In Memoriam: Sister Thomas Welder, 1940-2020

Sister Thomas Welder, the former president of the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, has died at her monastery home south of Bismarck. She was 80 years old and had suffered from kidney cancer.

Welder was born in Linton, North Dakota, in 1940 and moved to Bismarck with her family at age 2. She attended St. Mary’s Central High School and became a nun when she 19 years old by becoming a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. Welder attended the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and graduated from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She earned a master’s degree in music at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Welder joined the faculty at what was then Mary College in 1963, where she taught music. She was named president of the educational institution in 1978. During her tenure, she transitioned the school to university status and nearly tripled enrollments.

Welder retired in 2009. The University of Mary’s library is named in her honor.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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