ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — With a focus on educational excellence, increasing access and reducing student debt, the University of St. Thomas recently announced a goal of infusing $200 million into scholarship support for students over the next eight years. St. Thomas also announced a $50 million gift from GHR Foundation and the estate of Gerald Rauenhorst designated entirely for scholarships as a significant, first step toward achieving that goal. 

Left to right, Amanda Post, President Julie Sullivan, GHR Foundation head Amy Goldman and Tommie the Tomcat gather on stage to push a button releasing confetti in the Anderson Student Center atrium at the launch of the Student Achievement and Success campaign on November 16, 2017, in St. Paul. The $200 million campaign was kicked off with a $50 million donation by the GHR Foundation.

This lead gift represents the largest endowed scholarship for the University of St. Thomas and the largest scholarship gift for any college or university in the history of Minnesota. With this gift, the University of St. Thomas will establish a pre-eminent four-year endowed scholarship program for business majors. This highly competitive program is designed to attract future business leaders who embody the mission of the university and model the values of GHR – innovative, ethically minded, community engaged and globally aware changemakers who create enduring value for society.

“GHR Foundation believes education can transform an individual’s life as it did for our founder, Gerry Rauenhorst, a first-generation college student and St. Thomas alum,” said Amy Rauenhorst Goldman, CEO and Chair of GHR Foundation and member of the University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees. “As chair of the university’s $200 million scholarship initiative, I know GHR’s gift will inspire great acts of generosity to further support St. Thomas in educating students to be principled leaders who think critically, work skillfully and act wisely to advance the common good.”

Each year, scholarship recipients – known as GHR Fellows – will be selected for a transformative undergraduate experience. Student benefits include:

  • full tuition for four years (with room and board stipend for students who demonstrate high financial need)
  • fully funded J-Term study abroad experience
  • individualized career coaching and preparation
  • cohort four-year experience (60 GHR Fellows across all four years)
  • access to C-suite business, community and university leaders
  • customized social entrepreneurship and service learning opportunities
  • a vibrant GHR Fellows alumni network for lifelong fellowship and mutual support

Eligible students will graduate from high school in or after 2019 and be among the top of their class, with a minimum GPA of 3.7 and a 28 minimum ACT composite score. Essays, interviews and an on-campus experience will be required in the selection of the GHR Fellows.

“I feel confident GHR Fellows will graduate from St. Thomas fully prepared to catapult themselves to highly visible leadership roles with the potential to influence others, to personally invest in areas of impact and to create enduring value for society,” said Julie Sullivan, president of the University of St. Thomas.

The University of St. Thomas is focused on increasing financial assistance to students. In 2016-17, 99 percent of St. Thomas first-year students received financial aid, yet too many students still have unmet financial needs. With the drive to infuse $200 million into scholarship support, St. Thomas expects to double the scholarship endowment, thereby providing a sustainable source of scholarship funds to help decrease the amount of students’ unmet financial need. 

“Reducing student debt is a priority for St. Thomas. The university is tackling this problem from several angles including increased financial education programs for students and holding down costs through a recent university wide review and improvement of the efficiency of our operations,” Sullivan said. “St. Thomas does not want cost to be a barrier for students interested in getting an education at our university. This is why generating support for financial aid is a top fundraising priority.”

Annual giving and endowed scholarships – like this lead gift – hold the promise to impact hundreds of students, reducing the burden of college debt and better positioning graduates to positively impact the economy and society for generations to come.

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About GHR Foundation
GHR Foundation improves lives by working toward a just, peaceful and healthy future. Built on faith in entrepreneurial creativity, the foundation accelerates systemic change by nurturing promising new possibilities and partnerships in the areas of global development, education and health. For 50-plus years, GHR’s approach has been guided by the pioneering design-build legacy of Opus Group founders Gerald and Henrietta Rauenhorst as it collaborates with the world’s experts to design and build opportunities and favorable environments for change to take hold. For more information, visit

About the University of St. Thomas
Located in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas is a private, liberal arts university that emphasizes values-based education and career preparation. With approximately 10,000 students, it is Minnesota’s largest private, nonprofit college or university. Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good. The university has three campuses: St. Paul, Minneapolis and Rome, Italy. For more information, visit

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A sign hangs from two floors of the Anderson Student Center during a launch event for a new Student Achievement and Success initiative November 16, 2017. The initiative seeks to raise $200 million for student scholarships and was kicked off by a $50 million donation by the GHR foundation.

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