Father Dease to Receive Honorary Degree From St. Catherine University St. Thomas Newsroom December 18, 2012 Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas, will receive an honorary degree from St. Catherine University at its winter commencement exercises Thursday. St. Catherine will confer a Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Dease, who has served as president since 1991 and will retire on June 30, 2013. The ceremony will be at 7 p.m. in O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, and Dease also will preside at the baccalaureate liturgy at 5 p.m. in Our Lady of Victory Chapel. A St. Catherine story cites Dease’s accomplishments during his presidency, including two capital campaigns that raised $765 million and the establishment of the School of Law, Center for Catholic Studies and a Rome campus. He received the National Catholic Education Association’s highest honor, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, in 2008. St. Thomas conferred a Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Sister Andrea Lee, president of St. Catherine since 1998, in December 2009.