Dec. 7, 2023 Newsletter


St. Thomas Launches AI Master of Science Degree

Artificial intelligence graphic.
The latest master's degree program offered by Minnesota's largest private university addresses a growing need for organizations seeking skilled professionals who can harness the power of artificial intelligence to enhance efficiency, make data-driven decisions and innovate. The University of St. Thomas' Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence, which was developed in consultation with Twin Cities…
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President Rob Vischer and Dr. Phil Esten '95 Named to TCB 100 List

Rob Vischer and Phil Esten.
From new facilities that include the Schoenecker Center and the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena to the first Master of Science in Nursing graduates, the University of St. Thomas is being bold in a changing higher education market. And the Minnesota business community is taking note. Twin Cities Business recognized two of the university's high-profile…
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Vote for Three Tommie Award Nominees

This is a reminder to complete your vote for the 2024 Tommie Award finalists! Check your email for your unique ballot. Voting ends today, Dec. 7.

There were nearly 30 nominees this year, representing the College of Arts and Sciences, Opus College of Business, the School of Engineering and the School of Education. The group of nominees includes Minnesota students, out-of-state students, Dougherty Family College transition scholars, first-generation students, international students and transfer students.

The Tommie Award is presented each spring semester to a University of St. Thomas senior who, according to St. Thomas students, faculty and staff, best represents the ideals of St. Thomas Aquinas through scholarship, leadership and campus involvement.

Father Andrew Jaspers '13 Provides Comfort to the Sick

Fr Jaspers recites last rites
During a time of fear and uncertainty, Father Andrew Jaspers '13 provided comfort to those afflicted with COVID-19. Jaspers, an adjunct faculty member in the University of St. Thomas Philosophy Department, became a hospital chaplain when the pandemic began. He served full time at Hennepin County Medical Center. "That was ground zero in Minnesota for…
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Holidays at St. Thomas

St. Thomas Celebrates Holiday Season With Christmas Tree Lighting

Tree lighting ceremony in Anderson Student Center.
University of St. Thomas students, faculty and staff kicked off the holiday season Nov. 29 in the atrium of Anderson Student Center with the 27th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The event featured musical performances by Cadenza and The Summit Singers, as well as a special appearance by Santa Claus. President Rob Vischer and Tommie…
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Holidays at St. Thomas: Hanukkah 101

Menorah Lighting
The holiday season is one of light and warmth at the University of St. Thomas, and that glow is about to get even brighter. Hanukkah, an eight-day holiday celebrated by Jewish people around the world, begins in 2023 at nightfall on Dec. 7. Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is a time of celebration as…
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Dec. 9: Chapel Arts Series Winter Concert

Concert promo for Luminous Night of the Soul
Conductor Patrick Schneider and the Basilica of St. Mary Cathedral Choir join University of St. Thomas music faculty Jacob Benda and violinist Allison Ostrander for an evening of music inspired by the seasons of Advent and winter. Featuring works by Ola Gjeilo, Jessie Montgomery, Stephen Paulus, Antonio Vivaldi and more. The Chapel Arts Series concert is free and takes place in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9.

Dec. 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration

Dec. 12 is the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Join the Spanish Mass at noon in the Chapel of St Thomas Aquinas, followed by a procession to Scooter's in Anderson Student Center for a reception and serenata. Sponsors of this event are SDIS, Holidays at St. Thomas, DAB, HOLA, and Campus Ministry.
RSVP on TommieLink.

Dec. 12: Celebrate at St. Thomas Hanukkah Party

Hanukkah Party
All students are welcome to celebrate Hanukkah with Hillel and Chabad at the St. Thomas Hanukkah Party. There will be a menorah lighting, sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts), dreidel playing and much more. You will also have a chance at winning a $100 gift card, perfect if you still need to buy Hanukkah gifts. Hosted by Campus Ministry, Minnesota Hillel, and Chabad MacGroveland, the Hanukkah Party gets underway at 4:30 p.m. in ASC Dorsey Commons Dec. 12.

Dec. 16: Lessons and Carols for Advent

Join The Saint Paul Seminary schola, mixed choir and instrumental ensembles for an evening of Advent hymns and readings preparing your heart and mind for the Christmas season. The free event, open to the public, will also be livestreamed on and The Saint Paul Seminary Facebook and YouTube pages.

Seen Around St. Thomas

The Nativity scene, depicting the day Jesus Christ was born, sits atop the Arches. (Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas)

In the News

Media Highlights:
EVP and Provost Eddy Rojas and Paola Ehrmantraut, Endowed Chair in the Humanities and director of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, were both quoted in a story from the Star Tribune about the importance of diversity in the workplace and the development of inclusive leaders to create a more productive working environment.

Students Georges Macheta and Gabriel Riegert recently spoke with KARE 11 about their business venture, Converteca, which seeks to find the best way to recycle lithium-ion batteries in a sustainable manner.

Karen Howard, professor of music education, spoke with the Sahan Journal about access to Somali music resources in Minnesota.

Read more St. Thomas "In the News" stories.

In Case You Missed It

Overcoming Heart Surgery to Excel in Leadership
St. Thomas Christmas Concert Celebrates Mary Agnes McQuinn
An Economics Legend Turns 100 Alongside Department

Know of anything or anyone interesting around the university that would make for a good Newsroom feature story? Let us know at

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