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Rulings: St. John’s alum can’t get his $300K donation back

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. -- A St. John’s University alum has lost his bid to claw back a $300,000 endowment he says was being distributed to undeserving students.

California lawyer Roger Lindmark established the endowment with settlement funds he was awarded as a plaintiff in an interest-calculation case against American Express and as an attorney in a gas anti-trust case.

In 2010, he and St. John’s agreed the funds would be distributed to rising seniors who complete a substantial summer research project on business ethics. But Lindmark demanded the school return the gift after finding most scholarship recipients either failed to complete their projects or conducted research that had nothing to do with business ethics.

“St. John’s has brought this all on themselves because there’s no question the fund’s been mismanaged,” he said Monday, March 11.

The Collegeville, Minn. school in May asked a Stearns County District Court judge to confirm it was properly administering the endowment.

St. John’s won the case in December when a judge rejected Lindmark’s legal argument that the endowment represented a contract between he and his alma mater. On Friday, the judge in a parallel federal court case brought by Lindmark also ruled in the school’s favor.