Ignatius Aloysius O'Shaughnessy the thirteenth child of a Minnesota bootmaker was kicked out of St. John's University in 1902 after skipping Sunday vespers to drink beer. On his way home the sixteen-year-old stopped at the College of St. Thomas bumped into the president and shared his story admitting his mistake. The president impressed with O'Shaughnessy's honesty accepted him as a student. O'Shaughnessy went on to star on the football team and graduated in 1907. Ten years later he founded Globe Oil & Refining Co. in Oklahoma becoming the largest independent oil refiner in the U.S. He gave most of his money away as the leading benefactor of Catholic higher education in the U.S. with St. Thomas and Notre Dame as primary beneficiaries. He funded hundreds of organizations and causes reviewing every inquiry always sending a reply and if he said no an explanation. In this biography full of warm and revealing anecdotes O'Shaughnessy's inspiring story finally is told.
Doug Hennes is vice president of university and government relations at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. He previously worked fourteen years as a reporter and editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.