In 1981, the University of St. Thomas broke ground on the Gainey Conference Center in Owatonna, Minn. Adjacent to the French Norman-style home of the late Daniel C. Gainey, the conference center serves groups of up to 70 individuals for conferences and group retreats.

Gainey was a majority owner of Josten’s during the mid-20th century. In the 1940s, he began to breed and raise Arabian horses and worked with an architect to create his home on 180 acres of land in Owatonna. Gainey, who died in 1979, bequeathed his property to the University of St. Thomas. In addition to constructing the conference center, St. Thomas has converted the former stallion barn – now renamed The Mews – into classrooms for graduate programs, including the Opus College of Business.

The mission of the Gainey Center is to support the educational mission of individuals, organizations and the university by providing superior service and facilities, guaranteeing an excellent learning environment. Beyond the University of St. Thomas, users include Fortune 500 companies, local media companies and other local businesses. The center is a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers.