May 24, 2023 Newsletter

Commencement 2023

Sights and Sounds: 2023 Undergraduate Commencement

With joy on their faces and an extra spring in their step, more than 1,300 undergraduate students walked across the University of St. Thomas commencement stage on Saturday, May 20. Split into a trio of ceremonies, the Class of 2023 celebrated their accomplishments with thousands of proud parents, faculty and staff cheering them on. Student…
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A Moment for Joy: 2023 Graduate Commencement

In a pair of commencement ceremonies May 21, graduate students at the University of St. Thomas celebrated their accomplishments as they were awarded their degrees. Newly inaugurated President Rob Vischer encouraged the graduates to appreciate the moment. "I hope one legacy for each of you is an unshakable recognition of that spark, that energy, that…
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Sights and Sounds: 2023 Dougherty Family College Commencement

The Dougherty Family College commencement
When 2023 Dougherty Family College commencement speaker Ayoko Agbobly took the stage to address attendees, she had an air of confidence. Koko, as she is known to her friends, had come a long way from "the quiet kid in the front of the class who had so much to say but was too shy to…
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School of Law Celebrates 2023 Commencement

Students outside of law school.
The University of St. Thomas School of Law conferred degrees to 184 students on May 20, 2023. Among them, 147 students earned their Juris Doctor (J.D.), 16 earned an LL.M. in U.S. law and 21 earned a master's or LL.M. degree in organizational ethics and compliance. Professor Thomas Berg, who was elected professor of the…
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Sights and Sounds: Class of 2023 March Out of the Arches

March Out of the Arches.
The undergraduate college years for the members of the University of St. Thomas Class of 2023 required resilience and dedication due to the pandemic. On May 19, they marched out of the Arches to Summit Avenue to symbolize their transition to St. Thomas alumni, where those skills will help them in the next phase of…
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Talee Vang: On a Mission to Create Change

Talee Vang - banner image
Dr. Talee Vang was not sure a master's degree was in the cards for her – much less a doctorate. A refugee from Thailand who came to the U.S. with her family when she was 2 years old, she was often the only Hmong student in the classroom when she pursued her bachelor's degree at…
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Laura Hankins '23 Selected for Fulbright Award

Laura Hankins headshot.
University of St. Thomas senior Laura Hankins has earned the distinguished honor of being named a grantee from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. "When I found out I had received the award, I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, thanking God for the opportunity I had been given," Hankins said. "As I was still shaking…
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More News

Update on COVID-19 Protocols

University of St. Thomas COVID-19 Update - All for the Common Good on purple background
With the end of the federal public health emergency for COVID-19 on May 11, the University of St. Thomas has announced a series of changes to its pandemic response, including:

- Vaccination: Effective immediately, the university is lifting its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all students, faculty and staff. St. Thomas is still strongly recommending for community members to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

- Self-reporting: Consistent with Minnesota Department of Health requirements, individuals who live on campus (students and employees) will still be required to self-report if they test positive for COVID-19. All other students, faculty and staff who do not live on campus will no longer be required to self-report a positive test result, but they must isolate in accordance with CDC guidance.

- COVID Leave Policy: On June 30, 2023, the university will formally end its COVID leave benefit, which was seldom used over the last year. Human Resources will continue to work directly with any hourly employees who test positive for COVID-19 and do not have enough sick leave to cover their isolation periods.

- Cases Dashboard: The dashboard has been updated for the final time on May 22, 2023, with case counts from the week of May 13-19. Two new COVID-19 positive cases, one employee and one student, were reported.

For the full list of changes and more information, learn more here.

Fiscal Year-End Deadlines and Policies

The university's current fiscal year will end on June 30, 2023, with the new fiscal year (FY24) beginning on July 1, 2023. Budget managers and requestors should plan appropriately as we transition from one fiscal year to the next. Click here to read more about upcoming deadlines and procedures.

Seen Around St. Thomas

Graduating first-generation students are honored at the Proud to Be First pinning ceremony ahead of commencement weekend. (Nick Reichert/University of St. Thomas)

In the News

Media Highlights: Yohuru Williams, history professor and founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative, recently spoke with Inside Higher Education about why he led 24 hours of teaching and education on the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education from St. Petersburg, Florida.

Inside Higher Education spoke with Dougherty Family College Dean Buffy Smith about how the two-year college is the University of St. Thomas' solution to closing the achievement gap.

Manjeet Rege, software and data science professor at the School of Engineering, recently spoke with WCCO Radio about regulation consideration for AI, in addition to potential future scenarios.

David Vang, finance professor at Opus College of Business, recently spoke with the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal about the competitive market of mid-sized banks.

Read St. Thomas "In the News" stories.

In Case You Missed It

First Cohort of GHR Fellows Graduates with Eye on the Common Good
Law School Reports High Employment Outcomes
Perky Plant: On a Mission to Improve Mental Health

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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