2016 - 17 Stewardship Report
and Honor Roll of Donors
We gratefully acknowledge alumni, parents, friends and other supporters who gave financial gifts to St. Thomas in fiscal year 2017. Your support is forging excellence in education – and that forges excellence in individuals who will have the power to change our world for the better. Our goal is not only for every student to lead a fulfilling, successful life, but also for each and every one to graduate a “changemaker” with the tools to impact the world. Please enjoy these stories of incredible Tommies who are already making a difference in the world.
Stories of STUDENT IMPACT
Class Year: Junior
Scholarship: Wilbur and Elizabeth Winblad Endowed Scholarship
Hometown: Champlin, Minnesota
Why St. Thomas?
I realized at St. Thomas I could focus on academics and have more one-on-one time with professors. I would not learn well in a class with 200-plus students taught by a TA.
Best class … so far
I really loved my first operations class [in business]. Problem solving is right up my alley.
Biggest surprise at St. Thomas
Just before freshman year, I got a call from the hockey coach asking me to play for the team. After Christmas we got to play and travel in Italy and Switzerland. I loved sightseeing and hanging out as a team.
Peak out-of-class experience
Student-Alumni Mentoring has been really beneficial. I have a mentor with a similar career path. He works at Boeing in Seattle as their senior supply chain manager.
Career role model
My mom. She currently works for Target Corporate in Human Resources, and I would like to follow in her footsteps one day and work somewhere within Target as well.
I want to work for a company that gives back and accepts all people. People I’ve met who work at Target can’t say enough good things about the company.
What has your St. Thomas scholarship meant to you?
To have the opportunity to attend such an incredible school. It’s been nice not having to worry about so much of the financial burden. My classes and grades will set me up for the future.
Class Year: Senior
Scholarship: David and Barbara Koch Scholarship
Hometown: West St. Paul, Minnesota
Majors: Catholic Studies, Communication & Journalism
Introduction to St. Thomas
Kids the same age as our family’s lived next door to St. Thomas. We’d run onto campus to play all the time. I loved being there.
So coming here was a fait accompli?
It’s the only school I applied to. I wanted to go far enough from home where I had to move out, but where I could still see family when I wanted to.
How do Catholic Studies and Communication and Journalism complement one another?
I have always had a passion to learn to write really well. In a day and age where media credibility is questioned, I want to produce quality content to get to the truth of matters. I would love to take a more Catholic spin on journalism.
Is there an article you’re burning to write?
One topic I would be super-interested in writing about is exhorting people to virtue rather than vague ideas of being a good person; a return to virtue ethics, to giving people principles in life to work for, rather than just doing good. Individual people change the world.
What does your scholarship mean to you?
Receiving aid from so many donors reminds me that my education is not my own. I am part of a community that has chosen to invest a lot of money in me because they think I can do real good. Regardless of what field I work in or where I go there will be opportunities to help others. I am here to try and make the world a better place.
Class Year: Sophomore
Scholarship: J. Benz Millard Scholarship
Hometown: Bloomington, Minnesota
Major: Actuarial Science
One of the reasons you chose St. Thomas was for its actuarial science major. What interests you about that major?
Actuaries calculate risk and the probability of events happening for insurance companies, mainly. It is interesting to me how you can take numbers that may seem confusing or meaningless on their own and make them have meaning through interpretation.
How has joining clubs enhanced your experience?
Linkages is a mentoring program for first-generation college students or underrepresented students. As a mentee freshman year, I had a Linkages mentor who was super-understanding and helpful. I could ask him anything. This year I am looking forward to being a mentor.
And you’re a musician, too?
Yes. I play the flute in the Symphonic Band. We have two concerts every semester, and we often get to work with guest conductors. It’s a fun group and a great environment.
What has motivated you to volunteer through St. Thomas?
I think it’s great that St. Thomas is all for the common good and that their clubs require two hours of service for each member. So many people for one reason or another can’t help themselves. I think it is our responsibility to help them if we’re in a position to.
How has your scholarship impacted you?
There are so many opportunities I’ve had at St. Thomas I am so thankful for. This scholarship has made college possible.
Your gifts INSPIRE, SUPPORT, HELP
Is there a better way to build students’ skills than to ask them to solve problems for top companies? We don’t think so. In the St. Thomas Engineering Senior Design Clinic last spring, 132 students formed 26 multidisciplinary teams to solve real-world engineering puzzles. Their design triumphs included:
- Zero Pressure Drop Flowmeter for 3M
- Orbital Atherctomy Pump for Cardiovascular Systems
- Heater Body Forming using Collaborative Robot for Pentair
- Tubing Cutter and Labeler for Graco
- Medical Device Recorder for Nonin Medical
- Surgical Heart Valve Anchor for Abbott
- Power Steering Bench for Polaris
- Electronics Bond Shear Tester for V-TEK International
To see all 26 projects, visit
Applied learning happens beyond engineering within widespread fields. For example:
- Prof + Prof, piloted last year, placed a professional side by side with a professor to teach in two Opus Business College graduate courses to the delight of students who’ve asked for more real-world input.
- The Law School is number one in the country for externships. Students are paired one-on-one with law professionals for mentorship and have the opportunity to work on actual law cases.
We're creating a better path for the birds and the bees … and us. The stunning Pollinator Path that winds through our campus is creating buzz about how gardens can grow innovation, creativity and collaboration to promote and restore human and environmental well-being. The Pollinator Path attracts more than bees and other important pollinators – it draws curious neighbors, visiting school children and St. Thomas students who are inspired to make change as small as a city garden plot or as big as a research project with the potential to impact life far and wide.
We’re shining our glasses to reinvent the classroom. STELAR (St. Thomas E-Learning and Research) is teaching faculty to use the most current technology in classrooms and research.
- Students use virtual-reality glasses to experience what it is like to live in a refugee camp or to step onto an archeological site.
- They can take all or part of a class online.
- They can view lectures by faculty before class, so class time can be active learning time – for projects, small-group discussion and faculty interaction.
The 2016-17 Stewardship Report
is available for download.