Joseph S. & Jane Y. Micallef's Named Legacy Fund Supports Education Programs
Born on the Island of Malta in 1933, Joseph S. Micallef grew up surrounded by the legacy of an ancient civilization, rich in history spanning a period from the world-renowned megalithic temples, the Punic Wars, the Great Siege during the Knights of Malta rule, to the heroism of the Second Great Siege during World War II which earned Malta and its people the George Cross. He immigrated to the United States with his family after World War II with a well-developed sense of history. After graduating from the College of St. Thomas and receiving a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law, he enjoyed a distinguished career as president and CEO of Fiduciary Counselling, Inc., president and CEO of Great Northern Iron Ore Properties, and as Honorary Consul General of Malta since 1967.
Joe developed a great love for his adopted country and for the history of Minnesota. In 1954, he became a U.S. citizen in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He served in the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain in 1962 at Fort Snelling. In 1975, he was named to fill Charles Lindbergh's unexpired term on the Minnesota Historical Society's Executive Council. This launched Joe on 24 years of service on the Society's Executive Council during one of the most dynamic and transformational periods in the Society's history. In 1983 he became the first immigrant to be elected president of the Society. As president, Joe played a leading role in the hiring of Nina Archabal as director, in planning the Society's Minnesota History Center, and the acquisition of the former Miller Hospital site for the Society's new home.
Joe and his wife Jane (nee Yungers), a life-long Minnesotan, have shared an interest in history and a passion for building the Society into one of our nation's great organizations dedicated to the preservation of our history. They have five children and six grandchildren and are especially committed to helping young people develop an understanding of Minnesota's history and an appreciation for the sacrifices and accomplishments of those who have built our state. In 2000 they created the Joseph S. and Jane Y. Micallef Education Fund to support programs for school children in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. They believe that "the study of history offers the best foundation for perspective and balance in one's judgment," and that the Society is a "vital educational resource preserving the best values of the past and transmitting them into the future."
Their named legacy fund has supported a variety of activities over the years and is currently providing support for the development of a History Player museum lesson based on the life of children's storybook artist and writer Wanda Gag.