Three men, three generations, all helped to make the McNeely Center a success.
Eric Rego – E-Scholar, 1983-2008
Eric Rego was one of the first cohort of students in the Entrepreneurial Studies Program (E-Scholars). He was part of a selected group of 12 students studied, traveled and worked together for two years, 2004-2006. Eric was actively involved in the creation of one of the first student run ventures called Collegeville Carpeting. He also completed a detailed plan for a new venture he intended to start later in his life.
Eric graduated in 2006 with a BA in Biology and joined the staff of Coordinated Business Systems in their St. Cloud office. He had been recently promoted to a leadership position when a sudden illness took his life in December of 2008. The Eric Rego Student Venture Idea Competition was started this spring, named in honor of Eric.
Donald McNeely, Inspirational Founder, 1914-2009
Donald McNeely, aged 94, passed away March 9th, 2009. He was the inspirational founder of the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship and a frequent advisor for staff and students. Mr. McNeely was a savvy entrepreneur and a forward thinker.
He joined his father's St. Paul warehouse business after active duty in the Navy in World War II and turned it into a national company called Space Center, Inc. He also was co-founder of Control Data Corporation. He was an active civic and business leader in his life sitting on a large number of corporate boards.
He was actively engaged in St. John’s University as a Regent during the 70’s and 80’s and as a major donor to the Warner Paleastra and the McNeely Spectrum. He was a generous man, not only with his resources and his time, but also with his heart.
Br. Dietrich Reinhart, 1949-2008
Br. Dietrich Reinhart was president of Saint John’s University from 1991 to 2008. He passed away in December 2008. During his 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 successfully completed the largest capital campaign in its history. He was instrumental in the significant physical transformation of the campus that occurred during his presidency.
Br. Dietrich worked to frame the creation of campus based academic centers, and was active in bringing to life the first one on CSB/SJU campuses, The Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship.