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President’s Letter


Dear Celts,

These days, it’s hard not to suffer from a little bit of Technophobia from time to time. Rapid change can instill fear as it ushers in a brave new world. The pandemic has only seemed to accelerate the exponential growth of our largely digital existence. As scary as that last sentence may sound, technology also brings great opportunity: A chance to serve humanity at a larger scale, the ability to increase the impact of a mission or sometimes even to save lives.

In 1822, a French physicist named Augustin Jean Fresnel created a new form of lens for lighthouses. Although lighthouses had been in use for many years and saved countless lives, ships still wrecked with great frequency because the light simply did not shine bright enough. It was time for innovation. Through science and ingenuity, the Fresnel lens was born. It has been called the invention that saved a million ships.

It took many years for the Fresnel to be accepted and adopted into use in America, but its efficacy was undeniable. It was able to take a vital light source and amplify it for all to see. At UST, our mission is like a light, and our charge is also to shine that light far and wide. As you will see in this edition of Encounter, our community is busy leveraging new technologies and developing innovative academic programming that will help our mission shine, not just locally but globally. 

Our motto, Crescamus in Christo, calls us to grow together in Christ. As our campus celebrates a long overdue return to

In-person fellowship this fall, we will also continue to grow using the digital competencies we learned during the pandemic. What started as a daunting challenge that demanded innovation, has grown into an opportunity to expand our vibrant and diverse Celt family. It’s an exciting time to be at UST!

Fearlessly Forward,

Richard Ludwick

About the Author — Dr. Richard Ludwick

AvatarRichard L. Ludwick became the 9th president of the University of St. Thomas on July 1, 2017. He previously served as president of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, the nation’s oldest association of 31 private, nonprofit colleges and universities enrolling more than 100,000 students. In that capacity, he led strategic initiatives in public policy at the state and federal levels, spurred innovative, intercollegiate collaborations, and successfully executed multi-million dollar philanthropic campaigns.

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