Rob Vischer, Amy Goldman, and Pat Ryan
Brandon Woller ’17 / University of St. Thomas

Twin Cities Leaders Welcome Rob Vischer as 16th President of the University of St. Thomas

In Robert K. Vischer’s address during his May 12 inauguration as the 16th president of the University of St. Thomas, he thanked several people for attending. And several made remarks in person or by video congratulating him.

Some of the ones the former dean of the School of Law acknowledged included Sen. Amy Klobuchar, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Bishop Williams, Board of Trustees Chair Pat Ryan, Chair-Elect Jodee Kozlak, President Emeritus Father Dennis Dease, Immediate Past President Julie Sullivan, and many other trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, students, friends and members of his family. 

Here are highlights of some of the words spoken by those who made congratulatory remarks. See the videos for their full remarks: 

President Emeritus Father Dennis Dease 

This is a happy, happy day for this university community. I am certain that God loves the University of St. Thomas because you are taking up the position at the helm and … with you at the helm, St. Thomas will be in very good hands and its future will be bright. 

University of Santa Clara President Julie Sullivan, immediate past president of St. Thomas 

Rob, I have known you for more than a decade and I have watched with pride and delight as you propelled the law school to new heights through your strategic leadership. Rob, you are a man of conviction. A servant leader in its truest form. You lead by forming relationships, listening and genuinely accompanying others. You lead by example and by challenging yourself as much as you challenge others. I know that under your leadership, St. Thomas will accomplish things that we can’t even imagine yet. 

Dr. Penny Wheeler  

I was so honored and privileged to work on the presidential search committee with faculty and staff and other board members and while we had exceptional candidates, it was good that we had one right here that we all believed in. Your integrity is unparalleled; your wisdom remarkable; and your commitment to what makes this place so special to the common good is beyond. 

U.S. Bank CEO Andy Cecere ’82 

On behalf of the business community, as a St. Thomas alum and as a member of the Board of Trustees, I want to offer my congratulations to Rob on his appointment as the 16th president of the University of St. Thomas. Rob, I’ve seen the wonderful things you’ve done at the law school, and I know you’ll bring the same energy, passion and commitment to your role as president.  

Ecolab CEO and Chairman Christophe Beck  

Rob, under your leadership I'm confident that the university will continue to play a critical role in our community. We need you working with Ecolab and other partners to develop the next generation of innovators and leaders. So, on behalf of all of us in Ecolab, congratulations to you and the entire St. Thomas community on this super exciting day. 

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter 

President Vischer, as the leader of the largest private university here in Minnesota and one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, you have accepted a huge responsibility to continue guiding the next generation of young leaders and I know that you are up to that challenge. 

I know that you know this, but one of the greatest assets in this work is the community that sits around us today. Your dedication to education, your commitment to the students and staff of this institution and your underlying belief in the potential of this institution to have a remarkable impact on our entire planet is a respite I look forward to in the years to come. 

Mayor Melvin Carter

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz 

As a former teacher, I know firsthand the most important thing we can do for the future of our state, our country and the world is to provide students with the best education possible and I know how important postsecondary education is for students across this state. I look forward to continuing the tradition and working together to open the doors to a quality higher education for all Minnesotans.  

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum  

As a former teacher, education is an issue that’s close to my heart and Saint Paul is lucky to have such valuable higher education institutions that enrich our community and develop the workforce of the future. Mr. President, I look forward to working with you on closing the opportunity gap and giving more students access to the transformative power the higher education.   

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey 

Rob, I know you and I know that you’re going to be the right person to take this great university to the next level to further embed all of the work that you’re doing into the Twin Cities. Mr. President, you’re going to do this job with poise, with skill and, further, with partnership. So, I cannot wait to partner. 

Cardinal of Archdiocese of Chicago Blase Cupich ’71 

Rob, the depth and breadth of your experience well equips you to advance the university’s mission and meet the challenges of today’s world. You are so well suited to continue the university’s important tradition of enhancing the lives of students and the broader community inspired by the vision of Archbishop Ireland and the intellectual rigor of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

When Rob first set foot on this campus as a law professor, I wonder if he ever thought he would be waking up as the president of this great university. He might not have known then, but I have a feeling that the idea crossed some of his colleagues' minds, some of his students' minds because he has been a leader and a visionary for this great place from the very beginning. Rob, I know how committed you are to leading St. Thomas at this pivotal moment. You are ready to lead.