Father Dennis Dease, president emeritus of St. Thomas, has received an award from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

Dease received the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh Award, named after the late University of Notre Dame president, for “outstanding contributions to Catholic higher education.” The ACCU conferred the honor Saturday on Dease, St. Thomas’ 14th president from 1991 to 2013, at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Dease is a former ACCU board chairman and also served as American representative to the International Federation of Catholic Universities and on the board of the National Catholic Education Association. He has been on the St. Thomas Board of Trustees since 1982, and before he became president he taught theology at St. Thomas, was spiritual director and dean of formation at the St. Paul Seminary, and was rector of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.

He received the NCEA’s highest honor – the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award – in 2008 in recognition of his lifelong work as a Catholic educator.

Among those in attendance at the ACCU banquet were St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan; Alverno College President Sister Andrea Lee, president of St. Catherine University from 1998-2016; Tom Mengler, president of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, new chair of the ACCU board and St. Thomas School of Law dean from 2002-2012; and Dr. Christopher Puto, president of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, and Opus College of Business dean at St. Thomas from 2002-2014.

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