Meet Our Donors
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- George Carroll '63
- Thomas Ignatowicz '96
- Connor Mulhere '12
- Christian Pilhofer '05
- Philip Swintek '02
George Carroll '63
George P. Carroll is a 1963 Alumnus, retired from Interlachen Country Club as GM/COO.
As a student at Nativity Grade School, my class of 52 boys all went to Cretin except for 6 of us who went to the Academy. The Cretin guys to this day, hate it when you say – “The Academy”.
My family on my Dad’s side always talked about STMA. A list of my family members who attended the Academy includes: Terry '52; Tom '59, Jim '64, Tim '74, Kevin '75, David '94, and Ryan '01.
I was fortunate to be able to pay my tuition by working in the summer. Giving to the funds now hopefully helps the families with tuitions what they are today.
The teachers and the military staff helped shape my professional life. All 92 of us in the Class of '63 have been close throughout the years and there are less than 60 of us left. Since less than 25 of us still live in the Cities, we meet every month for lunch. We are looking forward to the next 5 year reunion.
I enjoy staying in touch with the Academy, serving as President of the Alumni Association in 2002-2003. I also enjoy the Mothers’ Club Auction -- now the STA Community Auction -- having attended 50 of the last 55 Auctions.
Thomas Ignatowicz '96
A 1996 Alumnus, Thomas Ignatowicz was first attracted to Saint Thomas Academy for its college-preparatory education, spiritual enrichment, and military leadership.
I am extremely grateful for the five years that I had at Saint Thomas Academy as the classroom education, spiritual enrichment, community experiences, and intangible lessons prepared me for college and laid a solid foundation for my adult life enabling me to be who I am today.
Giving back to Saint Thomas Academy is important to me because I want another young man to have the same opportunity to attend and experience the education and lasting memories that I enjoyed during my years at Saint Thomas Academy. After graduation, I attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where I received my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Currently, I work as a Business Development Manager leading a market segment for a multinational aerospace company in the Twin Cities.
Personally, I donate to the Annual Giving Fund, which is then matched dollar-for-dollar by my employer’s matching gift program. By utilizing my employer’s matching gift program, I maximize the impact of my donation, allowing for STA to receive additional funding that may otherwise not be available.
Connor Mulhere '12
I am a 2012 alumnus of Saint Thomas Academy. I was originally drawn to the academy due to its strong sense of brotherhood and community, which I witnessed in family friends that attended STA, as well as its developmental military leadership aspect.
In my five years at STA I was involved in many athletics and activities, such as: Lacrosse 8-12th, Diving 8th, Swimming 9-12th, Football 8-9th, Orienteering 8-12th, KEE Club 8-12th, Campus Minister 12th, Battalion Staff 12th, Band 8-12th.
Saint Thomas Academy was a pivotal part of my life growing up, and the experiences and memories formed there set the foundation for the man I have become today. I will forever be grateful for the incredible instructors, coaches, and faculty that pushed me and my classmates daily to be better than ourselves and taught beyond the classroom. The phenomenal education, sense of community, spiritual growth, and brotherhood that STA provides is unlike any other institution. Giving back allows other young men the same opportunities of growth and development that I was afforded there.
After graduating from STA, I attended the United States Military Academy where I received my Bachelors of Science in Life Sciences focusing on Pre-Med studies and a Mechanical Engineering minor. I branched Infantry and attended Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course and Ranger School. I have successfully served as both a Rifle and Heavy Weapons Platoon Leader. I am currently an Executive Officer for a Rifle Company assigned to 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment based out of Fort Campbell, KY.
Personally, I focus on donating to the Aquinas Fund Athletics support. I want to allow young men the same opportunities I had to grow into a leader of character. I know that the incredible coaches and leaders at Saint Thomas care about turning young boys into men of distinction, and that they understand the importance of the lessons and values learned through brotherhood on the “fields of friendly strife”.
Christian Pilhofer '05
Christian Pilhofer is a 2005 graduate of the Academy and attended Saint Thomas Academy for both middle school and high school.
