Monday, December 29, 2008

Brother Dietrich Reinhart, former president of St John's University, died today

The former president of St. John's University, who resigned in October because of health problems, died early today, the Catholic school in Collegeville, Minn., announced.

Brother Dietrich Reinhart "passed away peacefully" in Collegeville, the school said.

Reinhart, 59, who became the 11th president of Saint John's in 1991, resigned after announcing in September that he had malignant metastatic melanoma. Dan Whalen, a 1970 graduate of St. John's University, was named interim successor.

Thomas Edward Reinhart was born on May 17, 1949, and grew up in Minneapolis. He entered Saint John's University in 1967 and graduated magna cum laude in history in 1971. He professed as a monk of St. John's Abbey in 1972. He held master's and doctoral degrees in history from Brown University. Before becoming president, Reinhart served as dean of the college at St. John's and taught European history.

Reinhart asked for the name of Dietrich in honor of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran theologian who participated in the resistance movement against Nazism.

During Dietrich's presidency, enrollment at St. John's grew by 9 percent, the university endowment rose to more than $145 million and its sesquicentennial capital campaign for $150 million exceeded its goal.

Services are scheduled for Jan. 6 at 3 p.m. in Saint John's Abbey Church. Interment in Saint John's Cemetery follows the service. Star Tribune

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