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Historical photo of the College of St. Thomas and St. Thomas Military Academy sign in the winter
Historical photo of the Armory building on the old Saint Thomas Academy campus
Photo of the ground breaking of the new Saint Thomas Academy in the 1960's. Priests digging with a shovel into the dirt.
Photo of the Saint Thomas Academy Middle School
Photo of Flynn Hall Construction

A Rich History

1885: Archbishop John Ireland pursues his vision for providing boys theological and university studies to prepare for a devout life by gathering 66 students in a renovated building on the old Finn Farm on the shores of Lake Mennith (present intersection of Cleveland and Summit avenues) in St. Paul.

1890: A military program is formed under the name of the Saint Thomas Seminary Military Battalion, from which four institutions would ultimately emerge, including St. Thomas College and Saint Thomas Military Academy.

1905: The school comes under direct supervision of the U.S. Army.

1908-1909 school year: The school is first named an Honor School by the U.S. Army, an award which Saint Thomas Academy has garnered nearly every year since.

1916: The U.S. Army’s ROTC program is established, providing standardized military curriculum to schools across the country.

1922: While still affiliated and co-located with St. Thomas College, Saint Thomas Military Academy is officially established.

1965: Saint Thomas Military Academy moves to its current location in Mendota Heights and incorporates as Saint Thomas Academy, separating itself from St. Thomas College. An independent Board of Trustees is named. Current enrollment of day students and boarders in grades nine through 12 is 560 cadets.

"Throughout our history, the cadets of Saint Thomas Academy have been well-served by the foundation that is unique to the Academy: all-boys, Catholic, college prep and military leadership."

1971: Saint Thomas Academy Middle School is created, composed of grades seven and eight, offering boys small class sizes and individualized instruction.


1974: Boarding program is discontinued because fewer young men opt for a boarding school.

1979: The current Anderson Commons is constructed, originally as a space for the middle school.

2000: The Middle School facility is built, the first major addition to the Mendota Heights campus.

2013: Vincent J. Flynn Hall opens, offering state-of-the-art athletic and fine art facilities, classrooms and lecture spaces.

2015: Saint Thomas Academy returns to its roots as an independent military institution, separating from the Army’s JROTC program, and tailors its military leadership curriculum to prepare students for leadership in college and life.

2017: Saint Thomas Academy Middle School expands to include sixth grade.

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Aerial photo of Founders Hall on the campus of Saint Thomas Academy