As one of the top Midwest universities, St. Thomas is very rich in tradition. Wouldn't you be, if you were 125 years old?
A longstanding campus tradition states that students aren’t true Tommies until they’ve been kissed under the arches at midnight. While the true Tommie status won’t be listed on any diplomas, motivated students still attempt to complete the traditional “assignment” before graduation day.
One couple took this tradition to heart. Bridget Regan (Tyrrell) and Casey Regan became true Tommies their freshman year, and they later became engaged under the St. Thomas arches. Now Bridget, Casey, and baby Maura are happily living out this legendary Tommie tradition.
For more than 20 years, Ireland Hall has coordinated a teeter-totter marathon to raise money and awareness for Tubman Family Alliance.
The 72-hour marathon features students (men and women) who sign up for one- or two-hour shifts. The teeter-totter is set up in the quad on the St. Paul campus.
The event is usually accompanied by a free cookout and concert by a local band. Although the concert is free and open to the UST community, donations are requested as a way to increase donations to Tubman.
Tubman Family Alliance provides an immediate safe haven at three emergency shelters and 11 transitional housing units for women and children in crisis. It also offers support services to men, women and children in Hennepin, Washington and suburban Ramsey counties.
Every year St. Thomas welcomes the community to join in a celebration of past, present and future Tommies at our homecoming festivities. Because one day can’t accommodate all of the necessary celebrating, homecoming week was created. St. Thomas students might take a break from studies to enjoy the pep rally, take in the free concert or to prepare a float for the homecoming parade. By Saturday the campus is in true Tommie Spirit and Tommie Pride is palpable. Student clubs and organizations host the Taste of Saints Festival where you can socialize before the game while enjoying some tasty homemade treats. Suddenly the quad is empty as fans move to O’Shaughnessy Stadium where the community cheers on the Tommies to a crushing victory!
One of the longest standing rivalries in college sports is played out each fall between the top Midwest universities of St. Thomas and St. John’s football teams. The Tommies and Johnnies alternate host sites between Collegeville and St. Paul, Minn., and in recent years the competition has been ratcheted up several notches. For several years the Tommie-Johnnie game seemed doomed from the Tommies’ perspective. It was a foregone conclusion that the Johnnies would win and win easily. That all changed when coach Caruso took over the UST program in 2008. The next two years St. John’s narrowly escaped with wins – winning on a controversial call at the end of regulation in 2008 and in overtime in 2009.
During the last three seasons fans have seen quite a turn-around. In 2010, St. Thomas defeated St. John's by one point in overtime before the largest crowd ever to watch a MIAC game. In 2011, a record crowd of 10,500 watched the Tommies win 63-7; the biggest blowout in the 80-year history of the rivalry. In 2012, the Tommies won 43-21 in front of 14,286 fans. This was the first three-game winning streak against St. John’s since taking four in a row from 1954 to 1957.
The Tommie fans arrive ready to cheer and celebrate every St. Thomas triumph, especially Caruso’s Crew. Consisting of St. Thomas seminary students, usually the most reserved and polite young men on campus, Caruso’s Crew was formed in 2008 as a cheering section for these Godly young men. They dress in slacks and poplin shirts during the week, then trade in their stoic personas to become face-painted, cheer-leading, rowdy football fans on Saturday afternoons. It is a sight to behold, knowing 24 hours prior these young men were likely meditating by the St. Thomas Grotto, and are now hopping up and down on bleachers screaming for a touchdown pass. The Tommie/Johnnie rivalry is as alive and spirited today as it was 50 years ago, and it is never more evident than in the center section of O’Shaughnessy Stadium occupied by the men of the church, or as we call them, Caruso’s Crew.