A male and female student sit back to back, signifying coeducation.

Forty Years of Coeducation - Mary Zimmer '84

As a 6-foot forward on the 1981-84 women’s basketball teams at St. Thomas, Mary Zimmer ’84 was a force in the lane. Now she’s a force in the financial services industry.

A regional president for Wells Fargo Advisors, Zimmer’s passion for advancing women’s roles in the finance field has helped advance her career, kept her connected to her alma mater and defined her legacy as a Tommie.

“I’m putting my money where my mouth is in terms of something I’m very passionate about,” said Zimmer, who recently accepted a role to lead Wells Fargo's diverse client segments aimed at including more women and multicultural clients. “The industry has huge opportunities … and we have the chance to accelerate the rate of change.”

Zimmer is no stranger to getting new initiatives rolling, including at St. Thomas. Eight years ago Zimmer returned to campus for a basketball game and, afterward, coach Ruth Sinn asked her and others about potentially starting a mentorship program for current players and basketball alumni. Zimmer had plenty of experience facilitating such connections from her time at RBC Wealth Management, and told her former Tommie teammate Sinn she would love to help get things started.

“It’s a great connection into someone who’s in their career and can help them navigate that,” Zimmer said. “It also reconnects those alumni back to the school.”

It has certainly helped do that for Zimmer, who sits on the Opus College of Business’ Strategic Board of Governors. Zimmer and her family also have solidified their support of young women earning degrees from Opus with an endowed scholarship, which has been in place for nearly a decade and “hopefully has a lasting impact,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer credited Sinn and Assistant Director of Annual Giving Jenny O’Brien '97 with helping facilitate such a strong relationship back to St. Thomas. With support from alumni like Zimmer, Tommie graduates will continue to help move the financial services field forward in its diversity.

“That’s something I’ve continued to be passionate about and woven into things I do career-wise … being an advocate for women in our business,” Zimmer said. “I do see it changing [throughout my career].”