Milestones in the history of athletics at the University of St. Thomas, including its unprecedented leap to Division I college athletics, are now on permanent display in the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex (AARC).
The mural, titled “Flight Path to Division One,” is one aspect of St. Thomas Athletics’ partnership with Wings Financial Credit Union. Visitors can see the mural on the first floor, outside of Schoenecker Arena.
“Flight Path to Division One” is the result of a collaboration between St. Thomas Athletics’ multimedia rights holder, Tommie Sports Properties; design company, Art Partners Group; Ann Kenne from the University Archives; Gene McGivern from Athletic Communications; and the Wings Financial marketing team.
The timeline mural helps to tell a visual story of Wings Financial through the years parallel to St. Thomas’ journey to Division I athletics.
The first panel opens with a brief introduction to both Wings Financial and St. Thomas Athletics:
“Wings Financial Credit Union, founded in 1938, has made a strong impact on the Twin Cities for many decades, and is a new partner with St. Thomas. Wings Financial Credit Union is one of the nation’s largest credit unions and shares many of the same core values that St. Thomas embraces. Wings has built a reputation of giving back to communities through the organizations they work with and the local areas they operate. Wings Financial provides active volunteer efforts, free financial education, student scholarship programs, and financial donations.
The University of St. Thomas has built a tradition of excellence since its founding in 1885. From those humble beginnings, the university continues to grow and evolve across many fronts, including intercollegiate athletics. After winning 16 national team championships and more than 60 individual championships from 1980-2021, St. Thomas started a new chapter as a Division I institution on July 1, 2021.”
The mural is one of many aspects of the partnership between Wings Financial and St. Thomas Athletics. Other pieces include financial literacy programs for student-athletes, in-game promotions to give students an opportunity to win a $10,000 scholarship, offering a co-branded Tommie/Wings Financial debit card for new members, annual support to the 1904 Club, and more.
See photos of the mural by St. Thomas photographer Mark Brown below. Stop by the AARC to see the mural and learn about the history of Wings Financial and St. Thomas Athletics today.