August 1, 2014
Today, the University of Mary announced that Patrick O'Meara, president and founder of the financial advisory firm, O'Meara, Ferguson, Whelan and Conway (O'Meara Ferguson), has accepted the position of Chief Investment Officer and Vice President for Mission Advancement at the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D.
The University of Mary was founded as Mary College in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation and achieved university status in 1986. The university now offers 58 undergraduate, 10 master's and two doctoral degrees. In May 2014, the University of Mary's Board of Trustees approved the partnership with O'Meara Ferguson to guide the university's strategic growth plan, entitled Vision 2030: Education for Life, which calls for major expansions in programs and facilities over the next decade and a half. O'Meara Ferguson will also partner with the university to reach out to meet the needs of the business community throughout the region.
Vision 2030: Education for Life was developed recently in response to the region's rapidly growing needs due to massive oil and natural gas development. This is causing the area's population to increase sharply along with economic expansion in all sectors. Monsignor James Shea, University of Mary's president, said the university has a vital role to play at this crucial time, graduating students of the highest professional caliber who can also carry forward the Benedictine tradition of creating "servant leaders."
In his new role, Patrick O'Meara will be responsible for guiding the implementation of Vision 2030. He will also act as a liaison to the university's external constituents, including her friends, donors, alumni and regional business partners. O'Meara will collaborate with the pertinent boards and committees on financial and advancement initiatives. He will also oversee the development of the university's Harold Schafer Leadership Center as the primary mechanism for the University of Mary's interaction with the business and civic communities.
"I'm excited about the values that permeate this university and the opportunity to raise my family in North Dakota," O'Meara said. "The rich Benedictine tradition, leadership, example of service, and prayerful witness of the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery made the decision easy for me to take this position at the University of Mary." He and his wife Desiree will bring their family to Bismarck from Ann Arbor, MI in early August.
"Patrick brings a vast wealth of experience in the business and Catholic communities to the university," said Tim Hennessy, president of US Bank in Bismarck, university board member and chairman of the university's finance committee. "It became evident during the Vision 2030 planning process that with his energy and new ideas, he could become a very valuable asset."
Hennessy also expressed his appreciation to Dr. Harry Miller, former university president, Neal Kalberer, chairman of the Vision 2030 capital campaign, and Dan Butler, longtime supporter of the university, for their contributions to this exciting new venture.
Since O'Meara Ferguson was founded in 2000, the firm has achieved an impressive record of strategic and financial consulting, stewardship, fundraising and development, and capital finance. Its clients include one-fifth of the Catholic dioceses in the nation, and many universities, and religious institutes.
O'Meara Ferguson has raised more than $2 billion in capital market financings since 2005 and has generated more than $1 billion in capital campaigns, including the largest capital campaign in the history of the Catholic Church. The company arranged the first-, second-, third-, fourth-, sixth- and seventh-largest diocesan capital project financings in U.S. capital markets history.
Prior to founding of O'Meara Ferguson, Patrick O'Meara worked for Bear Stearns and then for Raymond James Financial. He has been a keynote speaker at events and conferences throughout North America, Europe, and in Africa. Also, O'Meara has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Bond Buyer and Time magazines, as well as in newspapers, such as the Chicago Tribune, and on top financial websites, such as Bloomberg. O'Meara has appeared four times on the cover of The Wall Street Journal and Bond Buyer.
Currently, O'Meara is completing a three-year term as a Pontifical Overseer for the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.
In accepting this new position at the University of Mary, O'Meara said he believes this provides an exciting opportunity to help the university expand her traditional role of leavening faith, culture and education in North Dakota and the surrounding region. Today's period of growth and change calls out for institutions to preserve and transmit the values that have historically made North Dakota great. The University of Mary, O'Meara said, aims to and will become one of the primary educational institutions embracing this important and timely task. To help take the university on its next great steps forward, O'Meara said he is looking forward to working with University of Mary's leaders, including Monsignor Shea (President), Greg Vetter (Executive Vice President), Diane Fladeland (Vice President for Academic Affairs), John Warford (the former Mayor of Bismarck and new Dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business), and Jerome Richter (Vice President for Public Affairs), along with the university's Board of Trustees and the greater community of supporters and volunteers.