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Steve Slaggie receives Saint John’s highest alumni award

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September 19, 2005


Steve Slaggie, a 1961 graduate of Saint John’s University, will receive the Fr. Walter Reger Distinguished Alumnus Award at the Alumni Association Homecoming Banquet on Friday, Sept. 29.

The award, the highest honor presented by the Alumni Association, will be presented to Slaggie who is the 37th alumnus to receive the award.

After graduating from Saint John’s, Slaggie did a three-year term in the Army. In 1967, he and four high school friends founded Fastenal Company, a national distributor of industrial supplies in Winona, Minn. In 1987, he helped take the Fastenal Company public. He retired last year as corporate secretary and investor relations officer, but continues to serve on the company’s board of directors.

Over the years, Slaggie has maintained a strong and active connection with Saint John’s. He is entering his ninth year of volunteering his time and talents as a member of the Saint John’s Board of Regents, where he had served, among other duties, as chair of the finance committee. He was one of the first alumni admissions volunteers, and has been a fervent Johnnie athletic fan and booster and a frequent participant in Saint John’s events.

A philanthropist, Slaggie’s contributions to Saint John’s have been extensive. Among the many projects supported are the Saint John’s Abbey Guesthouse, Athletic Facilities Campaign, Annual Fund, music department, The Saint John’s Bible and Saint John’s Arboretum. The importance of giving is deeply rooted in the Slaggie’s beliefs: “No matter your gift, you can make a difference, whether it’s volunteering at the humane society or visiting a lonely nursing home patient.”

Slaggie and his wife, Barbara, have graciously contributed to several projects in their own community, including a meditation room at the Winona Health Center; the band, science and athletic programs at Winona Cotter High School; Loras College in Dubugue, Iowa; and St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., where they have funded an adaptive education lab for physically and mentally challenged children and adults.

The Fr. Walter Reger Award is named after the long-time secretary of the Saint John's Alumni Association. Known as "Mr. Saint John's," Reger, OSB, was a dean, history professor, prefect, member of the university orchestra and purveyor of Johnnie Bread. He befriended hundreds of Saint John's students and kept up personal correspondence with many of them after they graduated. Reger died in 1971, and the Alumni Association Board of Directors launched the award program later that year.

Steve Slaggie '61