Photo by Mark Brown
St. Paul campus aerial view.

President's Letter: Build, and Ever Press Forward

As you may know, after nine years serving as president of St. Thomas, I have made the difficult decision to leave as of June 1 to become president of Santa Clara University in California. The unique combination of leading an outstanding Jesuit, Catholic institution, along with the strong pull of my family, made it an opportunity that I could not pass up.

We‘re at an incredibly exciting point in St. Thomas’ history, which made the decision to leave all the harder. At the same time, leaving is made easier knowing that St. Thomas will be in excellent hands under the leadership of Interim President Robert Vischer, whose work as dean of the School of Law for almost 10 years has been exemplary. And I know that I leave at a time of great momentum and opportunity, which only bodes well for the St. Thomas community far into the future.

President Julie Sullivan
Photo by Joseph Lavigne

Truly, my optimism about St. Thomas has never been higher. Despite the unprecedented challenges of the past couple of years, we have built, in the words of Archbishop John Ireland, ever forward.

From our historic leap from D-III to D-I athletics, to the announcement of our new School of Nursing, to the strides made in our national rankings, we have so much to be proud of as a community. In this edition of the magazine, you will see how today’s students continue to be shaped by our Catholic intellectual tradition and convictions, becoming the morally responsible leaders the world needs. You will read about how the innovation and commitment from our faculty have resulted in an increase in the number of competitive federal grants we have received. And you will see many examples of how we are leveraging our momentum to further our Catholic mission to advance the common good.

I am so grateful and feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to lead this remarkable community, and to share this moment in St. Thomas history with you. In the years to come, I know that St. Thomas will continue to build: bricks and mortar alongside capacity and vision, diversity and goals, legacy and reach. I know that the practical optimism of Archbishop Ireland will continue to guide us. Tommies will build, and ever press forward, toward a future full of hope and expanded possibilities for its students, community, and the world.

Rob Vischer Named Interim President

Interim President Rob Vischer
Photo by Mark Brown

Vischer came to St. Thomas in 2011 and has served as dean of the School of Law since 2013. His scholarship explores the intersection of law, religion and public policy. Before entering academia, he practiced corporate litigation in Chicago and clerked for three federal judges. He received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

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