MINNEAPOLIS — Thirty years after Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota established its presence in Minneapolis, the university dedicated Brother Louis Hall on Feb. 13 to honor the president who pioneered the school’s rise to the forefront of adult education in Minnesota. The university also recognized five presidents who have contributed more than 125 years of service to higher education.
Brother Louis Hall, located at 2304 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, was named for Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from 1984 to 2005. Brother Louis’ legacy will live on in the three-level building that bears his name and houses several classrooms and offices. The building was purchased by the university in 2006 to expand its graduate school and professional programs.
“This university will never forget what you did here, what you made possible,” Brother William Mann, FSC, current president, said to Brother Louis during his remarks at the special ceremony in Minneapolis. “We have about 40,000 graduates of Saint Mary’s University and 20,000 of whom came through the (adult) programs in the last 20 years. That is an unbelievable legacy.”
Serving as the 11th president of Saint Mary’s University, Brother Louis was an innovator in the area of education and he’s lauded for expanding the graduate education offerings in the Twin Cities and beyond. Saint Mary’s is now one of the largest graduate schools in the state with enrollment at 4,300 and also offer several fully online programs. Brother Louis is also credited with leading many other innovations at Saint Mary’s during his two-decade tenure.
In addition to the building dedication, Brother Louis and four other Christian Brothers who have served as presidents at Lasallian universities throughout the country were presented with honorary doctorates at a special public ceremony. Brother Mel Anderson (Saint Mary’s College of California), Brother James Gaffney (Lewis University), Brother Michael McGinniss (La Salle University, Christian Brothers University) and Brother Thomas Scanlan (Manhattan College, Bethlehem University) combined with Brother Louis to total more than 125 years of service at the helm of Lasallian institutions of higher education.
“They are the giants of American Lasallian higher education, without a doubt,” Brother Louis said of his fellow Christian Brothers receiving honors at the event. “Each of these men gave 100 percent of their commitment to build American Lasallian higher education during very difficult and challenging times. I am so proud that I am being honored alongside these men and that I am able to call each of them my brothers.”
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of service and leadership. A private Lasallian Catholic institution, Saint Mary’s offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs. About 1,200 students are enrolled in the residential undergraduate college in Winona, established in 1912. Approximately 4,300 students are enrolled in the schools of graduate and professional programs, which offers master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as bachelor’s degree completion, certificate and specialist programs. The university delivers education to adults through campuses in Winona, Minneapolis and Nairobi, Kenya; centers in Apple Valley, Rochester and Oakdale; and at numerous other locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Jamaica. Saint Mary’s is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.