George Karvel, one of Minnesota’s best-known authorities in real estate, will be remembered by many for hosting a popular Sunday morning real estate program broadcast by WCCO. Here, Karvel made complex real estate topics easy for all to understand. He also wrote a real estate column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and held the Arnold and Leonard Mikulay Distinguished Chair in Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas, where he was instrumental in establishing real estate programs. Karvel is well regarded for his work as author or co-author of many articles, monographs and books, including several editions of Real Estate Principles and Practices.
Karvel earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 1969, 1972 and 1979, respectively, from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In August 1980, after teaching careers in Colorado, Wisconsin and Illinois, Karvel found his way to Minnesota, where he accepted a professorship position at St. Cloud State University. There, he was credited for developing bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in real estate, the Minnesota Real Estate Research Center and the Minnesota Center for Real Estate and Housing Education. In 1997, after his December 1996 retirement from St. Cloud State University, Karvel was named SCSU Emeritus Professor of Real Estate.
Shortly thereafter, in January 1997, he was chosen to hold the newly created Distinguished Chair in Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas. During his 15-year tenure at UST, he taught, worked with local and national real estate organizations, and helped develop the university’s Master of Science degree in Real Estate program, the Bachelor of Science degree in Real Estate Studies, the Shenehon Center for Real Estate and the Institute for Real Estate Research. In April 2013, in recognition of his outstanding service and extraordinary contributions to the atmosphere of collegiality that is St. Thomas’ hallmark, the University of St. Thomas conferred upon him emeritus status.
In addition to his teaching career, Karvel was appointed to several state panels and task forces such as the 1997 Minnesota Flood Recovery and Redevelopment Task Force. He was lauded for his board service to dozens of local, state and national real estate, professional, academic and nonprofit organizations such as the Minnesota Habitat for Humanity, which he chaired. Over his 40-year career in real estate, he also served as a litigation consultant for more than 90 corporate, civic and industrial entities.
George Karvel’s various achievements over the past several decades have indeed left indelible marks in the Minnesota real estate sector. In a letter addressed to Karvel on June 11, 2012, Reverend Dennis Dease, former president of the University of St. Thomas, stated “I know the world is better for your efforts.”