The University of St. Thomas

Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award

Leadership and service.

Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award honors an alumnus/alumna for leadership and service to St. Thomas, the community and in his or her field of endeavor. Since 1971, Alumni Relations has honored an individual each year for their extraordinary achievement.

Andrew Cecere ’82

He was named chief executive officer of Minnesota-based U.S. Bancorp earlier this year. Cecere has been with U.S. Bancorp since 1985 and has held other leadership roles within the organization, including chief financial officer, chief operating officer, president and vice chairman.

Video Newsroom Article

Patrick Ryan ’75

He is the third-generation president and CEO of Ryan Companies US Inc., a billion-dollar real estate company with 12 offices around the United States, and his community and philanthropic work is significant.

Video        Newsroom Article

2015 Award Recipient

John Carr '72

He is the founder and director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University and the Washington correspondent of America Magazine.

Video        Newsroom Article
2014 Award Recipient
2014 Award Recipient
Ron L. Fowler '66

St. Thomas trustee Ron Fowler has had great success in the beverage-distribution industry, in professional and collegiate sports involvement, and in higher-education leadership.

Video        Newsroom Article
2013 Award Recipient
2013 Award Recipient
The Rev. Dennis J. Dease ’72 M.A., ’73 M. Div.

Father Dennis Dease, retiring as president of St. Thomas after 22 years in that position, has had a long career of service and pastoral care in the church and in education.

Newsroom Article
2012 Award Recipient
2012 Award Recipient
Bernadeia Johnson ’93 M.A.

Bernadeia Johnson is the superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools. She was a member of the first cohort of St. Thomas' Collaborative Urban Educator (CUE) program.

Video        Newsroom Article

See Past Recipients

Nominate a Tommie
Know an alumnus/alumna that is deserving of an award? Nominate them for one of the alumni recognition awards!
Share your stories with us!
Are you a Tommie with a great story? Do you know a Tommie with a great story? We would love to hear them – personal or professional – with the hope of using some of them to recognize great St. Thomas alumni!  Please send alumni stories or story tips to