Leader speaking

Developing Exceptional Leaders

The Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership is committed to serving both emerging and current leaders of society. It is an academic resource for the university and the community, a forum for the exploration of ethical issues.

Hendrickson Institute Goals

  • Encourage and develop creative, ethical, and globally oriented leaders;
  • Offer programs that integrate leadership models and ethical principles; and
  • Infuse leaders with an appreciation of morals, spirituality, and free enterprise.


Bill Hendrickson, who received his bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 1939, established the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership. He became chairman of St. Jude Medical, Inc. and was its first chairman emeritus. Dr. Hendrickson often commented that he was fortunate throughout his career to work with and observe ethical leaders who recognized the importance of developing high moral standards. He and his wife, Jean, founded the Institute to encourage, develop, and affirm creative leadership and to provide moral, ethical, globally oriented leaders for all facets of society.

Leadership Programs

Each spring, the Hendrickson Forum features a keynote address from an internationally recognized expert in ethical leadership or one with significant ethical leadership experience. At each forum, we present the Hendrickson Medal to a Minnesota-based leader who exemplifies the values associated with ethical leadership.

Learn more ›

LEADS offers Saint Mary’s students an exceptional “insider” experience by introducing them to business, civic, and government leaders who facilitate conversations around critical issues that face our region and our society. 

The Hendrickson Colloquium is an informal meeting between Saint Mary’s students and Minnesota’s corporate, political, and community leaders. Students visit leaders in small teams so that each student can engage in dialogue with the leaders.

Each semester, the Institute hosts speakers on the Winona Campus who reflect on leadership from their own personal and professional perspectives on business, politics, religion, and other relevant topics.

This breakfast forum brings together experienced leaders from businesses of all sizes and at all levels of management to refresh their skills and explore a variety of viewpoints. The breakfast is held at the Minneapolis office of our partner Lurie, LLP.

Hendrickson Ethical Leadership Grants support faculty, staff, and students at the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs in the development of ethical leaders. Grants focus on ethical and leadership issues through a variety of projects, including community events, professional development, organizational collaborations, speakers, and workshops.

Get Involved

For more information and to learn how to become involved with any of the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership programs, please contact us at hendricksoninstitute@smumn.edu

Connect With Us

Matthew Gerlach, Ph.D.

Interim Provost and Dean of Faculties

Academic Affairs

Saint Mary's Hall, SM 135

Campus Box: # 3

(507) 457-8716


Matthew Gerlach Ph.D.
Christopher Bobier, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Theology and Philosophy

Saint Mary's Hall, SM 326

Campus Box: # 1416

(507) 457-1541


Christopher Bobier Ph.D.
Brother Robert Smith, FSC, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President for University Initiatives, Special Advisor to the President, Executive Director of the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership

Office of the President

Martin DePorres Hall, MDP 106

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5201


Brother Robert Smith Ph.D.