Welcome to the 2000-2001 academic year! I want to extend a special welcome to those of you who are new to the University of St. Thomas. I am pleased that you have chosen to be a part of this community and I look forward to meeting you. May God’s blessing be on all of us as we begin this new year.

I would like to update you on several facilities improvements and changes that have been made over the past several months on the Minneapolis and Rome campuses.

In Minneapolis, space has been renovated for the Admissions office and several faculty offices for the School of Law on the fourth floor of Terrence Murphy Hall. The building at 1112 Harmon Place (formerly the Opening Night Frame Shop) that St. Thomas acquired several years ago has been remodeled into 23 offices for the Small Business Development Center, the Center for Ethical Business Cultures, and other departments to be designated at a later date. Six classrooms have been leased in the Baptist school across Harmon Place from Terrence Murphy Hall to accommodate the growing need for additional classroom space in Minneapolis.

On Aug. 3, construction and restoration work was completed at our new campus in Rome, Italy, including major rewiring of the electrical system, upgrades to the heating and plumbing systems, and the addition of voice, data and alarm systems. The building, most recently used by an order of Spanish nuns, has been newly furnished to accommodate 37 students in 19 bedrooms. Additionally, there are three guestrooms and two studio apartments, a large dining hall, formal lounge and study, computer lab and laundry facilities. The rooftop terrace and courtyard garden plantings are typical of the Mediterranean. The private chapel has been repainted, but otherwise remains in its original state of beauty. The campus will be home to St. Thomas students in Catholic Studies and other academic programs studying for a semester or a year in Rome. A special dedication and celebration is planned at the campus on Friday, Oct. 6.

An article in tomorrow’s Bulletin Today will focus on the St. Paul and Owatonna campuses.