CASC Lumen Magazine_Spring 2022

Planned Giving

ENGINEER MAKES IMPACT ON CATHOLIC STUDIES WITH ESTATE GIFT What do you get when you cross Catholic studies with an engineer? According to Fred Zimmerman , professor emeritus of engineering at the University of St. Thomas, you get a holistic problem-solver prepared to address the complex issues of the day. “Too often the public discussion of important problems is insincere, incomplete,” explains Zimmerman. “We need leaders in every discipline with the wisdom to draw attention to the long-term, multifaceted aspects of these issues for the integrity of the whole community.”

Solving problems is something Zimmerman knows a lot about. His engineering and management career spans over decades with companies such as IBM, Control Data and National Computer Systems. In 1985, Zimmerman was one of a group of engineering professionals who formed and taught in the School of Engineering at St. Thomas. It was then that he became intrigued with the Department of Catholic Studies, after seeing the unique and valuable perspective it brought to students’ work. “There’s an opportunity to provide some serious thought that could be interjected into the problems the world faces,” explains Zimmerman. “We need to support applied linkages between science and the value-oriented issues that society needs to address.” Zimmerman and his wife, Joanell, established the Frederick and Joanell Zimmerman Endowed Scholarship for Catholic Studies, which will be funded with an estate gift to St. Thomas.

Joanell (left) and Fred Zimmerman

“It is important to us to support young people and their potential to improve the common good,” says Zimmerman. “Doing this through an estate gift enables us to make the biggest impact.” “Fred is a remarkably articulate witness to faith, family life, university life and, simply, life. I have seen what a profound difference Fred and Joanell have made in the lives of everyone around them. Their generous gift allows us to continue their legacy of faith, heroic compassion and thoroughly practical intelligence,” reflects Dr. John Boyle, chairman of Catholic Studies.

For more information about how to support Catholic studies students with a gift from your estate, please contact Jennifer Snyder, director of development, at or (651) 962-6932 .

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