The University of St. Thomas

Humanitarian Award

In service of others.

Humanitarian Award: This award recognizes an alumnus or alumna for contributions to the betterment of the spiritual and material welfare of the less fortunate. Since 1968, Alumni Relations has honored an individual each year for their extraordinary contributions.

Wayne Thalhuber, M.D. '60

A retired physician, Thalhuber’s contributions to medicine are longstanding and exemplify his devotion to easing the suffering of individuals in their last days of life. He served as diplomat to the American Board of Internal Medicine from 1968-2001, and as diplomat to the American Board of Palliative Care and Hospice from 1992-2001. He also was chairman of the Ramsey County Medical Society in 1987; medical director of Our Lady of Good Counsel from 1968-2008; and medical director of HealthEast Hospice from 1992-2001.

Video Newsroom Article

Mark Crea ’78

Crea serves as executive director and CEO of the Minnesota-based nonprofit Feed My Starving Children, an organization that in 2014-15 facilitated the shipment of 229,236,216 MannaPacks, vitamin- and mineral-rich rice- or potato-based food packs, to starving children and families in nearly 70 countries.

Video        Newsroom Article

2015 Award Recipient
Mark Lacek '88 M.B.A.

Lacek is best known for co-founding, with his wife, Susan, Faith's Lodge, an 80-acre retreat in northwest Wisconsin where families who have lost a child or have a child with a life-threatening illness can retreat, reflect and renew their hope with families in a similar situation.

Video        Newsroom Article
2014 Award Recipient
2014 Award Recipient
Sondra L. Elizondo '92

Sondra Elizondo helps pre-medical, pre-dental and pre-veterinary college students work with local doctors, translators and guides in underserved, remote areas of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras.    

Video        Newsroom Article
2013 Award Recipient
2013 Award Recipient
Charles S. Lugemwa ’03 M.S.S.E.

Charles Lugemwa is very grateful for his St. Thomas education and is using it to help improve health-care services in his native Uganda.

Newsroom Article
2012 Award Recipient
2012 Award Recipient
Dr. Gordon Klatt ’64

Dr. Klatt is a colorectal surgeon in Tacoma, Wash. In 1985, as the lone participant, he created what today is the Relay for Life cancer fundraiser, which takes place nationwide and around the world each year.

Video        Newsroom Article
See Past Award 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