James “Doc” Carlson ’65, professor emeritus of music, served the University of Minnesota, Morris from 1978 until his retirement in 2009. Over the course of 31 years, Carlson was instrumental in establishing the Morris jazz program. He introduced a variety of classes into the music curriculum, including Jazz Combo, Jazz Ensembles, and Multicultural Music. In 1979, Doc created the now renowned University of Minnesota, Morris Jazz Fest. He received the Horace T. Morse-Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education in 1993. In 2000 he received Morris’s Faculty Distinguished Research Award and was named Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) Educator of the Year. He was inducted into the MMEA Hall of Fame in 2006. Prior to beginning his career at Morris, Carlson taught at Augsburg College and Manchester College.
Carlson graduated with distinction from Morris with a degree in music education. He went on to receive a master of music with high distinction from Moorhead State College in 1968 and a doctor of music education with high distinction from Indiana University in 1972. Carlson received the Morris Dean’s Award in 1965, a School of Music Scholarship from Indiana University in 1969, and a North Dakota Education Association (NDEA) Title IV Fellowship in 1970.