State of the University: Momentum and Aspirations

The University of St. Thomas’ place as Minnesota’s largest private university is well established, but Rob Vischer knows its impact can be felt far beyond the state’s borders. In his first State of the University address as St. Thomas’ president, Vischer indicated it’s time for more people across the country to know about the work happening at the 138-year-old institution.

“We have a good story to tell,” Vischer said.

The 16th president in St. Thomas’ history reflected on what’s been an incredibly eventful year at the annual event, highlighting several developments poised to help advance the journey from small Catholic liberal arts college to national comprehensive Catholic university.

“We have amazing things happening in our colleges and schools that can and should be elevated to increase our national visibility,” Vischer said.

He spoke about how the increase in federal funding through faculty-led grants and direct appropriations to the university's entrepreneurship programs and School of Engineering is helping St. Thomas gain national visibility, credibility and opportunities for partnerships that expand across the country.

From the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena to the Morrison Family College of Health and a capital campaign, Vischer provided examples of how St. Thomas is acting boldly in a changing higher education market.

He emphasized that a commitment to the St. Thomas mission will continue to be important as well.

“Understanding and experiencing a culture of encounter is not just a nice ‘add-on’ to our quality of life; it is central to the formation of our students and the lifetime flourishing of our graduates,” Vischer said. “And it is a central ingredient to our future success as a university.”