WINONA, Minn. — On May 17, close to 270 alumni and friends of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota gathered in Chicago to celebrate the university’s longstanding legacy of excellence in the sciences.
CAPTION: Tom Skilling, chief meteorologist for WGN-TV, received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota May 17 at a Chicago reception. Shown are, from left: Brother Robert Smith, vice president of Saint Mary’s Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs; Michael Gostomski, chair of the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees; Skilling; and Dr. Donna Aronson, vice president of academic affairs.
Two special guests were honored at the event, held at the Union League Club. Dr. Robert Dolehide, a 1947 alumnus of Saint Mary’s, received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Merit for more than five decades of compassionate and exemplary medical practice in Chicago. Also honored was Chicago broadcasting legend Tom Skilling, WGN-TV chief meteorologist, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree for his contributions to the science of meteorology and his paralleled résumé of award-winning broadcasts, films and seminars in climate science.
Dr. Dolehide was applauded for his tireless service as a physician to thousands of patients in the Chicago area for 50 years, for his positive and long-lasting impact on generations of families and for his remarkable life as a physician, family man and for enthusiastically supporting a variety of social causes.
Skilling was lauded for his “professional competence, significant accomplishment and influential contributions to the field of meteorology and television journalism,” as well as for conducting free weather seminars and for sharing his love of science and research for others.
The event, titled the Brother Charles Severin Celebration of Excellence, was named for a renowned science faculty member at Saint Mary’s University in Winona. Brother Charles started teaching ecology at Saint Mary’s in 1934, using the river bottoms, bluffs and trout streams of the area as his laboratory. Nearly six decades of learners benefitted from his pioneering teaching methods, knowledge and dedication.
The annual event showcases the achievements of Saint Mary’s students and faculty; honors exceptional alumni and community leaders; and garners financial support to advance the sciences during the university’s second century.