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The Iversen Center for Faith invites the campus into the spiritual heart of campus

Fulfilling Our Mission, Thanks to Generous Donors

A Light on a Hill

“We are the light under the bushel basket, and the basket is raised half way from the ground...It is time to remove the basket and let our light shine more broadly into the world.” - President Julie Sullivan, Inaugural Address, 2013

Supported by generous donors, the light of faith at St. Thomas has been raised. 

A Place to Encounter God and One Another

Located at the center of the north campus like a lighted, glass pedestal, the new Iversen Center for Faith elevates the renovated Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas and draws the campus community into the new Iversen Center for Faith. With places for multi-faith worship, all are welcome to embrace the light of God in a much-needed haven during these times.

This project was funded 100% by philanthropy. Many thanks to the visionary and generous donors who made this possible. 

The vision of the Iversen Center for Faith and thehapel of St. Thomas Aquinas at night

Take a Closer Look

Watch this video to take an in-depth tour of the new Iversen Center for Faith.

A Shared Vision for Faith

In addition to Al and Brenda Iversen, many others shared in that vision for how the new Iversen Center for Faith and renovated chapel spaces could edify the faith experience at St. Thomas. Please use the arrows below to see all donor named spaces and the donors behind them.
Schoenecker Hall in the new Iversen Center for Faith Photo of Guy Schoenecker Signage in the Hoedeman Gallery of Sacred Art The Hoedemans and President Sullivan Signage on the Bernardi suites Luigi and Nicole Bernardi touring the construction site North side of chapel with terrace and promenade Mark Gregg at the Podium The O'Neill Terrace on the north side of the chapel View of the renovated chapel narthex Don Regan and Fr. Dennis Dease Al Colling receiving the Fr. Lavin Award at St. Thomas day The chapel tile wall in the Iversen Center for Faith
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Schoenecker Hall

The Guy and Barbara Schoenecker Hall can be used as one large space for banquets or made into smaller meeting rooms to accommodate retreats, seminars and other gatherings. This long-needed community gathering space is made possible through the generosity of the Schoeneckers Foundation in memory of alumnus Guy Schoenecker ’49.
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Guy Schoenecker

Guy had a special attachment to the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas and spent much time there in prayer as a student. His generous philanthropy supporting scholarships, academic support and other important campus initiatives have impacted countless Tommies.

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Hoedeman Gallery

The Hoedeman Gallery of Sacred Art will showcase art that fosters dialogue on the diverse religious identities that make up the St. Thomas community and will highlight treasures from our long history of sacred art creations.

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Hoedeman Gallery

As Fred ’50 and Mary Hoedeman learned about the Iversen Center for Faith and the plan for a sacred art gallery, they were excited to see how the architectural design honored the chapel’s history as an architectural gem and the representation of Catholic faith on campus. We are grateful to Fred and Mary Hoedeman for their generous funding of the Hoedeman Gallery of Sacred Art.

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Bernardi Bride’s & Groom’s Suites

With the addition of the Nicole and Luigi Bernardi Bride’s and Groom’s Suites, couples now have a dedicated place to prepare before weddings. Before the expansion project, brides got dressed in a small room located off the Narthex of the chapel. While couples like the Bernardis have always made do in the past, the new spaces will offer peaceful and dignified spaces for them to gather and prepare with friends and family. And the suites convert beautifully into meeting spaces, as well.
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Bernardi Bride's and Groom's Suite

Nicole and Luigi Bernardi were married in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas and were immediately drawn to the opportunity to fund dedicated wedding preparation space for future couples.

Note: Nicole Bernardi passed away just before she was able to see the ICF completed. The University of St. Thomas extends its heartfelt condolences to the Bernardi family.

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Gregg Promenade

With the completion of the Iversen Center for Faith project, students now have several choices for traversing the upper quad. They can walk inside – through the center itself – or outside along the Patricia M. Gregg Promenade made possible through the generosity of Mark ’79 and Debbie Gregg.

 

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Gregg Promenade

The Patricia M. Gregg Promenade is made possible through the generosity of Mark ’79 and Debbie Gregg. Mark Gregg is a member of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees and named the promenade in memory of his mother.

 

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O'Neill Terrace

The Iversen Center for Faith now offers visitors easy access to the chapel, without having to ascend stairs. As worshipers exit the north entrance of the chapel, they will gather on the O’Neill Terrace, made possible through the generosity of alumni Rory '86 and Rhonda ’88 O’Neill. Rory is a member of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees. This same terrace will eventually be home to a glorious statue of St. Thomas Aquinas by renowned sculptor Timothy Schmalz.
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Fr. Col. Fleming Narthex


As part of the gifts supporting the extensive renovation of the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, alumni couple Katie ’88 and Peter ’93 Szyman chose to name the Father Colonel Martin P. Fleming Narthax in honor of Katie’s uncle, Fr. Fleming.

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Dease Conference Room

Don and Jean Regan and Premier Bank have named the Father Dennis Dease Conference Room in honor of Fr. Dease, president of the university, 1991-2013. The Regans wanted to honor Fr. Dease for contributions he made to the university. As a longtime board member, his service to Premier Bank has been a guiding light of faith and reason. Note: Don Regan passed away just before could see the ICF completed. The University of St. Thomas extends its heartfelt condolences to the Regan family.

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Colling Family Chapel Endowment

The renovation of the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas was a huge project and alumnus Al Colling ’59 wanted to ensure the ongoing upkeep of this architectural gem. By funding the Colling Family Chapel Endowment, Mr. Colling will help St. Thomas keep the Chapel serving the needs of our community well into the future. We are grateful for his generous gift.
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Many Donors Made It Possible

Many donors made the Iversen Center for Faith and chapel renovations possible.
See Full List of Donors
Image of donor page header

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Many Gifts Made This Possible

Large or small, all gifts were affirmations to strengthen the opportunity to grow in faith on campus.
See the Full Donor List
Students say thank you to donors for their generosity

Impact on Students

Hear from several students how generous gifts to the new Iversen Center for Faith and chapel renovations have impacted their faith, work and education at St. Thomas.

I hope everyone feels welcome here; this is exactly what the world needs right now.

Julie Sullivan, President