Studio portrait of Liz PojarPlease remember in your prayers Liz Pojar, who has worked at St. Thomas since 1991. She was with her family when she died yesterday at her parents’ home.

“Liz planned events at St. Thomas for nearly 24 years, always with a smile and a thoroughness, and she will be dearly missed,” said her former supervisor Doug Hennes, vice president for university and government relations.

Pojar graduated from St. Thomas in 1986 and was hired as an assistant director in the Alumni Office in 1991, promoted to associate alumni director, and in 2000 promoted to director of special events in the University Relations Department. She left that department in 2002 to join what became the Alumni and Constituent Relations Department as a program manager. Over the years, she planned and coordinated many St. Thomas events, including undergraduate and graduate commencement, St. Thomas Day and the President’s Christmas Party. She also was the liaison for retired faculty and staff members.

“Liz had an extraordinary amount of simple elegance,” said Rachel Wobschall, Ed.D., senior director of alumni relations, and Pojar’s supervisor. “One of her true hallmarks and contributions has been as the lead planner for commencement since 2005. One of the most poignant memories for me is last year, when she was having health problems, I saw her on a scooter taking care of commencement details at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It showed her commitment.”

Pojar loved to spend time watching her son, Joey, play sports, taking family trips to Florida, skiing, traveling with friends, especially to Bayfield and the North Shore, and playing with their dog, Reggie.

“Her life as a mom was clearly her priority in her life. And she did a great job at it,” Wobschall said. “She raised a great young man.”

Pojar is survived by her son, parents, two brothers and a sister.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 9, at the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul. Visitation at the chapel is one hour prior to the Mass. Following the Mass, a luncheon will be held in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall, third floor, Anderson Student Center.

Liz had created the John Pojar Memorial Scholarship in 2000, in memory of her husband. The scholarship supports St. Thomas students who graduated from St. Agnes High School in St. Paul.

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9 Responses

  1. Matthew Galazen

    Liz, You were a delightful person to be around. I will never forget the time I was able to spend getting to know you, and your amazing son Joey while studying at UST. You and your family are in my prayers. Thank you for being a great role model, mother, and leader for the UST community.
    God bless,

  2. Mary Rausch

    Liz Kennedy Pojar, you will be greatly missed. I still can’t believe you are gone from us. Your big smile, warm personality and strong faith made you a joy to be around. A diligent, hard-working event planner, you were always behind the scenes making memorable events for St. Thomas. You never wanted to be in the spotlight. You loved your job and it showed. In the 20+ years I have known you, I have never heard you say an unkind word about anyone. You really lived your faith.

    You were a great mother, as evidenced in your son, Joey. I know you were looking down on him when he gave a beautiful eulogy at your funeral yesterday and you must have been smiling with pride. What an impressive young man! l have looked to you as a role model for single parenting. You did it all with such grace and humility. I am in awe of your strength in the face of adversity. Liz, you and your contributions will not be forgotten.

  3. Jean Gray

    As an “Old Guard” alumnus I knew Liz from the time she started. Never without a welcoming smile, she was a genius at making sure surprise changes in the events she managed were dealt with quickly and nearly invisibly. I served as her “gap filler”. She frequently dropped me into a table missing a guest to keep the event flowing without a hitch. Tireless and dedicated, she was a true asset to UST and its alumni.

  4. Dede Hering

    I volunteered to help Liz with Commencement Ceremonies for many years. Those events were always so well planned and went like clockwork. I will miss her smiling face. St. Thomas lost a dedicated, skilled employee and friend. May God Bless her family as they suffer this great loss.

  5. Miriam Williams

    Liz coordinated and oversaw many significant university events. She was a quiet, efficient and positive presence on whom we all could depend. I always looked forward to seeing her and enjoying the events which were the fruit of her labors. Living out of state, I was unaware that she was ill and am shocked and saddened to learn of her passing. Liz, her son and family are in my thoughts and prayers. I agree, she was very much part of the spirit of UST.

  6. Lezlee Hustad

    Liz was always a joyful presence . She always had a smile for everyone . I served on the Alumni board with Liz and we both were pregnant with our boys at the same time. I always looked forward to coming over to St. Thomas and visiting with Liz and talking about our son’s and all their adventures. Liz will be missed. All our thoughts and prayers will be with her family.

  7. Joann Statsman

    Liz was great to work with. She was always thoughtful and kind, while putting forth great effort on all the details to insure her events ran smoothly. She will be greatly missed.

  8. Barb Joynson

    This is a terrible time for all that knew and loved Liz Kennedy Pojar. She was always a great leader and dedicated UST employee, a great mother and daughter and a special friend to many.

    As quoted from an unknown source but something worth contemplating…
    “There is another side of grief, where the tears still flow, not as often. Where memories bring smiles, not just sadness. Where blessings are recognized, not just struggles. Where joy and peace are present, not just sorrow. Where you remember not just mourned and where peace happens for everyone. ”

    Our thoughts are with Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy, Joey Pojar and all the family and friends that will morn the loss of Liz Pojar.

    Sincere sympathy,
    The Joynson Family

  9. Mike Klein

    Liz was a thoughtful and dedicated champion of the St. Thomas spirit. So many events of the last two decades are remembered fondly due to her skillful and caring work. She will be missed.