Br. Dietrich Reinhart, OSB '71

2009 Fr. Walter Reger Distinguished Alumnus
Monk, President Emeritus, Saint John's University

Br. Dietrich Reinhart President Emeritus Br. Dietrich Reinhart, OSB, served as 11th president of Saint John's University from July 1, 1991 to October 21, 2008.

During Br. Dietrich's tenure as president, enrollment and the academic profile of entering students rose dramatically, the university's endowment grew from $36 million to just over $145 million, and Saint John's successfully completed the largest capital campaign in its history, One Generation to the Next: The Campaign for Saint John's.

Other significant undertakings during his presidency included the designation, with Saint John's Abbey, of the entire 2,700 acres of Saint John's campus as an Arboretum and the commissioning of calligrapher Donald Jackson to handwrite and illuminate The Saint John's Bible.

Under Br. Dietrich's leadership, the Saint John's campus underwent a physical transformation, including the construction of a new Sexton Commons campus center, expansion and renovation of SJU's athletic facilities, and the construction of a new science building. At the time of his death, Br. Dietrich began leading future plans to renovate and expand the Alcuin Library, make a Saint John's education possible for more first-generation college students, and laying the foundation for the Benedictine Institute at Saint John's University.

Br. Dietrich chaired the board of the Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities (ABCU), and served on the board of directors for ABCU, Bremer Bank, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC), the Central Minnesota Community Foundation and the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Br. Dietrich was born in Minneapolis in 1949. After graduation from DeLaSalle High School, he came to Saint John's as a student in 1967.  He graduated from Saint John's magna cum laude in history and entered the monastery the following summer. He was professed as a Benedictine monk July 11, 1972. 

Br. Dietrich completed his doctoral studies in history at Brown University in 1984.  Upon his return to Saint John's, Br. Dietrich joined the faculty of the department of history, regularly teaching First-Year Symposium, Tudor-Stuart History and Reformation History. He was a faculty resident in the campus residence halls from 1984-1991. In 1988, he was elected dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, a post he held until his election to the presidency by the Board of Regents in January 1991.