Editor's note: The following is a press release from Saint Thomas Academy.
Saint Thomas Academy announced today that it has bestowed two of its highest honors – the Opus Sancti Thomae Award and the Edward G. Hames Alumni Honors Award – on Tom Schreier Sr. and Tom Schreier Jr. ’80 of St. Paul, Minn., and John “Buzz” Myser ‘52, also of St. Paul, respectively.
Opus Sancti Thomae Award
The Opus Sancti Thomae award, given annually since 1992, honors friends and affiliates of the Academy who have made outstanding contributions to business, civic, church, educational and professional communities. This year, for the first time in the award’s history, a father and son are co-recipients of the Opus Sancti Thomae Award.
Tom Schreier Sr.
Tom Schreier Sr. of grew up on St. Paul’s North side in a working-class immigrant neighborhood. He attended St. Bernard’s grade school and would have attended public high school if his parents hadn’t been encouraged to send him to Cretin. Tom Sr. paid his own tuition by delivering papers, stocking shelves and making deliveries for a neighborhood grocery.
After high school, he went to work as a custodian in his father’s bar and restaurant. But after a year of swabbing floors, cleaning tables and washing dishes, he enrolled in St. Thomas College. Initially he was a chemistry and math major, but changed directions after taking an elective course in income tax. One of his instructors noticed his talent and offered him a job in his CPA firm. Schreier worked at the firm through the end of college and stayed on after graduation.
He also enlisted in the Army and was sent to Fort Devens in Massachusetts, where he was trained as a code breaker in the Army Security Agency. He and his wife Mary Rae returned to Minnesota to raise their family: Tom Jr.’80, John ’82, Jennifer VIS ’85 and Marty ’88. Schreier worked for a large accounting firm in Minneapolis prior to starting his own CPA firm, which eventually grew to become Schreier, Heimer, Kosbab, Cornell, Kohler & Company of St. Paul.
Schreier served on the Saint Thomas Academy Board of Trustees for 12 years, the last four as board chair. He retired from both his CPA firm and the Academy board in 1992. In recognition of his contributions, he was named an Honorary Alumnus of Saint Thomas Academy in 2000, and Archbishop Roach bestowed on him an honorary Academy diploma. That honor qualified him for the Hames Alumni Honors Award, which he received in 2006.
Schreier’s record of service to both the church and community are extensive. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and he is a founding member of the Catholic Community Foundation. He helped establish the Catholic Finance Corporation and Archdiocesan Corporate Audit and served as its first chairman. He is also a former vice chairman of Children’s Hospital Board and a board of trustee at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church. He is a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and was president of the North Oaks Country Club and commodore of the White Bear Yacht Club.
Tom Schreier Jr. ’80
As a Saint Thomas Academy graduate, Tom Schreier Jr. ’80 thrived in the supportive atmosphere of both the middle and high school. The strong academic foundation he gained and the enduring friendships he developed at the Academy gave him a solid platform for success in college, where he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics and German from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., and a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard University Graduate Business School, Cambridge, Mass.
In the mid-1990’s, Tom Jr. served as vice president of finance for Northwest Airlines. He later moved to U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, where he held several senior leadership roles and then moved to Credit Suisse First Boston was a senior airline equity analyst and equity research director. From 2000-2010, he served as CEO of FAF Advisors and president of First American Funds. Currently Tom Jr. is vice chairman of wealth management at Nuveen Investments.
Tom Jr. has also served on many corporate and industry boards and associations and is currently a director of Pinnacle Airlines, a member of the board of governors of the Investment Company Institute, and a member of the applied investment management advisory board at the University of Notre Dame.
Like his father before him, Tom Jr. was tapped for the Saint Thomas Academy Board of Trustees during a time of leadership transition at the Academy. A board member for eight years, Tom Jr. worked closely on the development of new bylaws and governance procedures. He served an additional four year as chair, in which capacity he led planning for the Academy’s expansion, launched the Defining Moment Campaign and promoted a larger presence for the board in the day-to-day life at the Academy. He retired from the board in June 2012.
Continuing the family tradition, Tom Jr. and his wife Sandi chose Saint Thomas Academy for sons Thomas ’08 and Matthew ’11, while daughter Laurel attends Visitation.
“Tom Sr. and Tom Jr. are the only father and son to ever have served the Academy as board chairs,” said Headmaster Thomas B. Mich. “Each of them has made a tremendous contribution to Saint Thomas Academy, guiding us during times of transition. When you look at their collective contribution, it is impossible to quantify how important a mark they leave on the Academy. To both of them, we are greatly indebted.”
Opus Sancti Thomae Award recipients are chosen by a committee of Saint Thomas Academy alumni, parents and parents of alumni. Previous recipients include:
- Thomas Gainor ’51, former CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank
- Gerald and Henrietta Rauenhorst, founder of Rauenhorst Construction, now Opus Corporation
- Alan (Bud) Ruvelson ’32, a business pioneer and venture capitalist
- The Most Rev. Harry Flynn, DD, former archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
- Lawrence O’Shaughnessy ’39, ardent supporter of Catholic education
Edward G. Hames Alumni Honors Award
The Edward G. Hames Alumni Honors Award, given annually since 1969, honors alumni who have exemplified the ideals of the Academy, and in doing so have distinguished themselves in their communities.
John “Buzz” Myser
John “Buzz” Myser ’52 grew up with his mother and grandfather in a neighborhood close to the Academy. Although his father left the family home when he was very young, he was blessed with many caring male role models at Saint Thomas (Military) Academy.
After high school, he attended and graduated from the University of Notre Dame, married and began working at 3M in an entry-level job. He stayed at 3M and rose through the ranks to eventually become president of 3M Canada and later an executive vice president at 3M headquarters. He retired as a top executive in 1993, completing a 35-year career.
Never forgetting his mentors at Saint Thomas Academy, Myser and his wife, Pat, established the Myser Family Foundation Teaching Excellence Award in 1995 — a cash award given annually to two faculty members selected by a committee of alumni, parents, students and faculty. The Mysers also established a similar award at the University of Notre Dame and St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Pat’s alma mater and endowed the Myser Initiative for Catholic Identity at St. Catherine University, which is aimed at strengthening the college’s Catholic identity through faculty leadership. In recognition of their many contributions to the community, the Mysers received Saint Thomas Academy’s Opus Sancti Thomae Award in 2006.
While serving on the Academy’s board of trustees for seven years, Myser worked with last year’s Hames award recipient Tom Lee ’55, to help develop and implement the concept of the ‘four pillars of the Academy’ (all-male, Catholic, college prep, leadership) that continue as part of the Academy’s mission today. “Buzz was one of the most hard-working guys I’ve ever known,” Lee said. “He was so tenacious and won’t stop until he’s met his goal. During his career, he was extremely dedicated to 3M but he always had his priorities straight – he never missed taking his vacation time because family was so important.”
In the community, Myser served on the president’s council at St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas, was a board member of the National Catholic Education Association and chaired the University Hospital Foundation. He was also active in the business community and served on the boards of numerous business and professional organizations, including Compusearch and Netmar, Inc., and was an executive fellow of the Aspen Institute at the University of St. Thomas. The Mysers have three children: Cathy, John T. Myser, Jr. ’77 and Michael P. Myser ’79.
About Saint Thomas Academy
Founded in 1885, Saint Thomas Academy is an all-male, college preparatory, Catholic, military/leadership school committed to preparing young men to succeed in college and in life. Nationally accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), the academy challenges young men to excel academically, spiritually, morally and physically in and out of the classroom. For more information, please visit www.cadets.com.