My parents and I initially selected Saint Thomas due to its excellent academic reputation and college preparatory focus. It was only after spending time there as a student, however, that I came to understand how each pillar contributes to a uniquely rich educational experience. Academically, Saint Thomas fully prepared me for my college courses, particularly in my writing and critical thinking abilities. I still maintain that the hardest class I’ve ever taken was freshman year biology, taught by the late, great Dr. David Bassett. The interpersonal and leadership skills cultivated in me by the JROTC program are ones that I continue to use on a daily basis in both my personal and professional life. All the while, this educational experience is grounded in a close-knit and faith-based community that is dedicated to the success of each student. The
friendships I formed with my STA classmates, teachers, coaches and staff members persist to this day, and I’m immensely grateful to be a part of this community.
Saint Thomas is also an institution that understands the value of a well-rounded education, both in and out of the classroom. The small class sizes and wealth of athletic and extracurricular activities means that there is an opportunity for every student to get involved. While at STA, I was a member of the swimming & diving program and was fortunate to be part of five state championship teams. I was also on the tennis team and participated in campus ministry and honor guard. The opportunity to be part of a larger team or group, and the sense of personal responsibility, work ethic and time management skills that develop from that participation, was a hugely important part of my STA experience.
I currently contribute to the Aquinas Annual Giving Fund. It has become a priority for me to give back to Saint Thomas in order to show my appreciation for the opportunities it afforded me, and to do my part to help the Academy continue its mission. Given the relative size of Saint Thomas, I also know that my contribution can make a much more tangible difference, particularly compared to the other, much larger educational institutions I’ve attended.
After graduating from Saint Thomas, I attended the University of Notre Dame and graduated in 2009 with a degree in Political Science. Following college, I worked as a legal aid paralegal through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and then earned my law degree from Harvard Law School. I currently live in Chicago with my wife and two daughters and work as an attorney at Sidley Austin LLP, an international law firm.
Philip Swintek '02
Philip Swintek, a current Special Forces Officer with the United States Army, is 2002 Saint Thomas Academy alumnus.
Philip originally chose to attend STA because of his older brother, Bryan Swintek ’00, who selected the school for its strong academic and swimming programs. Philip was also impressed with the swimming program and admired the pride with which his older brother wore the STA uniform. “Saint Thomas Academy gave me a foundation in leadership, values, and discipline that I have carried with me for my entire life. Much of my personal and professional success has been a result of that foundation from Saint Thomas Academy.”
As a student, Philip was involved in several extracurricular athletics and activities, but hasn’t been able to remain as involved after graduation since his job with the Army has led him away from Minnesota. One of the reasons that Philip is a recurring donor to the Aquinas Annual Fund is so that he can continue to support the mission and be involved with the school from a distance:
My parents sacrificed to send my brother and me to Saint Thomas Academy. They knew it was important to make sacrifices to give us the education Saint Thomas Academy would provide, and they were right to do so. Therefore, it's important for me to maintain a connection to a place that was so important to my family and me during some of the most formative years of my life. My parents used tuition aid and scholarships (the Tom Malchow Scholarship) to help cover the price of the tuition at Saint Thomas Academy. So, someone else's philanthropy allowed my brother and me to attend. The least I can do is return that generosity. I vividly remember the day after graduation when the Alumni Association gave each graduate a crisp five Dollar bill, asking us to pay it back over the years. I made a pledge to myself to do just that as a payment for all that Saint Thomas Academy gave me. Since then, I have donated to Saint Thomas Academy every year since I graduated. I am happy to support any initiatives Saint Thomas needs, donating simply to the Aquinas Fund each year.
Philip currently lives in Colorado with his wife and two sons.
"Personally, I donate to the Annual Giving Fund, which is then matched dollar-for-dollar by my employer’s matching gift program. By utilizing my employer’s matching gift program, I maximize the impact of my donation, allowing for STA to receive additional funding that may otherwise not be available."