St. Thomas Day award videos can be seen online

St. Thomas Day award videos can be seen online

The University of St. Thomas community gathered Saturday, March 3, to celebrate its annual St. Thomas Day and to honor recipients of its Humanitarian, Distinguished Alumnus, Professor of the Year, Tommie and Monsignor James Lavin awards.

In past years, award recipients were introduced at the annual St. Thomas Day dinner, and traditionally the winners would give a speech.

More recently, a video program was prepared and shown for each award winner. Those videos now can be seen here by clicking on the links below. Each video runs about three minutes.

There also is a video on the life of St. Thomas benefactor I.A. O’Shaughnessy that was shown at a panel discussion Monday, March 5, in celebration of the centennial of his graduation from St. Thomas.

The videos were prepared by Web and Media Services, Alumni and Constituent Relations and University Relations. Dave Nimmer, professor emeritus of journalism and mass communications, narrated five videos. Maggie Feldman, a student, narrated the video on the Tommie Award winner.

The award winners, and the links, are below:

Distinguished Alumnus – This year's award was presented to Tom Kennelly of Napa, Calif., a retired attorney who once fought racketeering and organized crime under the late Robert Kennedy in Washington, D.C. Kennelly, 76, is a native of South St. Paul where he graduated from high school in 1947.

Humanitarian of the Year – Gary Ales of St. Paul’s Macalester-Groveland neighborhood received the 2007 Humanitarian of the Year Award for a life of service, especially through a service organization he founded called the St. Paul Friendship Club. Ales, who advised the Friendship Club for four decades, taught at St. Paul public schools for 37 years, from 1964 to 2001.

Professor of the Year – Dr. David Landry, of Roseville, is this year's Professor of the Year. The 46-year-old award recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarship and inspiration to students. An associate professor of theology, Landry has been teaching at St. Thomas for 16 years.

Monsignor James Lavin Award – Donald Peterson, of Mendota Heights, received this year's Lavin award, which honors a volunteer for service to the St. Thomas Alumni Association. Peterson, who retired after 33 years in law enforcement, teaches criminal justice courses at St. Thomas and served on the Alumni Association’s board of directors from 1989 to 1995.

 Tommie Award – David Wierzbicki was selected the 2007 Tommie Award winner by a vote of students, staff and faculty. The award has been given annually since 1931 to a senior who exemplifies the ideals of the university. Wierzbicki, of Shawnee, Kansas, is majoring in financial management and business economics. One of 27 nominees and three finalists for the award, he has been involved with a host of activities and organizations during his St. Thomas years.

The I.A. O’Shaughnessy video can be seen at