Lumen Magazine_Winter 2020

Catholic Studies News

REQUIESCAT IN PACE Gene Si tzmann who with his wife Faye was a longtime benefactor of St. Thomas, passed away on Sept. 16. The Sitzmanns are the namesakes of Sitzmann Hall, the home of St. Thomas Catholic Studies. The Sitzmanns began their support of the Center for Catholic Studies in 1998 when they provided the gift that purchased the Christopher Dawson Collection for the center and for the university. Years later, they contributed the funding to renovate the building that became Sitzmann Hall.


Benefactors, including the Sitzmanns, gave $4.2 million to expand Sitzmann Hall with a 4,700-square-foot addition, which provided more office and classroom space, a chapel and an elevator. Sitzmann Hall reopened in 2009, and the expansion won a “New Addition to a Historic Building” award from the St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission. Yet, Sitzmann Hall continues to be much more than a building. For Catholic studies students, who come from a range of other academic disciplines and professions around campus, the building, foremost, provides a home where they can come together for study, prayer, classes and other activities. “We believe that the hallmark of the St. Thomas Catholic Studies program has always been our ability to model and cultivate a deeply integrated life of study and faith. And, Sitzmann Hall has played a foundational role in creating this distinctive, transformational experience for students,” says Dr. Michael Naughton, director of the Center for Catholic Studies. “Gene Sitzmann was a wonderful friend of St. Thomas and Catholic Studies, not only in his generous contributions but also in a life well lived. He was a model not only for us but for our students.” Gene was honored with the Catholic Studies Truth and Life Award in December 2018 at the Catholic Studies 25th anniversary celebration.

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