Tom Cronin wins 2012 Monsignor James Lavin Award

2012 Monsignor Lavin award winner Tom Cronin still shows his Tommie spirit after 48 years as an alumnus. (Laura Landvik/TommieMedia)
2012 Monsignor James Lavin Award winner Tom Cronin still shows his Tommie spirit after 48 years as an alumnus. (Laura Landvik/TommieMedia)

Class of 1964 St. Thomas alumnus Tom Cronin said when he found out he would receive the 2012 Monsignor James Lavin Award, he didn’t know much about it. After doing further research on what the award was, he said he was surprised.

“There are so many alumni that deserve this award,” Cronin said. “It is a humbling experience to be a part of Father Lavin’s legacy.”

The award honors alumni who stand out for their contributions and service to the university as well as their ability to sustain an alumni-student connection and be a role model for students. Alumni Relations Manager Nadine Friederichs said she has seen first-hand all of the qualities that make Cronin a well-deserved recipient of the award.

“Even though he is no longer on the Alumni Board, he continues to come to events and volunteer his time and talents. You can ask him, and he’ll be right there to help out,” Friederichs said.

Cronin served on the Alumni Board for six years and was integral in recruiting prospective students. Friederichs also credited this year’s Lavin award winner with the ability to make others feel at home at St. Thomas.

“[Cronin] is always a part of things and very welcoming to others, making them feel comfortable at the event,” Friederichs said.

Cronin said that comfort goes both ways.

“St. Thomas has always been comfortable for me,” Cronin said. “At my 40-year reunion, my friends and I were able to reunite and talk as if we were catching up on each other’s weekends instead of the past 40 years.”

Cronin said his motivation to volunteer came from his desire to give back what St. Thomas gave him during his college years.

“St. Thomas has shaped my core values,” Cronin said. “It has an outstanding community that is unknown to most students. The university is very unique and succeeds in instilling its mission into students lives.”

Cronin said receiving the award exceeded his expectations.

“The recognition and honor of the Alumni Association and the institution itself is far more than this recipient would ever imagine,” Cronin said.

The ceremony for the Monsignor James Lavin Award will be held May 9 at the St. Thomas Day dinner.

Laura Landvik can be reached at