Austin Lorch has been planning his journey to the University of St. Thomas since he was in high school. Lorch planned his journey strategically — he is a senior studying mechanical and electrical engineering, with plans to apply to law school this fall. “I came into St. Thomas knowing I wanted to do mechanical engineering. In high school I enjoyed my physics classes, had always loved math and like the ability of turning ideas into something tangible for people.”

Law school was a decision he made a few years back when realizing the high need for intellectual property lawyers with mechanical engineering degrees. “As a lawyer in this field, you need to know how the product was designed and how it works at its deepest level, and then turn that into words — to write about it and protect it from other companies stealing it.”

Lorch found just what he was looking for in a college at St. Thomas. “I knew in addition to engineering I wanted to play football. It was one of the only universities I could get an engineering degree, finish in four years and play football.” Lorch is a recipient of the Graco Foundation Scholarship — a scholarship awarded to students from Minnesota who demonstrate financial need. “I came in thinking I would be in a certain amount of debt, but as the years went on, I continued to receive the assistance I needed. My family and I are very thankful for all that we’ve been given.”

Lorch will finish out his senior year doing what he loves — playing defense for the football team, participating in a student-led campus ministries group and enjoying time spent with close friends.