The University of St. Thomas Center for Real Estate Education has been renamed the Shenehon Center for Real Estate Education.
The new name recognizes financial and other support from the Minneapolis-based Shenehon Co., a real estate appraisal, consulting and business-valuation firm that serves both public and private sectors throughout the United States. The company is named for its founder, Howard Shenehon, who died last year.
The Shenehon Co. has had close ties with St. Thomas for years. The firm’s president, Robert Strachota, and executive vice president, William Herber, are 1975 graduates. Shenehon’s senior vice president, John Flaherty, graduated from St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in 1974 and an M.B.A. in 1980.
The 25-employee company has hired a number of other St. Thomas alumni, including the university’s first graduate with a bachelor of science in real estate studies. Many of Shenehon’s employees have taught courses in real estate at St. Thomas. As an adjunct professor, Strachota alone has taught more than a dozen courses dealing with real estate and business valuation.
In 1971, during his freshman year at St. Thomas, Strachota held a student-worker job as a swimming instructor. One of his first pupils was a priest who Strachota would later learn was then president of the university, Monsignor Terrence Murphy, now St. Thomas’ chancellor.
Murphy learned to swim, and those lessons in O’Shaughnessy Hall pool marked the beginning of a 30-year friendship between the two men. In the 1980s, when Murphy was considering a second campus for St. Thomas in downtown Minneapolis, he turned to Strachota and the Shenehon Co. for help with the complex real estate transactions. And in the 1990s, Strachota and his associates helped St. Thomas launch its programs in graduate, undergraduate and continuing-education courses in real estate.
“The university and its Center for Real Estate Education have developed a range of programs that provide exactly those skills that are needed in today’s marketplace,” Strachota said. “We are honored to have our company’s name associated with the center and the high quality programs it offers.”
The Shenehon Center for Real Estate Education was created in 1993 and is part of the university’s Graduate School of Business. Last year 2,246 students participated in 63 center-sponsored courses and seminars.
Directed by Dr. Thomas Musil, the center offers certification and professional-designation programs for women and men working in real estate appraisal, building engineering, business valuation, corporate facility and property management, and real estate investment analysis. It also sponsors public-interest workshops and conferences dealing with real estate and housing issues.
Under the leadership of Dr. George Karvel, who holds the Distinguished Chair in Real Estate, St. Thomas has developed a bachelor of science in real estate studies, a master of science in real estate appraisal, and an M.B.A. concentration in real estate appraisal. The M.S. in real estate appraisal has attracted students from 22 states and three Canadian provinces, and is the largest program of its kind in the United States.
The Shenehon Center for Real Estate Education is located in Terrence Murphy Hall on the university’s downtown Minneapolis Campus.