Convening the College

Convening the College Event Item

Please join us in celebrating the new academic year with a keynote address, "Shaping Our Future: The Art and Science of Experiential Design."

Date & Time:

Monday, September 23, 2019
6:15 PM - 8:15 PM


O'Shaughnessy Education Center (OEC) Auditorium

Parking available in the Anderson Parking Facility located on the corner of Cretin and Grand avenues.

Ozzie Nelson

Ozzie Nelson

Join the College of Arts and Sciences in ushering in the new academic year at the second annual Convening the College. Ozzie Nelson, College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board member and one of Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Courier's "Most Admired CEOs", will discuss how and why experiential design and living will play a crucial role in the future of human society.

Event Schedule

6:15 p.m. - Meet the Dean reception and SOLV Initiative Showcase

7 p.m. - Convening the College 

  1. Welcome and remarks from Dean Yohuru Williams
  2. Introduction of new College of Arts and Sciences faculty and board members
  3. Performance by Cadenza
  4. Introduction of Ozzie Nelson by Dean Williams

Keynote Address: Shaping our Future: The Art and Science of Experiential Design - Ozzie Nelson

8:15 p.m. - Conclude event

Overview - "Shaping our Future: The Art and Science of Experiential Design"

As the world continues to evolve and change at an increasingly rapid pace, we are moving from a focus on necessity and practicality to an experience-driven society. Long gone are the days in which we hand-washed our clothes, shoveled coal into a furnace, or rode horses as a source of transportation. In a world in which we have more choice than ever before and endless opportunities to integrate technology, art, architecture, industrial design, big data, and human interactions, we will increasingly be drawn to and shaped by immersive experiences. Such interactions will drive our sensory preferences in the places that we live, work, shop, eat, and play.  Join us as we explore how and why experiential design and living will play such a crucial role in the future of human society.

About Ozzie Nelson

John “Ozzie” Nelson Jr. is Chairman and Co-CEO of NELSON, a design, architecture, branding and consulting services organization operating across the country and globe. As CEO of the firm for 15 years, Ozzie guided NELSON through unprecedented growth to become the third largest provider of design services to corporate America as ranked by Interior Design magazine. In early 2018, Ozzie embarked upon a new role as Co-CEO alongside Jim Tippmann of FRCH, a recent merger, to jointly focus on further strategic growth, design excellence and maintaining a dynamic company culture across NELSON.

Ozzie joined his father’s 15-person interior design firm immediately upon graduating from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Business Administration in 1987. Under Ozzie’s direction, the firm expanded from a one-office, traditional design firm with a single core competency to its current state of more than 25 locations, 10 different practice areas, and multiple fully integrated service lines. Since Ozzie became CEO of NELSON in 2003, the firm has executed more than 40 merger/acquisitions, taking NELSON from the rank of #37 in the industry to “Top 10” with a growth of more than 500 percent. Today the firm is a key partner to top companies including Cisco, Nielsen, Google, Express Scripts, AstraZeneca, and Verizon. Ozzie was recently named one of the "Most Admired CEOs" in the Twin Cities by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Courier as well.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.