The University of St. Thomas

Alumni Lifetime Achievement

    Lifetime Achievement Award 

The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity is proud to announce that the inaugural recipient of The Saint Paul Seminary Lifetime Achievement Award is Archbishop John R. Roach.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is not an annual award. It is an honor bestowed upon an extraordinary individual, whose unique leadership and commitment to the Church are recognized throughout this Archdiocese, the State and the Country.

Archbishop John R. Roach

Archbishop John R. Roach

Archbishop Roach, a 1946 graduate of our Seminary, was ordained on June 8th of that year. His first appointment as a priest was to the parish of Saint Stephen, in Minneapolis. He was assigned as teacher and then very quickly as Headmaster to Saint Thomas Academy. He occupied this post with distinction for 14 years. Archbishop Roach then generously agreed to undertake the founding of Saint John Vianney Seminary; he became its first Rector. But only three years later he was named an Auxiliary Bishop of this Archdiocese, and in July of 1975 he became its Archbishop until his retirement in 1995.

Among the special interests significant in his life Archbishop Roach mentions his parents, his classmates and his friends - and above all, the privilege of his ordination and in his phrase, "membership in an extraordinary presbytery." He is avidly interested in reading, music, and golf (at which he describes himself as "very competitive").

Numerous awards and honors have been bestowed upon him: twelve ecclesiastical honors, and Honorary Degrees from Gustavus Adolphus, St. Mary's in Winona, Loyola University in Chicago, Villanova, St. Leo's College in Florida, and this University of Saint Thomas itself.

He is recognized as a national leader in the Catholic church of our country. A leader among his fellow Bishops, he was very active in the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and twice was selected as their leader by their voting for him as their President.

Even there Archbishop showed particular commitment to pastoral ministry, to social justice, to administrative demands, and very tangibly, to outreach to the missions. He is universally recognized as an outstanding administrator, in guiding a major Archdiocese through very dynamic and challenging years. It is with a sense of historic note, therefore, and with deepest pleasure, that the Seminary presents its first Lifetime Achievement Award to: HIS EXCELLENCY, ARCHBISHOP JOHN R. ROACH.


The Lifetime Achievement Award, given for extraordinary work by an alumnus, was instituted in 1995 as a special honor to be bestowed upon an individual, whose unique leadership and commitment to the Church are recognized throughout the Archdiocese, state and the country.

At the April 27, 2003 Friends’ Mass and Breakfast, The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity bestowed the second Lifetime Achievement award on Monsignor William Baumgaertner, class of 1946, in recognition of his many years of service to the seminary as professor, rector, board member and benefactor. 

Rev. Msgr. William Baumgartner

 Rev. Msgr. William L. Baumgaertner



He also has distinguished himself nationally in seminary accreditation and education by having served as executive director of the seminary department of the National Catholic Educational Association in Washington, D.C. and associate director for accreditation of the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada.  Monsignor served for nine years on The Saint Paul Seminary board and on numerous other boards. As an advisor to several theological schools, both national and international, he guided them along the accreditation process and strove to improve the training of presidents and governing boards.

Monsignor was the chair of the Centennial Committee that was charged with planning the celebration of the seminary’s long and influential history in preparing priests for the Church. As a benefactor he has generously contributed to and promoted the seminary’s need for financial support through two endowments established in his honor, one to support the operating expenses of the seminary, the Baumgaertner Endowment Fund and the second, for the spiritual formation of seminarians known as the Baumgaertner Endowment Fund Phase II. An energetically inspiring man, he continues to serve in retirement through his priestly ministry to parishes of the Archdiocese and as a member of the national board of A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. We thank Monsignor Baumgaertner for his over fifty years of service as a priest and honor him for his exceptional dedication to the formation and education of priests for the Catholic Church. His legacy of steady guidance and sense of vision is an important chapter in the history of The Saint Paul Seminary and is a reflection of his own love for the priesthood of Jesus Christ that he lives out so faithfully.