Dr. Don J. Briel, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas and holder of the Koch Chair in Catholic Studies since 1996, has informed the university of his decision to retire as director of the center and as a faculty member of the university effective Aug. 31.
Briel has served in teaching, administrative and leadership positions at St. Thomas since 1981. In 1996, he established the Center for Catholic Studies to provide a wide range of activities and programs designed to enhance the Catholic mission and identity of the university and to contribute to national and international developments in Catholic higher education.
President Julie Sullivan thanked Briel for his years of service to the university and the Center for Catholic Studies.
“Dr. Briel is the epitome of an ‘academic entrepreneur,’ and his vision and leadership have been instrumental in the development of our robust Catholic Studies program and center,” she said. “I greatly appreciate Dr. Briel’s dedication and contributions, throughout his many years of distinguished service, to the success of the program and the center, which will continue to serve important roles in the development of Catholic higher education worldwide.”