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Thomas McGinnis, Ph.D.: 1942-2018

Thomas McGinnis, Ph.D., former head of Saint Louis University's academic advising services, and member of the SLU community for nearly 50 years, died Nov. 18. He was 76.

Thomas McGinnis, Ph.D.

He received his undergraduate degree from Creighton University and went on to earn graduate and doctoral degrees from Saint Louis University. McGinnis joined the SLU community in June 1969.

McGinnis found his calling in guiding and mentoring hundreds of students in academic advising at Saint Louis University. His career at the university spanned over 40 years, and he taught intermittently in SLU’s School for Professional Studies as well as at Belleville Area College.

McGinnis was widely respected by his colleagues for his commitment to students and to his work.

“Tom was a very thoughtful man,” said Kent Porterfield, Ed.D., vice president for student development. “He cared about students, and he worked tirelessly to help them manage their academic schedules and programs of study. He was detailed and conscientious about everything he did. He was a serious person but I remember him having a good sense of humor as well. He was a Billiken through and through.”

Denise Sleet, Ph.D., interim assistant provost of academic advising, said her colleague exemplified caring, thoughtfulness and commitment.

 “Tom was committed to providing quality service and advising to students and he was a strong advocate for academic advising staff,” Sleet said. “In his work he paid attention to the details and took time to consider options to ensure desired outcomes. An example is SLU101, which began under Tom's leadership. He cared deeply about the service and support academic advisors provided to students and he cared deeply about the people he worked with at SLU.  He was my role model for ensuring a work environment in which individuals are respected and supported.”

He retired from Saint Louis University in 2010.

 Dr. McGinnis is survived by his wife, daughters Sarah Lee (Kevin) and Katie Stuhlsatz (Paul); and grandchildren Patrick and Dominic Lee, and Claire and Gabby Stuhlsatz.

 A funeral Mass was held on Saturday, Nov. 24, at St. Francis Xavier (College) Church. A celebration of life will be held in December.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Social Ministry Committee at St. Francis Xavier Church , the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or Mid-America Transplant.