Brian Hill, classroom and technical services coordinator at the University of St. Thomas’ downtown Minneapolis campus, will give a free guided tour of the university’s frescoes from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Dec. 28, at the campus, 1000 LaSalle Ave.

Hill will discuss the frescoes in the context of the Dec. 26-Jan. 1 celebration of Kwanzaa, the African-American festival that celebrates family, community and culture.

Artist Mark Balma completed the 17- by 112-foot atrium ceiling’s frescoes in 1994. They are an allegorical depiction of the seven virtues — faith, justice, prudence, hope, temperance, fortitude and charity — discussed by St. Thomas Aquinas, the university’s patron. Kwanzaa, too, celebrates seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

Hill has worked at UST for 12 years, 10 of them at the Minneapolis campus, where he witnessed the frescoes’ creation and produced a Web site about them. It can be found at

For further information about the tour, or to arrange special guided group tours, call (651) 962-4000 or send e-mail to



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