Michael Schott
Newly announced Saint Mary's University Board Chair Michael Schott Credit: Courtesy / Saint Mary's University

St. Mary’s University welcomed alumnus and Gorman Foundation President Michael “Mickey” Schott as the new chair of the university’s board last week.

Schott officially began his two-year term on June 1, and wants to use his position to continue to focus on the Catholic and Marianist university mission.

“I went to Central Catholic and then on to St. Mary’s, so I’ve been involved with the brothers of Mary ever since I was a little kid, I guess,” Schott told the Rivard Report.

Schott previously served eight years on the university’s board, and after reaching term limits, took a year off before being named as the chair for 34 board members.

In his term, Schott hopes to work toward achieving a number of the university’s goals, including planning for future facilities, looking into building a third new residence hall, continuing success at the school’s new Center for Catholic Studies, and completing a $130 million capital campaign.

The Defining Moment campaign, launched last November, started with a total of $100 million donated. To date, the university has raised an additional $15 million. By the end of his tenure as chair of the board, Schott hopes St. Mary’s will have the complete amount fundraised.

A certified public accountant, Schott graduated from St. Mary’s in 1968. He previously received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999 and was inducted into the university’s athletics hall of fame in 2002 as a former baseball player.

Schott will celebrate his 50th graduation anniversary with a class reunion in late September. Over the last half-century, Schott said the university has changed significantly while still maintaining its Catholic mission. The biggest transformation is to the facilities, programs, and student body composition, Schott said.

“In the days I was there with my classmates, we had old World War II [buildings] for classes,” Schott said. “It just wasn’t anything like the beautiful campus we have today. Now there are new facilities, lots of good educational programs, and I would say excellent leadership.”

This week St. Mary’s also announced Rev. Oscar Vasquez as the new chancellor and nine new trustees. Vasquez, a San Antonio native and Our Lady of the Lake University alumnus, serves as the Provincial of the Marianist Province of the United States.

President Thomas Mengler said these additions will capitalize on St. Mary’s current momentum and propel the school forward.

“As we continue to expand a culture of academic excellence based on our Catholic and Marianist mission, the wisdom Mickey, Father Oscar and these leaders will bring to the University will leave a lasting impact,” Mengler said.

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.