Friday, October 3, 2014

Former Saint Mary’s president celebrates 80th Jubilee

Brother I. Basil Rothweiler, FSC, former president of Saint Mary’s, celebrated his 80th Jubilee as a De La Salle Christian Brother in July.

It was just one more in a lengthy list of celebrated accomplishments for a man who dedicated his life to education, leading multiple schools with quiet strength and great character.
Brother Basil became a De La Salle Christian Brother in 1934.

After graduating from Saint Mary’s University (then College) in 1938, he began his teaching career as a Christian Brother at Price College, Amarillo, Texas, and in 1943, he returned to his alma mater as dean of students. He remained at Saint Mary’s until 1947 when he was appointed principal of Price College. Following a three-year term at Price, Brother Basil was named principal at De La Salle High School in Chicago.

He served as president of Saint Mary’s from 1956 to 1963, growing the college both academically and physically throughout his presidential term.

The campus underwent a significant transformation: two new residence halls, Saint Thomas More Chapel, the library, the Christian Brothers faculty residence, the novitiate, and a minor seminary were all constructed under his guidance. Additionally, enrollment nearly doubled from 688 to approximately 1,200 in 1962.

After leaving Saint Mary’s, he served as a Visitor and finance director for the Brothers, and as principal of Cretin High School in St. Paul and DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. He would return to Saint Mary’s once more from 1986-89, working in development. Until recent years, Brother Basil, 97, was a familiar face at Saint Mary’s, particularly during summer Homecoming events. He currently resides in Saint Paul.

Read a story about him in the Catholic Spirit at: