Nov. 29, 2023 Newsletter


Overcoming Heart Surgery to Excel in Leadership

Brayden LeLoup with boats.
Being diagnosed with a heart condition that required open heart surgery when he was a high school junior transformed University of St. Thomas student Brayden LeLoup '25. As an active member of his high school's tennis and mountain biking teams, he was devastated when doctors told him he may never play sports again. Fortunately for…
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An Economics Legend Turns 100 Alongside Department

Professor Emeritus Demos Hadjiyanis
100 years is an achievement worth celebrating, and a University of St. Thomas professor is marking the occasion right alongside his beloved Department of Economics. Professor Emeritus Demos Hadjiyanis, who retired from his full-time position in 1990, turned 100 on Dec. 1, 2023. The milestone birthday came as the Department of Economics celebrated its own…
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Center for the Common Good Attends World Day of the Poor Conference

United Nations headquarters.
University of St. Thomas student Maddy Orr and staff member Manuela Hill-Muñoz recently attended a conference at the Church of the U.N. in New York City to learn about the World Day of the Poor, as established by Pope Francis in 2016. The conference was organized by Catholic Relief Services (CRS, the official international Catholic…
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Holidays at St. Thomas

St. Thomas Christmas Concert Celebrates Mary Agnes McQuinn

The St. Thomas Choirs, Singers, Orchestra an Wind Ensemble perform A St. Thomas Christmas: Dawning Light, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis on December 4, 2022.
The 36th annual St. Thomas Christmas concert, "Reflections of Gratitude," is dedicated in memory of Mary Agnes McQuinn, beloved philanthropist and music lover. The concert, to be held on Dec. 3 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, features over 200 student performers in Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Donne Unite, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and String Orchestra. Brass…
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Tales from the Archives: Christmas Choral Music at St. Thomas

Christmas concert.
Anticipation is building as the university community eagerly awaits the annual Christmas concert at Orchestra Hall Dec. 3. Delighting in this cherished tradition, look back to the rich history of the annual Christmas concerts at St. Thomas. Some of the first Christmas concerts date to the 1930s when the student choral ensembles of the College…
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Dec. 4: Join Campus Ministry for Las Posadas

Join Campus Ministry for this traditional celebration accompanying Mary and Joseph as they look for an inn. The group will knock at doors at ASC and celebrate afterward at Scooter's. Las Posadas starts at 4 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the Al and Brenda Iversen Hearth Room (ASC 340).

Dec. 6: Take Time to Pause at Advent Reflections

The Office for Mission is hosting a morning of reflection on the beauty that surrounds our campus this Advent season. Dr. Mark McInroy and Father Chris Collins will lead a discussion on the Hoedeman Gallery of Sacred Art followed by a time to pause. Advent Reflections is Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 9-11 a.m. in Iversen Center for Faith LL16.

Dec. 9: Winter Children's Carnival

All staff members are invited to bring their kids and grandkids to the 2023 Children's Winter Carnival. Join the Staff Council for treats, fun activities and a visit with Santa to kick off the holiday season. The fun runs from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex field house on Dec. 9. Please RSVP.

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.

Other News and Events

Nov. 30: Praying Over Jerusalem: Reflections on Palestine and Israel

Join College of Arts and Sciences Theology Department faculty Fuad Naeem and Kimberly Vrudny for this conversation about Israel and Palestine. Drawing from the mutual respect they share for the value of Muslim, Jewish and Christian lives in the region, they will begin to approach many significant issues animating the conflict, including: the role of religion, competing claims to the land, British control of Palestine following World War I, the shadow of the Holocaust, the birth of Israel and the question of its legitimacy. They will also discuss the emergence of nationalism and religious fundamentalism in the Middle East, and the struggle for Palestinian statehood.

Cognizant of the rise of Islamophobia and antisemitism in the U.S., Professors Vrudny and Naeem will be sensitive to the ongoing suffering of Palestinians and Israelis in the region. Moderated by Dr. Shaherzad Ahmadi, Department of History, the evening will include an opportunity to engage in respectful dialogue during a time for questions and responses from our speakers.

The event, reserved for the St. Thomas community, takes place Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. in O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium. Learn more on OneSt.Thomas.

Dec. 1: Join Cor Jesu at Saint Paul Seminary

Join young adults from around the Twin Cities for an evening of adoration, worship, music and fellowship. Cor Jesu is a First Friday devotion for college students and young adults that takes place in St. Mary's Chapel at The Saint Paul Seminary. Father David Blume, director of vocation, will lead the evening on Friday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m.

Dec. 1: Put on Your Dancing Shoes for Swing Dance

Students are invited to join the Swing Dance Club in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall for the club's fall dance on Dec. 1. The evening's theme is Greco-Roman Getdown (think Greek/Roman Mythology). A swing dancing lesson will kick off the evening at 7 p.m., followed by open social dancing until 10:30 p.m. The St. Thomas Jazz Bands will be performing live music. Beginners are always welcome, and no experience is necessary.

Dec. 6: Sites That Inspire: Light in the Darkness

Winter Chapel
The Claritas Initiative invites the community for a special tour through the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Iversen Center for Faith. The evening will explore the beauty of our campus, which shines even during the cold and dark days of winter.​ Sites That Inspire: Light in the Darkness gets underway inside the chapel at 4 p.m. on Dec. 6.

Seen Around St. Thomas

Attendees pose for a photo at the Fifth Annual Veteran’s Ball in Woulfe Alumni Hall on November 10, 2023, in St. Paul.
Attendees pose for a photo at the fifth annual Veterans Ball in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall. (Brandon Woller '17/University of St. Thomas)

In the News

Media Highlights:
Rachel Moran, professor at the School of Law, recently spoke with KARE 11 about an increase in the number of people being charged with fleeing police, and the reasons behind the trend.

Mark Sorenson-Wagner, director of career development and corporate engagement, recently spoke with The Hechinger Report about strategies for more effective career preparation and placement for college students.

Kim Sovell, marketing professor at Opus College of Business, recently spoke with KSTP-TV about how Black Friday sales have turned into "Black November" sales.

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

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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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