When senior finance majors Seth Morem and Michael (Woz) Wozniak walk in commencement this May, they will leave a legacy of success both in the classroom and on the field. Both were standout defensive linemen on the 2021 Johnnie football team, combining to sack opposing quarterbacks 19 times, which was more than any other duo in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Seth was named most valuable lineman in the MIAC, and Woz was named 1st team All-American. However, beyond the brawn of these two Johnnies, there are plenty of brains as well.
Both men found Saint John’s through family connections. Seth had two cousins who went to Saint John’s. He ruled out playing football at the division 1 or 2 level as he wanted a balance between athletics and academics. “When exploring colleges, I met many Johnnie alums who all told the same story: I would have a great experience,” Seth explained. “I came up for a recruiting visit and was hooked.”
Woz has had a least one family member attend St Ben’s or St John’s since the 1950s, when his grandfather Leroy Lilly attended the college and played on legendary Johnnie coach John Gagliardi’s first St. John’s team. “I’ve been coming to campus since I was too young to walk on my own,” Woz said. “I finally toured here and realized why everyone loves it.”
Both men took introductory accounting courses, then gravitated toward finance due to their career interests. After graduation, Woz anticipates beginning his career in investment banking, eventually transitioning to private equity. Seth plans to pursue a career in corporate finance, perhaps internationally.
Senior Finance majors Seth Morem and Michael Wozniak in hot pursuit of an opposing quarterback
Beyond the classroom, Woz was a member of SAAC, the Student Athletic Advisory Council, where leaders from all Johnnie sports would get together and plan community events. Seth was involved in Community Kitchen, which takes leftover food from campus dining services and provides it to low-income families in the community, and in Square One, an organization that creates lasting micro-business ventures in developing countries.
Both men had unique work experiences during their time at Saint John’s. Through a professor and alumni connection, Woz lined up a job at Agiliti, a medical device management company, in their corporate development team. “I got to work on a few mergers and acquisitions deals, including a big acquisition that was finalized right before the football season started,” he said. Woz will stay with Agiliti this summer, as well as part-time through one final football season before graduating in December.
Seth had two internships cancelled due to COVID, but he ultimately found a job as a sales rep for Renner Roofing in the summer of 2020. Due to COVID, Seth postponed his senior year, bought an RV, and explored America with friends. He worked for Renner again in the summer of 2021 and then rejoined Saint John’s in the fall of 2021.
Outside of the Johnnies’ thrilling comeback victory in the conference championship game against Bethel, the best memories both men had involved time with their friends. “Developing new friendships and meeting new people. Everyone here is super nice, easy to get along with, and a genuinely good person. You have no choice but to socialize. Many of my best memories are the simple things, such as playing Spikeball with a bunch of buddies on the tundra.”
Woz added, “I loved living in the dorms. I had the run of the whole floor with my best friends, bouncing from room to room to play video games or watch random TV shows.”
When asked how St. John’s benefitted him, Seth said, “It gave me the tools to get out of my comfort zone, and it provided me with an amazing alumni network. At a big school, the resources wouldn’t be nearly as accessible. The Johnnie connection is a real thing.”
Woz agreed. “The connections are amazing. I went on spring break recently with 85 Bennies and Johnnies. Not only did I know them all, but I had a memory with each and every one of them. I have observed that at other schools, many students simply hang out with their smaller group of ten friends. If you want to meet the most people, this is the place! Looking back, I don’t think there would have been any place better for me.”
The Accounting and Finance Department produces many excellent student-athletes, and Seth and Woz will go down as two of our finest.