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Welcome to the second issue of the newly reformatted/reconfigured digital magazine of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of St. Thomas! Our hope is that this magazine will provide you, a member of the large network of CAS alumni and friends, with useful information and insights about what's going on in the college. Your engagement is important to us, as we seek to provide an outstanding liberal arts education grounded in the values of the Catholic intellectual tradition that leads students to rewarding careers and a life of purpose and meaning.

Welcome Message from Dean Bill Tolman

Headshot of Dean Bill TolmanThere’s a nip in the air as we hurtle toward the end of the fall semester and the holiday season. Come celebrate with us at the 36th annual St. Thomas Christmas concert this Sunday, December 3, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis! Entitled “Reflections of Gratitude,” the concert featuring 200 students is dedicated in memory of Mary Agnes McQuinn, beloved philanthropist and music lover. She was founding chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board, and was a powerful advocate for the music program and the college. As noted by previous Dean Marisa Kelly, “Her support had an incredible impact on the performing arts at St. Thomas, countless numbers of students, and on the St. Thomas community as a whole.” Tickets are still available for this special event.

The faculty in CAS are deeply immersed in their work as teachers and scholars providing an exceptional liberal arts education, inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, that is preparing students to be reflective individuals, responsible citizens, and thoughtful professionals committed to the common good. We received much positive feedback about a video describing how CAS is uniquely transformative in the lives of students, and encourage you to take a mere one and half minutes to view it! This video inspired outstanding engagement during last month’s Tommie Give Day, with triple the dollar amount of donations received from twice the number of donors to CAS compared to last year. We are incredibly grateful for your support!

Looking ahead, the Schoenecker Center is scheduled to open in time for next semester. Keep an eye out for upcoming announcements/invitations to many events as this special STEAM space comes to life. These events will include: in February, the art gallery opening, unveiling of an exciting sculpture in the atrium, and a special lecture as part of the Claritas Initiative on Beauty, Truth, and Goodness; events celebrating the departments of Music, Film, and Creative Enterprise and Art History in March; and the building dedication on May 8 (mark your calendars!). We are hard at work developing interdisciplinary programming for the new space and very much look forward to the impact this new facility will have on the experiences of our students.

We hope you enjoy this issue’s update on activities in the college this past semester. As I’ve said before, now more than ever, studying the liberal arts is a pathway to career success and personal growth. Do let us know how the transformative CAS liberal arts education made a difference in your life! Thanks for reading.

Bill Tolman
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

A map showing the land purchase of Zebulon Pike An advertisement with purple flowers promoting the concert

Featured: Grappling with the History of University Land

A look at our series on Indigenous Relations, where we're seeking to learn more about Indigenous communities in Minnesota and the history of relations between the Dakota people and the Catholic Church.


St. Thomas Christmas Concert Celebrates Mary Agnes McQuinn - Tickets Available!

The 36th annual St. Thomas Christmas concert, “Reflections of Gratitude,” is dedicated in memory of Mary Agnes McQuinn, beloved philanthropist and music lover. The concert, to be held on Dec. 3 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, features over 200 student performers.


Around the College

A collage of Econ faculty and students

At Home in Economics: A Department's 100 Years

Nisha Kimber ’24 refuses to limit future Nisha Kimber. The Maple Grove, Minnesota, native believes in keeping her career options open. And so, halfway through her collegiate career at the University of St. Thomas, Kimber was finding it particularly hard to declare a major. Read the full story!
Diverse group of professionals

MA in Diversity Leadership: Attend an Info Session and Apply for Spring '24 admission.

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Diversity Leadership from St. Thomas at an online information session or virtual coffee hour. These sessions will provide information on the structure of the degree, type of classes, the application process and requirements, plus a question/answer session. For our spring semester sessions, apply by January 12 or March 4, 2024. Learn more!
Clergy celebrating the 30th anniversary of Catholic Studies

Catholic Studies: Celebrating 30 Years of Impact

More than 525 Catholic Studies alumni, faculty, staff and benefactors gathered this September to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this transformative program at the University of St. Thomas. Read the full story!
Faculty and students from Diverse Voices pose together

Diverse Voices Walking Together

Walking Together, a digital research hub officially launched at the University of St. Thomas in August 2021, is designed to celebrate the history of migration, immigration and displacement. Funded in 2020 by a Research in Action grant at the College of Arts and Sciences, the project currently focuses on Minnesota’s diverse Latinx community – a population that has increased by 24% since 2010. Read the full story!
Rachel Petties and Dr. Shaherzad Ahmadi

Summer Research: CAS Students on a Broad Range of Topics

Through St. Thomas’ Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), more than 50 university students had the opportunity this summer to work with faculty mentors on a variety of research projects. Read the full story!
Opening Screen of CAS Video

CAS: Uniquely Transformative

Watch a brief video to find out how CAS works with students from a broad range of disciplines!