About Sister Thomas

Sister Thomas Welder, a native of Bismarck, North Dakota, and a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, has served Mary College, now the University of Mary, since 1963. In 1978 she assumed the presidency of the University of Mary. Retiring as president on 1 July 2009, she was designated President Emerita and currently serves the University in the area of mission advancement. Sister Thomas attended the College of St. Benedict, graduated from the College of St. Scholastica, and earned a master’s degree in music from Northwestern University.

When constructed in 1998, the Welder Library was dedicated to the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation and "to our friend and University leader Sister Thomas Welder, O.S.B., for her wisdom and leadership in growing the University of Mary" by Matt and JoAnn Butler and family of Fargo, North Dakota.

Sister Thomas is an active participant on boards and in community organizations including service as a director of CHI St. Alexius Health and a past board member of MDU Resources Group, Inc. She also serves on the board of trustees of Missouri Slope Areawide United Way.

Active in professional organizations and religious affiliations, Sister Thomas received the Greater North Dakotan Award from the Greater North Dakota Association in October 2002, was honored with the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award by Governor Hoeven in May, 2004. She was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame in 2007, and received the Missouri Slope Areawide United Way’s 2007 Bismarck-Mandan Lifetime of Caring Award.