First-year students walk around the statue of Archbishop John Ireland during the 2018 March Through the Arches ceremony.

Campus Celebrates Founder's Day Sept. 25

Campus picnics will inaugurate a new St. Thomas celebration: Founder’s Day, Tuesday, Sept. 25.  All students, staff and faculty are welcome.

  • St. Paul campus: A free picnic in Monahan Plaza begins at noon. A program begins at 12:30 p.m. (Rain site: Field House, Anderson Athletic and Recreation Center.)
  • Minneapolis campus: A free picnic follows a 12:30 p.m. program in the Schulze Grand Atrium at St. Thomas’ School of Law.

Sept. 25, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Archbishop John Ireland, the first Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and founder in 1885 of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, predecessor of four institutions (three of which thrive today): Saint Thomas Academy, the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Thomas.

Ireland was a well-known civic and religious leader at the turn of the century, advocating for state support for Catholic schools, care for immigrants, the Americanization of Catholicism and progressive social ideals. He also commissioned the construction of the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.

Watch for other events throughout the year commemorating Ireland’s legacy.