Steve Slaggie will be called on stage tonight and bestowed the highest honor given by the Saint John’s University Alumni Association. For the 37th year, at the homecoming banquet, the Collegeville, Minn., school will grant the Fr. Walter Reger Distinguished Alumnus Award, and Slaggie has been chosen.
Slaggie, one of the five founders of the Fastenal Company of Winona, graduated from Saint John’s in 1961. He has maintained his connection to the university through participation in events, volunteering and financial support, and has served for the past eight years on its board of regents.
When told of the award, Slaggie was overwhelmed. “I’m active, but I’ve seen the list of past alums honored. It’s a blue-chip list. To be placed in that category, I’m deeply honored,” he said.
He feels a debt of gratitude to the school for admitting “a very average student with no academic ability.” The school instilled in him study habits and reinforced his Catholic faith, he said.
Among the many projects Slaggie has supported, a few stand out for him. He was a lead donor and involved in the planning of the Saint John’s Abbey Guesthouse and has supported the Saint John’s Bible, nearing completion as the first handwritten bible in 500 years.
Slaggie and his wife, Barbara, have also been active philanthropists in Winona and at other colleges in the region. They also have supported the meditation room at the Winona Health Center and band, science and athletic programs at Cotter High School. Winona Daily News