MINNEAPOLIS — Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, president emeritus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, will be honored Thursday, Feb. 13, at a special event at the university’s Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis.
The event will include a dedication of Brother Louis Hall, formerly Park Avenue North (PAN). In addition, Brother Louis and four other Christian Brothers who have served as presidents at institutions throughout the nation will be recognized and presented with honorary doctorates. The event is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. in the Saint Mary’s University Center, 2540 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis. The indoor ceremony will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.
During a 21-year tenure that began in 1984, Brother Louis helped increase Saint Mary’s enrollment from 1,400 students to more than 5,000. He also oversaw expansion from a single Winona campus to locations in the Twin Cities, Rochester and Nairobi, Kenya. By 1996, graduate school enrollment had grown dramatically, and Twin Cities Business named Saint Mary’s the “Best College Turnaround” for that year. The Saint Mary’s University Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs have continued to build upon the strong foundation that was established 30 years ago under the leadership of Brother Louis.
The four other Christian Brothers to be recognized include:
• Brother Mel Anderson, FSC, past president of Saint Mary’s College of California
• Brother James Gaffney, FSC, president of Lewis University (Ill.)
• Brother Michael McGinniss, FSC, president of La Salle University (Pa.), past president of Christian Brothers University (Tenn.)
• Brother Thomas Scanlan, FSC, past president of Manhattan College (N.Y.), past vice chancellor of Bethlehem University (Palestine)
Together the five have served more than 125 years as leaders of Christian Brothers institutions that follow a heritage of innovative, student-centered education. The Christian Brothers religious order was founded by Saint John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers.