This year, Todd Deutsch, MFA, embarks on his 25th year of teaching art and art history at St. Catherine University, making him someone who knows more about the work and the vision of St. Kate’s than most. “I see the impact of our mission every day,” says Deutsch. “It is evident in the classroom, for sure. [Our students] are eager to change the world, and this place is providing the tools for them to do it. And they push me to live up to those expectations.”
Humbly as he may describe himself, Deutsch is an accomplished photographer with a long resume of internationally recognized work, including multiple McKnight Fellowships and exhibitions across the U.S. and the world, including in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and Uruguay. Throughout his career, he has also earned recognition specifically in the local art scene of the Twin Cities and upper Midwest, forging invaluable connections to the same institutions that inspire our students, including the Walker Art Museum, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Center for Photography, and more.
Professors like Deutsch play a massive role in the St. Kate’s educational experience, as experts in their fields with the talent, skill, connections, and know-how to help students find their paths – even in highly competitive and non-linear career areas like the art world. One can only imagine how helpful Deutsch and his colleagues are to our aspiring photographers, artists, and art-lovers here at St. Kate’s, not only as educators but also as mentors.
Part of Deutsch’s role in mentoring our students is ensuring the continued success of this institution that means so much to them. To Deutsch, this means supporting LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence. This campaign – the largest in the history of the University – promises a bright future for our community through necessary renovations to our physical campus, expanded development opportunities for spectacular faculty members like Deutsch, increased scholarship assistance for our students, and deeper investment in the Katie Fund, which steps in to provide support across the University’s areas of greatest need.
“I choose to support the campaign because it takes all hands on deck,” says Deutsch. “Every bit helps. I had always thought about giving as something that happens in large dollar amounts, but that is not the case. I recognized that small contributions are as important in supporting our students as the large contributions that get the headlines. As soon as I started to imagine the impact on an individual student, and not on the University as a whole, my perceptions changed.”
While he may dedicate the majority of his working hours to educating our students, Deutsch believes that giving in support of our students allows him to do so. “I know the impact that this place has had on our students. How could I not feel good about supporting that effort? These dollars go directly to supporting the educational experience of our students. If you have spent any time at all with them, you know that it is an investment in our collective future. They will absolutely end up in the wide world making a difference.”