Reflecting on the life of former SMWC trustee, Michael S. Ariens

March 2nd, 2015 | SMWC

Michael Ariens
Michael Ariens

Former Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) trustee and beloved friend of The Woods, Michael S. Ariens, passed away at age 83 on Saturday, Feb. 28 after a brave and courageous battle with cancer.

Ariens served as a member of the Board of Trustees at SMWC from 1999 to 2008. His wife, Mary Clare “Mimi” Murphy Ariens ‘55, served as trustee during the same years and also served as chair of the Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2005. Mike and Mimi devoted much of their lives to Catholic education.

Ariens graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science in business and engineering administration. He spent two years serving in the Army Corps of Engineers before earning his master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University.

The Ariens Atrium in the newly built Jeanne Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center on the SMWC campus is named in honor of Mike and Mimi Ariens for their generous donation to the Pomeroy Pride Campaign.

Together Mike and Mimi Ariens had nine children, 22 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. At the time of his death, he was Chairman-emeritus of his business, Ariens Company, a power equipment business that his father began in 1933. Ariens joined the family business in 1959.

Throughout his career, Ariens dedicated his time and talents to serve on the boards of many business, civic and philanthropic organizations. He leaves behind a legacy of commitment, integrity and perseverance.

For the complete obituary, please visit

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