Monsignor James Lavin Award
The Monsignor James Lavin Award award honors an alumnus or alumna of St. Thomas for outstanding contributions and service to the University of St. Thomas, its programs and services. Since 1994, Alumni Relations has honored an individual each year for their extraordinary contributions.
Monsignor James Lavin devoted his life to serving the St. Thomas community. Known widely as “Scooter,” he lived in Ireland Hall as an undergraduate from 1936 to 1940 and as a faculty member and administrator from 1946 to 2002. His weekly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, also known as “Lavin Burgers,” were a hit with Ireland Hall residents. Upon retiring in 1988, he immediately went to work for the alumni office extending his service to the Tommie Network.
Know someone deserving?
2021 Monsignor James Lavin Award Recipient
Stephen Fritz '71
Doug Hennes '77
Mark Zesbaugh '86
For 15 years, Zesbaugh served on the St. Thomas Board of Trustees, doing indispensable work to advance the university and being a model of alumni and trustee involvement. He has contributed greatly to the increase in scholarship aid for students and to the development and success of Tommie Give Day. He also was given the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2015. Zesbaugh graduated from St. Thomas with a degree in accounting, launching him into a fast-climbing career that saw him named CEO of Allianz Life at 37. Zesbaugh is currently president of Twin Cities-based Entrepreneurial 180, LLC.