Spotlighted in this issue is Tom Holloran, accurately tagged in our feature story as possessing an “everyman” quality. True enough, but the truth in this characterization is not because Tom Holloran is just like the rest of us, not because he is easily forgotten and not because he goes almost unnoticed in a crowd.

No, Tom Holloran has unmistakable presence – a spiritual serenity that exudes warmth and wisdom, care and consideration. No, Tom Holloran does not blend in; School of Law faculty, staff, students, and alumni are keenly aware of the unique gifts that Tom Holloran brings to all his daily interactions. Tom’s “everyman” dimension derives from the fact that he moves effortlessly and with a gentle sensitivity among men and women from all walks of life. As his longtime assistant Mary Edel-Joyce describes, Tom “makes everyone feel comfortable,” whether cook or CEO, mail clerk or archbishop.

As our feature story on Tom so vividly illustrates, the Tom Holloran whom I, my colleagues, and so many of our students have come to know is actually one-of-a-kind. Tom is one whom we would like to become. Indeed, Tom Holloran embodies the virtues and values I and my colleagues hope to instill among generations of School of Law graduates – the soft skills of superb professionalism, integrity, honesty and servant leadership. For Tom, these soft skills have been both keys to his extraordinary professional achievement and the well-deserved fruits of a faithful life, Tom’s daily courageous decision to answer God’s call to become all that we should be, all that we can be.

We are greatly honored, therefore, that one of the centers of the School of Law’s intellectual activity and its principal outreach to the Twin Cities professional community – the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions – bears Tom’s name. Led by Professor Neil Hamilton, the Holloran Center’s research and education mission is to foster the soft skills and ethical values among all professionals, and especially among our own students and graduates, which are so vital to long term professional success. Our hope is that the Holloran Center, as well as many of our other programs, will help facilitate the development of many more Tom Hollorans.

Good luck on that! Tom Holloran is one-of-a-kind. And we are fortunate that Tom has chosen to donate the gifts of his person to our School of Law community. God bless Tom and his loving wife, Patty.


Thomas M. Mengler

Dean and Ryan Chair in Law

University of St. Thomas School of Law

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