University of St. Thomas Magazine Fall/Winter 2020

tommie network



Contributing to the well- being of the St. Thomas community In February, St. Thomas held the grand opening of the Haggerty Family Foundation Facility for the Center for Well-Being. Having successfully transitioned a new primary care clinic, counselors and health educators into a

Kanthak was the first in his family to attend college. In 1955, right out of the Air Force, he attended St. Thomas on the GI Bill. He excelled academically, often amazing his professors by solving challenging math problems in his head. A devout Catholic, he participated in choir and continued to nurture his faith. Even in advanced age, Kanthak liked to recall stories from his days at St. Thomas. Kanthak felt God blessed him abundantly, and he wanted to give back. In fact, he felt so strongly about St. Thomas that he left nearly his entire estate to the university. Because of his decision to include the university in his estate, his gift will make a profound impact on the lives of future Tommies for many years to come. Forever changing the way the world thinks about health November marked the one-year anniversary of the Morrison Family College of Health (MFCOH), which encompasses a breadth of programs in social work, graduate psychology, public health and health sciences, in addition to upcoming undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Founding Dean of the MFCOH Dr. MayKao Y. Hang has a strong vision to educate future health and community leaders who have the tools, training, cultural competencies and moral courage to address health inequities. A landmark $25 million gift from John and Sue Morrison allowed St. Thomas to think bolder and bigger about redesigning our health systems entirely. “I’m extraordinarily grateful to John and Sue and the Morrison family,” said President Julie Sullivan. “They share our excitement for this college’s potential to address systemic health care challenges in our communities. This approach is fully aligned with our mission to produce graduates who can advance the common good.”

Ribbon cutting ceremony of the grand opening of the new Center for Well-Being

new facility, center staff faced an unexpected challenge as they became an integral part of the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This would not have been possible without a generous gift from the Haggerty Family Foundation. “Knowing the health and well-being of students is so important to all colleges, but at St. Thomas especially, we are so proud to be part of this,” said Ruth Haggerty at the center’s grand opening. A Legacy Gift That's Transforming Students' Lives Thanks to a momentous multimillion-dollar estate gift from 1959 alumnus Irv Kanthak, the university can award multiple scholarships each year to help cover tuition and room and board for students with financial need. In its first year, this endowed fund has already enabled 33 students to attend St. Thomas. Because of Kanthak’s generosity, these students – and many more like them in the future – will receive a high-quality St. Thomas education. In addition to these scholarships, the Kanthak gift allows St. Thomas to provide emergency financial aid to help cover the costs of attendance for students experiencing unanticipated financial hardship. This hardship fund, bolstered by an investment from the university, was deployed to assist students and families who are facing unexpected financial burdens brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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