by DeLaSalle | | Headlines

We held a wonderful celebration on February 12!  The entire DeLaSalle community of students and staff were joined by several parents, alumni, friends, media, and city dignitaries to honor Joe Duffy `67, outstanding student artists, our 119-year heritage of Lasallian education on Nicollet Island, and more.  DeLaSalle dedicated and blessed a new school mural and celebrated our thriving fine arts program.

Joe Duffy ‘67, a DeLaSalle Hall of Famer and founder of the acclaimed, world-wide marketing firm, Duffy Design, had collaborated with visual art students throughout the fall to create and design the mural.  The mural reflects significant moments in the history of the school, Nicollet Island, and the city of Minneapolis, as well as our heritage as a Lasallian school, associated with the Christian Brothers since our inception in 1900.  Duffy and the students completed the mural throughout the month of December, which now adorns a two-story wall in the “A building” entry.

In his remarks to the entire student body, Duffy thanked the students and the school for all that he gained from the collaborative experience, that he appreciated their dedication and wisdom, as well as their efforts with the actual painting of the mural.  The students also joined Joe and his wife, Patsy, as the mural was formally blessed and dedicated.

DeLaSalle prepared a video tribute to the Joe and the mural project that was shown as part of the program.

The celebration on the 12th also allowed for the community to celebrate components of a thriving fine arts program at De.  Over 80 percent of the student body takes a fine arts course each semester. Over 60 music and art students were recognized last month as Honors artists at the Tri-Metro Conference Fine Arts Festival.  The De theatre program now stages 6-7 productions each year, including both a fall and spring musical, and the program has won 57 awards from the Hennepin Theatre Trust for its last three spring musicals alone.

The ceremony included a performance by the A Cappella Choir and a sneak peek of the upcoming spring musical “Newsies.”  Student artwork was on display, and the student artists who worked with Duffy on the mural project were recognized by their peers and joined dignitaries at a reception afterward.

Minneapolis Mayor, Jacob Frey, made a point to join the celebration in the midst of a busy morning in his office.  During his address to the assembly, he too saluted Joe Duffy for his career accomplishments and putting Minneapolis on the worldwide map in areas of marketing, design and branding.  The mayor also told the student body that, when he thinks of DeLaSalle, he not only knows the school as college prep, but he also sees De as “leadership preparatory,” for he regularly crosses paths with De alums who are now leaders in all areas of city life.

DeLaSalle President, Barry Lieske, concluded the program with words of gratitude for Joe and Patsy Duffy, for the students who collaborated on the project, for all students who enrich the school through their participation in the fine arts, and for the Christian Brothers and their enduring contributions to the school and the city through the 119 years of Lasallian education on Nicollet Island.   Commemorative prints of the mural were shared with each group that Lieske saluted.

To learn more about Duffy Design and Joe Duffy, please go to or

To see more of the February 12 program, visit our Instagram page or our Facebook page here.

Read the “Northeaster” newspaper’s coverage of the event here.