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Campus Connection

An update from the president to alumni and parents

Season’s greetings

Final exams are over, papers have been handed in, our students have returned home for rest and rejuvenation, and many of us will spend the joyous Christmas season with family and loved ones. In a season of giving and receiving, I offer you, as a gift, some of the wonderful moments and memories created by our students who have achieved so much. I hope from these stories you sense the positive impact they make on our campus life and in the larger community. I also want to share some of the exciting events that have happened at the university. Here are just a few snapshots from the semester.

— Father James P. Burns, IVD, Ph.D. (Winter 2019)

Celebrating a 300-year Lasallian heritage

Celebrating a 300-year Lasallian heritage

Saint Mary’s University joined Lasallians across the globe in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the death of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the patron saint of educators and founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. The Holy See declared 2019 a jubilee year in honor of De La Salle and his life’s work of making a quality and relevant education accessible to all students, especially the poor. The jubilee celebrates the impact of the mission De La Salle started, which is present in 80 countries around the world, with between 3,500 and 4,000 De La Salle Christian Brothers and 90,000 Lasallian Partners serving 1 million young people in 1,000 educational ministries. Saint Mary’s University — as one of 65 Lasallian higher education institutions — is one small portion of a global Lasallian network of dedicated educators. Watch this video highlighting the celebrations that took place.

$1.7 million grant received to develop character and virtue programs for educational administrators

$1.7 million grant received to develop character and virtue programs for educational administrators

Saint Mary’s has been awarded a $1,732,643 grant from the Kern Family Foundation for the university’s School of Education Character and Virtue Initiative. Using grant funding, Saint Mary’s will develop an enhanced curriculum for current and future educational leaders that places a strong emphasis on moral character, virtue, and ethics. The course content will be enhanced using the University of Birmingham’s (UK) Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtue framework. It will be customized to align with the Lasallian Virtues of a Teacher and the Cardinal Virtues matrix already informing the university’s mission and practices.

Anonymous donor pledges $5 million matching grant to renovate Adducci Science Center

Anonymous donor pledges $5 million matching grant to renovate Adducci Science Center

Last spring, an anonymous benefactor pledged a $5 million matching grant to Saint Mary’s University to be used to renovate and expand the Adducci Science Center’s Hoffman and Brother Charles Halls. The gift is matching, dollar for dollar, all new contributions received since May 10, 2019.

“Our anonymous benefactor is a successful businessperson who supports business at Saint Mary’s and all the great work that’s being done,” said Audrey Kintzi, vice president for Advancement and Communication. “This benefactor understands the importance of providing today’s business students with a quality education that also addresses business ethics, focuses on working collaboratively, and provides real-world experiences.” To take advantage of this $5 million match, contact Kintzi at akintzi@smumn.edu or 507-457-1486.

Photo caption: Draft artist renderings of the proposed Adducci Science Center renovations

Anonymous donor pledges $1.5 million in support of advancement initiatives

Anonymous donor pledges $1.5 million in support of advancement initiatives

An anonymous benefactor has recently pledged a three-to-five-year commitment, totaling $1.5 million, to be used in support of advancement initiatives. The benefactor designated the funding be used each year to assist with Saint Mary’s development efforts — to cultivate and engage top prospects and benefactors, build and train staffing, and ultimately increase alumni giving both by dollars raised and percent of alumni giving on an annual basis.

Biology students recognized for work

Biology students recognized for work

In November, five Saint Mary’s biology and biochemistry students presented their research projects at the Seven Rivers Undergraduate Research Symposium at Viterbo University. Ben Borash received top natural science honors for his oral presentation on “Modeling Human-Snake Conflict for Timber Rattlesnakes in Winona County.” Students presenting included, from left: Ben Borash, Zack Bracken, Natalie Ruesgegger, Jacob Kramer, and Madalyn Bollig (not pictured). Also attending the symposium were Drs. Debra Martin and Benjamin Pauli.

In October, 14 new members were inducted into the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of the Beta Beta Beta (BBB) Honor Society, which is the national honor society for students in biological fields. Students chosen have high academics and an interest in pursuing research. New BBB members include: Lexi Albert, Mariah Bell, Kayla Boettcher, Zachary Bracken, Monet Datari, McKenna Gaalswyk, Alyssa Haram, Samantha Henning, AnnMarie Jacobson, Daynalyn Jostock, Erin Lime, Graham Lorsung, Andrew Tepp, and Cole Van Houten.

New Career Explorations class provides insight into job market, needed skills

New Career Explorations class provides insight into job market, needed skills

Brian Tran has dreams of working on Wall Street. Before he could think about managing accounts at a large private investment firm, however, the first-year student knew where he wanted his time and attention to go two mornings out of the week: “Before you can invest in your future, you have to first invest in yourself,” he said. That belief helped drive him to enroll in a one-credit pilot course called “Career Explorations” on the Winona Campus, which ran for the first half of the fall semester. Taking place at 8:10 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the class researched prospective career paths in a group setting. Students in the class took personality/strength assessments (through instruments such as Myers Briggs and StrengthsFinder), developed résumés and cover letters, worked on 30-second introductions, and conducted informational interviews. Read more.

Students share literary work at undergraduate writing conference in Iowa

Students share literary work at undergraduate writing conference in Iowa

A group of five students representing the Department of English and World Languages traveled to Dubuque, Iowa, to participate in the 12th annual Streamlines Undergraduate Literature and Writing Conference. Sponsored jointly by Clarke University and the University of Dubuque, the conference afforded students from universities and colleges in the Upper Midwest the opportunity to be inspired by each other’s submitted work in a variety of categories by taking part in readings, followed by panel discussions led by faculty moderators. Read more.

Photo caption: Senior Daniel Collette, senior Emilie Steingraeber, junior Maggie McGee, senior Emma Lay, and senior Ian Hebeisen

Students reflect on being Lasallian as part of #300 celebration

Students reflect on being Lasallian as part of #300 celebration

Junior education major Kristin Burke was awarded first place in the Lasallian Essay Contest, as part of Saint Mary’s #300 celebration — honoring Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the patron saint of educators, who died 300 years ago. Read Burke’s essay, “Empowered in Lasallian Tradition.”

Additionally, four Saint Mary’s and Immaculate Heart of Mary students, Isaiah Lippert, Timothy Welch, Riley Becher, and Nathan Budde, won the Lasallian talent contest, also part of the #300 celebration, with an original song about De La Salle’s inspirational life.

Father James P. Burns

The Rev. James P. Burns, IVD, Ph.D.
President
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

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Email: chahn@smumn.edu

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