University of St. Thomas announces commencement speakers for May 8 and 22 ceremonies

For only the second time in its 125-year history, all of the University of St. Thomas’ new graduates this spring will cross off-campus stages in Minneapolis to receive their diplomas.

Because of construction under way on the new Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex, the university’s St. Paul campus isn’t exactly ready for company. So UST officials decided last year to move May 22 commencement ceremonies to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Meanwhile, St. Thomas’ School of Law had to move its ceremonies off campus, too. The nine-year-old school has hosted its own ceremonies since its first class graduated in 2004, but this year its atrium is too small to accommodate all the new grads and their guests. So May 8 commencement ceremonies for the new Juris Doctors will be held in Orchestra Hall.

Speakers for all St. Thomas commencement ceremonies have been announced: 

Judge Patrick Schiltz (2006 photo)

Judge Patrick Schiltz (2006 photo)

School of Law: Federal Judge Patrick Schiltz will address 159 School of Law graduates and their guests. Commencement ceremonies begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. A reception follows in the Schulze Grand Atrium of the School of Law, 11th Street and Harmon Place, in downtown Minneapolis.

A special Mass will precede the ceremonies for School of Law graduates and their guests at 10 a.m. in the Chapel of St. Thomas More at the school.

About the speaker: Schiltz, former associate dean of the St. Thomas School of Law, was nominated in December 2005 to the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. His investiture ceremony took place at St. Thomas in September 2006.

A Duluth, Minn., native, Schiltz is a graduate of the College of St. Scholastica and Harvard Law School. After serving as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Schiltz practiced law for eight years at Faegre & Benson, Minnesota’s second-largest law firm. He left practice in 1995 to join the faculty of the University of Notre Dame Law School. In 2000, returned to Minnesota to help establish the new law school at St. Thomas. Schiltz is one of six federal trial judges in Minnesota and maintains his chambers in the Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul.

Schiltz and his wife, Elizabeth Schiltz, a St. Thomas law professor, have four children.

Commencement Mass will be held for all St. Thomas graduates, their families and guests at 8 p.m. Friday, May 21, at the Basilica of St. Mary, 88 17th St. N., Minneapolis. Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas, will be the presider, and the university’s Liturgical Choir will sing. 

Amy Goldman

Amy Goldman

Graduate exercises:Amy Rauenhorst Goldman, chairman and executive director of the GHR Foundation, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and address about 300 recipients of graduate degrees awarded by St. Thomas’ College of Applied Professional Studies, School of Divinity, College of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering.

Graduate ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 22, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, 900 S. Fifth St., in downtown Minneapolis.

About the speaker: Goldman, a member of St. Thomas’ Board of Trustees since 2007, directs the work of the family foundation named for her parents, Gerald and Henrietta Rauenhorst; it assists organizations that are making the world a better place by effectively addressing major social problems.

Goldman is former chair and president of the Better Way Foundation, which provides funding for children living in poverty in the United States and for orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law at Tufts University. She also has an M.S. in political science from the University of California-Berkeley.

Global politics and economics have been Goldman’s academic and professional focus. She was an instructor and researcher at the Fletcher School, at Berkeley and at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. She also taught at Sogang University in Korea. She was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 1991-92 for continued research on the political economy of Asia. Subsequently, she was senior associate at International Trade Services in Washington, D.C., where she worked on trade negotiations and investment strategies for U.S. multinational corporations in 1997. In 2003 she moved with her family to Zagreb, Croatia, where her husband had been assigned for the World Bank.

Goldman has served on numerous corporate, nonprofit and foundation boards. She and her husband, Philip, have three children and live in Minneapolis.

Father Marvin O’Connell (ca. 1970)

Father Marvin O’Connell (ca. 1970)

Baccalaureate exercises:The Rev. Marvin O’Connell, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame and a former faculty member at St. Thomas, will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at St. Thomas’ baccalaureate ceremonies.

The ceremonies, at which about 1,200 undergraduates will receive bachelor’s degrees, begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

About the speaker: O’Connell, a Minneapolis native, studied at the St. Paul Seminary and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis before receiving a doctoral degree in history from Notre Dame in 1959. He began teaching history at St. Thomas in 1958 and was named Professor of the Year at St. Thomas in 1971 before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 1972. At Notre Dame he chaired the History Department from 1974 to 1980; from 1993 to 1995 he directed the university’s undergraduate program in London.

A prolific author, O’Connell is well known in this area for his newest book, Pilgrims to the Northland: The Archdiocese of St. Paul, 1840-1962 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009), the first narrative history of what is now known as the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His John Ireland and the American Catholic Church (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1988) is a biography of the first archbishop of St. Paul and founder of the University of St. Thomas. His biography Edward Sorin(University of Notre Dame Press, 2001) chronicles the life of the French missionary priest who founded the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. George Buckley (Photo credit: 3M)

Dr. George Buckley (Photo credit: 3M)

Opus College of Business graduate ceremonies: St. Thomas trustee Dr. George Buckley, chairman, president and chief executive officer of 3M, will address about 400 recipients of graduate degrees from St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business. Buckley also will receive the Dean’s Medal of Excellence at the ceremonies.

Ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 22, in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

The Dean’s Graduate Business Reception, which precedes commencement day, will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20, in the atrium of Schulze Hall on St. Thomas’ campus in downtown Minneapolis.

About the speaker: Prior to joining 3M in December 2005, Buckley was chairman and chief executive officer of Brunswick Corp., the Lake Forest, Ill.-based manufacturer and marketer of pleasure boats, marine engines and other recreational products. He also is a former executive of St. Louis-based Emerson Electric Co., a global technology company. Prior to joining Emerson he was managing director of the Central Services Division of the British Railways Board.

Buckley studied at the Universities of Southampton and Huddersfield in England, where he earned a Ph.D. in engineering. He also had a B.Sc. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Huddersfield, from which he also received an honorary D.Sc. degree in engineering. In 2007 he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from St. Thomas.

In addition to St. Thomas and 3M, Buckley serves on the boards of Archer Daniels Midland and Minnesota Public Radio.

For additional information: Graduating students and their guests are invited to visit St. Thomas’ commencement Web site for details on hotel accommodations, photography, parking and more.

The last time all of St. Thomas' spring commencement ceremonies were held in Minneapolis? 1980, after St. Thomas' old Armory had been torn down, and construction was under way on Schoenecker Arena and Coughlan Field House – both of which were razed recently to make way for Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex.  On May 24, 1980, 121 St. Thomas graduates received degrees in spring ceremonies at the old Minneapolis Auditorium. It was razed in 1989 to make way for the Minneapolis Convention Center. There you have it.