About the President
Thomas M. Mengler, J.D.
The St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees, on Feb. 10, 2012, unanimously appointed Thomas M. Mengler, J.D., as the 13th president of the University. Mengler assumed office on June 1, 2012.
Before arriving at St. Mary’s, Mengler served as the dean of the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, where he also held the Ryan Chair in Law. Prior to that, he worked at the University of Illinois, where he was dean of the College of Law as well as interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. As interim provost, Mengler oversaw all undergraduate and graduate programs and the University’s entire $1 billion operating budget.
At the University of St. Thomas, Mengler helped build the School of Law from the ground up. He became dean in 2002, when the school was in just its second year. In addition to developing its Catholic mission, growing the enrollment, hiring nationally recognized faculty and receiving full accreditation for the school, Mengler also was able to raise more than $30 million in gifts and pledges for a school with only 1,000 alumni, all of them recent graduates. The funding helped establish endowments for faculty chairs and professorships, student scholarships, an institute for Catholic thought, and a center for ethical leadership.
Mengler’s involvement at both the University of St. Thomas and the University of Illinois extended well beyond their law schools. At both institutions, he served on university-wide academic and administrative leadership councils and important committees, including those for dean searches, university-wide mission statement development, budget strategies, academic best practices, and teaching evaluations.
Mengler was drawn to St. Mary’s for its Catholic and Marianist mission and its dedication to developing graduates exceptionally well-prepared for their professional lives while also called to serve the common good, and embraces the Marianist commitment to promoting open and robust discussions of faith and reason, noting that by working with the Marianists, faculty, staff, students and alumni he plans to build on the outstanding foundation of academic quality, faith and service that are hallmarks of St. Mary’s.
Mengler received his bachelor’s in philosophy from Carleton College and a master’s in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also earned his law degree.
He is married to Mona, a native Texan, and they have a daughter and three sons.