An update from the president to alumni and parents
At our Founders’ Day convocation this week we honored the Archbishop of New York as well as outstanding seniors, faculty, and staff. Founders’ Day is a highpoint of our annual De La Salle Week activities. During the ceremony, the university bestowed an honorary Doctor of Pastoral Ministry degree on His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Dr. Paul Weiner, professor of mathematics, computer science, and statistics, received the Brother H. Charles Severin College Faculty Award, and Sarah Wanger ’04, M’11, director of outreach for the Graduate School of Education, received the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award.
This year we were pleased to present the Outstanding Female and Male Senior awards to Joseph Budin and Lauren Salonek. Outstanding Seniors demonstrate the ideals of scholarship, character, leadership, and service, and show genuine concern for meeting the needs of others. Joe, the son of Bruce and Colleen Budin of Le Center, Minn., is a Computer Science major with Business and Art minors. Lauren, the daughter of Joel and Tammy Salonek of Watertown, Minn., is a double major in Psychology and Music. The other eight Outstanding Senior finalists included: Theresa LaValla, Janie Maki, Katherine Stolz, Mae Yang, José Castellanos, Bryan Lampkin, Paul Schmitt, and Patrick Sweet. See photos of the event.
One hallmark of a liberal arts university is the ability for students to engage in real-world, hands-on research and creative projects. On Friday, April 24, we will host our third Celebration of Scholarship to highlight and celebrate the diverse talents and skills of our students across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines. The event is organized into four sessions: the first three are various presentations or performances, followed by research poster presentations.
Well over 100 students will present their work at locations around the Winona Campus. Students, faculty and parents of presenters are encouraged to attend the day’s events. Sessions run from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., with a break from 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m. for lunch and Mass. A reception at 4 p.m. will be followed by the annual Honors Convocation at 4:45 p.m. in Page Theatre to recognize outstanding students in each discipline, students in honor societies, and those receiving campus-wide awards.
The men’s and women’s hockey and women’s basketball teams all had to put in overtime this season. And that’s a good thing. All three Cardinal squads earned invitations to the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Playoffs after successful regular seasons. Both men’s and women’s hockey coaches, Bill Moore and Terry Mannor, were named MIAC Coach of the Year in their sports.
The Cardinal men’s hockey team finished second in the regular-season standings and earned the No. 2 seed in the conference playoffs before bowing out in the title game. The women’s basketball team finished fourth in conference and won its first-round tournament game before falling in the semifinals. And the women’s hockey team also finished fourth in conference before falling short in the MIAC tournament quarterfinals.
In keeping with our Lasallian Catholic heritage and our mission to develop ethical leaders to serve society, our student chapter of Habitat for Humanity sponsored a Collegiate Challenge service trip to Omaha during the cold, early days of January.
Students worked with local Habitat staffers and volunteers, assisting with demolition in one home and with building two new homes. They lived together in simple conditions, cooked their own meals, and enjoyed the city of Omaha. Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry that builds homes for people in need regardless of race or religion. During the year, our student chapter is also involved with the local Habitat office in Winona.
Study abroad opportunities enrich and broaden the academic program, allowing students to widen their view of the world. In addition to semester-long study abroad programs, this spring 35 students will take advantage of three innovative short-term programs.
Each program includes an in-class academic component during the spring semester, followed by a two-to-three week faculty-led study tour in May. Art faculty will lead a program to Italy, “Introduction to Italy: History, Art, and Culture,” while business faculty will lead a program to China, “Chinese Business and Culture.” And, languages faculty will direct a Spanish program to Buenos Aires, Argentina, “Urban Studies of Buenos Aires Culture.” Details on the programs are on our study abroad website.
A highlight of Multicultural Week was the Winona Campus visit of international journalist Fred de Sam Lazaro and producer Nikki See of the Under-Told Stories Project. Reports from the award-winning pair regularly appear on public television’s prestigious PBS NewsHour. They spoke in various communications classes, sharing stories and insights into their travels and work in documenting social issues in developing parts of the world.
De Sam Lazaro and See also spoke with students about changing human rights in India at our Dine with the Divine event, hosted by Campus Ministry. The Under-Told Stories Project is headquartered at our Twin Cities Campus and sponsored by our Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership.
Three students along with Dr. Tim Gossen, associate vice president for mission, and Steven McGlaun, dean of campus ministry, visited the University of Notre Dame to discuss campus ministry and liturgical music with members of its Office of Campus Ministry and its Folk Choir. Saint Mary’s students had the opportunity to rehearse with the Folk Choir as well as sing with them at Sunday evening vespers. The group was hosted on campus by Andrew Remick, a visiting fellow at Notre Dame. Wonderful insight was gained that can be applied to our Saint Mary’s community.
A new initiative to encourage students to improve their health and wellness is contributing to the transformational residential life experience at the College. February marked the first annual Iron Cardinal campaign, conducted by Student Health in the Jay Johnson Wellness Center with the support of the Wellness Culture 2017 Committee. This fun and healthy 28-day event challenged students to complete the equivalent of an Iron Man competition. Students were given the option to compete as a triathlete (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run/walk 26 miles) or a duathlete (bike 125 miles and run/walk 30 miles). A total of 109 students participated, with 42 successfully completing the challenge.
Over winter break, the Chamber Singers and Jazz Combo I enjoyed a week-long concert tour of Ireland. The octet sounds of the Jazz Combo—under the direction of A. Eric Heukeshoven—were heard at “The Vault” in the Castle Hotel in Dublin; at Galway’s premier jazz club, Busker Brownes; and at the Kerry School of Music in Tralee. Highlights for the 26-voice Chamber Singers select ensemble—directed by Dr. Patrick O’Shea—included performances at University College Dublin (with UCD Philharmonic Choir); Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Cashel, County Tipperary; St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, Galway; and St. Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney, County Kerry. Short video clips are on the Music Department Facebook page.
Students organized the 15th annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance in support of a local teenager, Conner Turnbell of Buffalo City, Wis. Conner suffers from autoimmune hepatitis, a disease that causes the immune system to attack the liver. Funds from the benefit dance will be used to offset his family’s medical and travel expenses. Conner is the son of Michelle Turnbell, who works for Chartwell’s Food Service on our Winona Campus.
The benefit has become an annual student tradition since its start in 2001 in honor of Taylor Richmond, son of Saint Mary’s staff member Nikki Richmond. Each year this event benefits someone in need who has ties to the Saint Mary’s community. Although Taylor passed away in 2013, his legacy lives on at Saint Mary’s.
March was “Music In Our Schools Month,” and our Concert Band and Wind Ensemble did their part to spread the music with a public concert in the Page Theatre. The afternoon of great music included the Cotter Junior High Band performing as a guest ensemble. In all, the various Saint Mary’s choral and instrumental music groups presented five performances on campus during March.
“Music In Our Schools Month” began in Boston in 1838, and soon schools all over the nation were making music classes and ensembles available to every student. Quality music education for every student is still the goal of music educators throughout the country.
“Working” is described as a show for anyone who has ever punched a clock, a cow, or a supervisor—or wanted to. Audiences met and heard the familiar stories of today’s hard-working Americans when the Department of Theatre and Dance staged the musical “Working” in the Page Theatre.
The show was based on the classic book by Studs Terkel and featured songs by many popular artists. Directed by Dr. Gary Diomandes, “Working” painted a vivid portrait of the men and women the world so often takes for granted, showing that behind their seemingly humdrum lives are a myriad of hopes, aspirations, and dreams.