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2022 Highlights

Our Year in Review

This past year, Opus College continued building momentum in its mission to invest in students, build community, and empower lives of purpose, service, and leadership. Explore how we advance the greater good and browse some of our biggest stories in 2022.
headshot of Laura Dunham and Sheneeta White

Advancing principled leadership and innovative thinking

Looking to the Future

In 2022, the University of St. Thomas welcomed two mission-driven leaders and faculty veterans to lead Opus College and the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship.

An active researcher and sought-after consultant, Opus dean Dr. Laura Dunham has bolstered entrepreneurship, business ethics, and diversity throughout the campus and community in her 19-year career at St. Thomas.

A passionate educator, seasoned administrator, and entrepreneurial business leader, Dr. Sheneeta White stepped into her new role as associate dean at an exciting time as the Schulze School continues to grow its national reputation in entrepreneurial studies.

women holding a laptop and leaning against a clear window with computer servers in view

Learning at the intersection of business, technology, and purpose

Academic Innovation

Opus College launched three new certificates in 2022 for current students and graduate alum interested in learning how emerging tech can be applied to business.

A smiling participant in the Community Entrepreneurship Program

Increasing diversity, equity, and access in business

Opus in the Community

In 2022, St. Thomas launched the Community Entrepreneurship Program to support aspiring local entrepreneurs facing economic hardship. In its first year, 100% of the participants were BIPOC and/or women.

Over ten months, these entrepreneurs engaged in a six-week business training boot camp, 1:1 mentorship, consulting support, connections to community resources, and networking opportunities. The pilot program was developed in partnership with Opus College, the Schulze School, and the Small Business Center at St. Thomas.

smiling students holding balloons shaped as the number 18

Rankings and Awards

Excellence in Entrepreneurship

The entrepreneurial studies program at St. Thomas continued to draw national attention in 2022. A year after jumping 10 spots in the Princeton Review's annual list of top undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the country, the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship advanced an additional five spots to #18.

Now in its third year in the top 50, the Schulze School also ranked No. 1 among the nation's Catholic universities, #1 in Minnesota, and #5 in the Midwest.


Three smiling white male students being interviewed

Spotlight on entrepreneurship competitions

Learn by Competing

An interactive app that helps Hispanic Americans obtain financial literacy. A platform to fairly distribute job opportunities in Syria. Face-scanning technology for EMTs to provide better care for patients. It was truly a year of students building tech for good.

In 2022, we launched a new prize, the Kate Herzog Memorial Award, honoring ventures focused on poverty alleviation, serving under-resourced communities, and closing opportunity gaps. Students rose to the challenge, and for the first time, social ventures made up half of the Fowler Business Concept Challenge submissions.

The dreams of Tommiepreneurs were also supported with a record $400k+ scholarships and cash prizes awarded across all competitions in 2022.

Ron Fowler '66 speaking at a student entrepreneurship competition

Impact of generous gifts

Growth that Makes a Difference

Opus was able to support more students and communities than ever before, thanks to our donors and partners. Their impact in 2022 continued to expand opportunities for learning and increase diversity, equity, and access to education and resources.

A $3M gift from Ron '66 and Alexis Fowler this year will continue to support aspiring social and business ventures in student entrepreneurship competitions, and a leadership gift from the McNeely family will allow the Family Business Center to engage more families in new ways with a specific focus on families in underrepresented communities.

Terrence Murphy Hall at Opus College of Business in the spring

Making a St. Thomas education possible

Supporting scholarships for business students

This past spring, Opus introduced three new scholarships for students from underrepresented backgrounds to continue to work towards making the college more diverse and equitable. 

  • The Opus Foundation Real Estate Diversity Scholarship supports select DFC transfer students, students transferring from other institutions, and current St. Thomas students who intend to pursue a degree in real estate.
  • The Flynn-KPMG Accounting Scholarship supports select students from underrepresented backgrounds intending to major in accounting.
  • The Simons Scholars will support underrepresented students interested in any business major.