St. Thomas receives $50 million gift for business college

  • Updated: January 24, 2008 - 8:03 PM

The University of St. Thomas' third gift of $50 million or more from a single donor will be a boon for the school's Opus College of Business.

The St. Paul school announced Thursday that the $50 million anonymous gift, first announced last month, will go toward an endowment to support the business school. Interest from the endowment will be used for scholarships, new academic programs and faculty research.

In 2000, Best Buy founder and Chairman Richard Schulze and his late wife, Sandra, gave St. Thomas a gift of $50 million. Last fall, Lee and Penny Anderson gave the school $60 million. Lee Anderson is the owner and chairman of St. Paul-based APi Group, Inc.

This time, school officials say no name has been attached to the donation.

"We are deeply grateful, not only for the size of the contribution, but for the donor's quiet but powerful commitment to the kind of education offered by our Opus College of Business," said the Rev. Dennis Dease, the university's president.

The latest gift is included in the school's "Opening Doors" fundraising campaign that began in October. The school has raised $317 million toward a goal of $500 million.

The Opus College of Business enrolls about 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students and constitutes about 40 percent of St. Thomas' enrollment. The college offers 12 undergraduate and eight graduate degrees.

TIM HARLOW AND Jeff Shelman

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