In Memory

Vernon A "Bud" Jensen (Teacher)

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06/22/22 12:15 AM #1    

Bruce Miller

Vernon “Bud” Jensen ’64 1942–2017 | Hamline Magazine

Hamline Magazine

Vernon “Bud” Jensen ’64 1942–2017

Vernon “Bud” Jensen ’64, a retired high school English teacher who received Hamline’s Distinguished Service Award in 2013, died on December 6, 2017.

He was born on May 16, 1942, in Cumberland, Wisconsin. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in education at Hamline and a master’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Jensen taught British literature, composition, and public speaking at Edina High School for 33 years. In 1991, he received the Excellence in Education Award for his exceptional performance and contributions to the Edina educational system.

On his Star Tribune guestbook, dozens of former students wrote tributes describing how he impacted their lives, from instilling in them a love for words to helping them overcome their fear of public speaking to inspiring them to become teachers.

After retirement, Jensen volunteered in many capacities at Hamline. He was a member of the CLA Alumni Board, Piper Athletic Association Board, and End Zone Club. He also served as a class reunion committee volunteer, Sesquicentennial Alumni Choir member, Annual Fund class agent, and student mentor.

Jensen attended numerous Hamline events and activities. An avid sports fan, he followed Hamline’s Division III programs and often could be found connecting with athletes and coaches.

In 2010, Jensen received Hamline’s Athletic Service Award from the Athletics department, and in 2013, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the College of Liberal Arts Alumni Association for his many contributions to Hamline and the broader community.

Jensen and his wife, Jinny, also a retired Edina High School teacher, established the Bud and Jinny Jensen Scholarship for students pursuing a career in teaching. Through this scholarship, they hope to make a difference in the lives of future educators. The also have included Hamline in their estate plans and are members of the Heritage Society.

Jensen is preceded in death by his parents, Evelyn and Vernon; and his step-father, Walter. He is survived by his wife of 45 years; his brother, Jerry Jensen ’61; and many family members, friends, former colleagues, and students.

06/22/22 12:17 AM #2    

Bruce Miller

Bud and Jinny Jensen | Edina (

Edina Magazine Sep 2012

Bud and Jinny Jensen

Bud and Jinny Jensen have left their mark on a generation of Edina high school students.

Jinny and Bud Jensen outside of Edina High School, wherre they've influenced a generation of students.

The influence of teachers Bud and Jinny Jensen is evident even a decade after they retired.

After attending 10 to 15 Edina High School graduation parties each spring during their 30-plus-year teaching careers, the Jensens still spend summer weekends hopscotching to a few open houses.

Bud, a former English literature and public speaking teacher, and Jinny, a former Latin and Spanish teacher and current tutor, consider their invitations an honor.

At parties this past June, the Jensens’ influence was extolled—even if the details weren’t quite accurate— as well as communicated for the first time. One conversation included the flattering, though incorrect, assumption that Jinny founded Edina’s Latin program. In another discussion, a man told Jinny how Bud had changed his life.

Edina graduate Ann Carroll, a sports reporter with FSN North, wanted to increase awareness of the Jensens’ influence. They were “totally dedicated to the school, the teachers,” she says. “Everybody loved them. They went to so many graduation parties.”

The feeling is mutual. Bud 70, of Cumberland, Wis., arrived in Edina in 1966. Jinny Winter, 68, of Glencoe, Minn., came to Edina in 1967. They were set up at a bridge game by fellow teachers. They fell in love with each other, their careers and the schools.

“We loved it; we really had fun,” Jinny says. “When we see young teachers that come on and might bail after a semester and go someplace else, we shake our heads, we scratch our heads. How is that possible? Why didn’t they connect? Why wasn’t that a career?”

The Jensens’ careers included long nights correcting Latin quizzes and marking up English essays. Few words were spoken some nights, but they shared a purpose.

“We had it lucky,” Bud says. “With both of us teaching, we both understood what the other was doing.”

They also did more. Bud spoke at commencement ceremonies; Jinny would embark on trips to Italy with students.

One of Bud’s commencement messages drew from Roberto Benigni’s movie Life is Beautiful.

“I tried to indicate that life is a series of wonderful experiences,” Bud recalls. “Not all of them are going to be mountaintop experiences, but if you put them together … life is beautiful. That has always been my motto.”

More than 20 years ago, Bud spoke before the class of 1991 at the scholar’s banquet, where he accurately predicted what they would do 20 years later. Bud used a lesson from Jonathan Swift’s book Gulliver’s Travels, where Gulliver goes to the great academy of higher learning and “contrives a new method for building houses, by beginning at the roof and working downwards to the foundation.”

Bud used it as a critique of scholars who often think and rarely do.

“If you are going to build houses, build them to help people that don’t have homes,” Bud recalls telling the class of ’91.

At the 20-year reunion, the class of 38-year-olds raised $40,000 and built a Habitat Humanity house. Bud modestly brushes aside his role in this achievement, saying it’s merely coincidental.

Jinny’s impact included taking 11 student groups to Italy, a trip that changed some students’ expectations. At a recent grad party, parents kidded Jinny, saying, “Gee, we wish you would have gone to South Dakota for your class trips because now our kids want to go to Italy for a destination wedding.”

Jinny and Bud want to pass on the enjoyment and fulfillment they’ve known in a lifetime of teaching. Last year, they established the Bud and Jinny Jensen Scholarship at Hamline University, which will be awarded to a student pursuing high school teaching.

“What has become important to both of us is to try to do something to encourage the kids even when we are not in the classroom anymore,” Bud says. “We want kids to go on and to do well.”

06/22/22 12:30 AM #3    

Bruce Miller

cum-2017-12-13-a-001 e-edition.pdf (

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