step brother, U of M business student Truman Bjorklund (BSB '48). Truman gladly provided Doris with a tie. Though there was no word on the reaction from Doris's male counterparts at the office regarding her change of attire, it was the start of something good... Doris and Truman were married in 1949.


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