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A Look Back at 2020

This year has been a year like none other. With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, there have been new challenges to face and uncertainties to tackle. But one thing that 2020 has taught us is that we are all better together.

Weathering the pandemic is not all that happened at Opus College this year. This collection of milestones are a few, of the many, proud moments our resilient community has celebrated in 2020.

Wishing you a peaceful, healthy and happy holiday season.

Professor of Accounting Lawrence Chui stands outside campus with a purple mask

01

Opus Responds to COVID-19

This spring, teams of Opus faculty and staff shifted 255 course sections to remote learning, registered 144 prospective students for virtual recruiting events, and hosted 200+ small and family business owners in webinars addressing the implications of COVID-19.  

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pervade every aspect of daily life, Opus faculty members have taken advantage of unique opportunities for students to learn through real-world experience.

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A sun shines on a sign that reads Opus College of Business

02

$3 Million Gifted for New Ethics Center

The Toro Company and The Hoffman Family Foundation committed $3 million to St. Thomas to create the Melrose and The Toro Company Center for Principled Leadership.

The Center champions ethical business practices while increasingly promoting and celebrating principled leadership through academic research, teaching, and outreach activities.

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A computer screen displaying human anatomy

03

Launch of the Business in a Digital World Initiative

Opus College unveiled the Business in a Digital World (BDW) initiative, designed to prepare the University of St. Thomas students for relevance in a future of constant and exponential technological growth.

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A headshot of Opus faculty Nakeisha Lewis

04

Opus College Names New Associate Deans

In response to a strategic shift to our graduate and undergraduate offerings, Opus appointed Patricia Hedberg and Nakeisha Lewis as new associate deans of Opus College. Hedberg was named associate dean of graduate business programs; Lewis is now associate dean of undergraduate and accelerated master’s programs. 

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The Washington Monument in Washington DC on a clear sunny day

05

Durenberger Health Policy Seminar Goes Virtual

A unique Health Care MBA tradition took a different format this year due to the pandemic. This year’s cohort participated in private webinars via Zoom, where former FBI Director James Comey presented on ethical leadership.

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The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship on the Minneapolis campus

06

The Princeton Review Ranks Schulze School #1 in Minnesota

St. Thomas was the only Minnesota school to make this year’s Princeton Review list of top undergraduate entrepreneurship programs. The Schulze School was also among the nation’s top three Catholic universities and colleges for students studying entrepreneurship.

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A student studies code in front of a computer

07

A Focus on New Undergraduate Programs

A new co-concentration in business analytics will be available for students in spring 2021. Students will be introduced to specific analytical tools, techniques, and technology used in practice by businesses to make data-driven decisions.

A new Business of Healthcare minor features healthcare-focused coursework in business and economics, as well as philosophy/theology courses addressing biomedical ethics and history.

People sitting in a classroom with monitors

08

Schulze School Sponsors Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge

The Schulze School partnered with University of San Diego on the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge, a social venture pitch competition that recognizes, resources and rewards student-led social ventures focused on sustainable change. The challenge was held virtually in June, and a team from St. Thomas, BraillEazy, ended up as one of the top five teams in the competition. BraillEasy is a tech startup aimed at increasing Braille literacy for the Blind.

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