Guests applaud award recipients at St. Thomas Day

Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna

The Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award honors an alumnus/alumna for leadership and service to St. Thomas, the community and in their field of endeavor. Since 1971, the St. Thomas Alumni Association has honored an individual each year for their extraordinary achievement.


We are not currently accepting nominations. For future nominations or stories you'd like to share, contact Alumni Relations (!
Rosa Miller

2024 Award Recipient

Rosa Miller ’88

Rosa Miller is the retired Vice President of Latin America Global Channel Services, Pacific and Atlantic Branches at 3M. She started her nearly 40-year career with 3M as a Process Engineer in Research & Development, later becoming a Technical Service Supervisor for 3M Health Care in Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific. She subsequently became a Business Director for the 3M Health Care business in the same geographical area. In January 1998, she became the Managing Director of 3M Philippines. Upon her return to 3M Headquarters, she stewarded several businesses within 3M’s Industrial and Transportation Business. While at 3M, Rosa volunteered to teach math and science to help students within the 3M Tutoring Program for children. She co-founded 3M’s Visiting Women Scientists program. Rosa holds bachelor’s and master's degrees in chemical engineering from Arizona State University, along with a minor in biomedical engineering. She earned an MIM in International Business Management from the University of St. Thomas in 1988. Always finding ways to give back, Rosa is a Board Member Emeritus and sits on the President's Cabinet at the Minnesota Independent School Forum, is a member of the President's Advisory Council at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and is a board member of the School of Engineering at St. Thomas. She is a former board member at HealthEast Foundation, Children's Home Society, Luminarias Project and Concordia College.

Luigi standing in an office building in a navy suit Michael Hoffman at a St. Thomas podium Maj. Michelle Currn in her pilot helmet Profile shot of Blase Cupich Mary Brainerd, Distinguished Alumna 2018 Andy Cecere, president of U.S. Bank, speaks at a First Friday event November 4, 2016 in the Anderson Student Center's Woulfe Alumni Hall.


Luigi Bernardi '85, MBA '89

Luigi Bernardi '85 and '89 MBA has a rich history and family legacy at St. Thomas. Under the leadership of Luigi's father, the late Tony Bernardi, the family made a 1999 gift to St. Thomas to establish the university’s Bernardi Campus in Rome. He currently serves as the president of Arcadia/Aurora, and continues to be an avid supporter of our university.
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Michael Hoffman '88

The former Chairman and CEO of the Toro Company, Michael started his career at Toro at the age of 22 while taking classes at St. Thomas and worked his way up the ranks at Toro to be elected President in 2004, serve as CEO 2005-2016, and Chairman 2006-2017. In partnership with the Toro Company and the Hoffman Family Foundation, Michael established the Melrose and The Toro Company Center for Principled Leadership in 2020 to promote and celebrate principled leadership through academic research, teaching, and outreach activities.


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Maj. Michelle Curran '09

In February 2019, Capt. Michelle Curran performed a flyover during the Super Bowl. It was her first time with the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Thunderbirds. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant the same day she graduated from St. Thomas. Curran was only the fifth female pilot in the Thunderbirds’ history. Her extraordinary achievement at a young age demonstrates leadership, service to country and supreme excellence in her field.

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Cardinal Blase Cupich '71

Cupich is an American prelate of the Catholic Church, a cardinal who serves as the ninth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is also a member of the Roman Curia’s Congregation for Bishops, which plays a role in advising on bishop appointments and episcopal matters.


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Mary Brainerd '79 M.B.A.

For 15 years as president and CEO of HealthPartners, Brainerd led the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health-care organization in the country. As a founder and former chair of the Itasca Project, she demonstrates her ability to guide others in seeking to advance the common good.

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Andrew Cecere '82

Cecere was named president of U.S. Bancorp in 2016, chief executive officer in 2017 and chairman in 2018. Cecere has been with U.S. Bancorp since 1985 and has held other leadership roles within the organization, including chief financial officer, chief operating officer, president and vice chairman.

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