The Establishment of the Murray Institute
On November 13, 1991, Fr. John Forliti, at the request of President Dennis Dease, called for a task force to "strategize how UST might better serve the Catholic Schools" (Memo, Nov 13, 1991, UST Archives).
The Task Force on Catholic Education met several times throughout the 1991-1992 academic year. By February 1992, they had written a draft proposal for "The Murray Institute on Catholic Education." The intent was to provide:
[Degree] and non-degree courses and programs which further the professional and personal development of the Church's wide range of ministers. Current needs and priorities which the University can respond to include: assistance in helping the schools survive; assistance in improving the quality of the schools' management and offerings (religious education as well as other disciplines); assistance in improving the quality of religious education in parish and school settings and assistance in improving the quality of other ministries in schools and parishes." (Draft of Murray Institute Proposal, February 12, 1992, UST Archives)
During June and July of 1992, the task force circulated the final draft of the proposal to Fr. Dease and Archbishop John Roach for their comments and approval. The first Murray Institute Charter and By-laws were developed in the following year and signed by the participating parties.
The proposal and the subsequent Charter and By-laws called for the selection and appointment of an Institute Director as well as a Faculty Committee to meet regularly with the Director to make decisions about the Institute's activities. The proposal also recommended that the Murray Institute's current principal of $1,200,000 be augmented by a strategy for the Archdiocese and the University of St Thomas to raise $5,000,000 each (Proposal, July 3, 1992, UST Archives). This goal was accomplished, for the most part, during a 1994 capital campaign by the Archdiocese, which resulted in a generous gift of $3,000,000 from the Bert McGlynn family, and a 1994 capital campaign by the University, which yielded another generous gift from the Jerome Byrnes estate in the amount of $4,800,000.