June 2010 cover SCAN"St. Catherine University St. Catherine University
February 2011
 
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Dear Friends,

Only a few weeks into the New Year and, it's true, my Haitian-born son has never seen so much snow. I have news — neither has his New Jersey–born mother! There's a lot of it, and it is beautiful, annoying and amazing. Administrators fret about cancelling classes, closing the University, and managing scheduled O'Shaughnessy concerts and Chapel weddings. All the while, our calm and capable grounds staff plow, move, shovel, and sometimes even make disappear, piles and piles of alternately white, gray, fluffy, slushy, icy, powdery snow.

These folks are the architects of our safety and render our campus as lovely in the dead of winter as when lush gardens adorn the walkways. Their hard work inspires reflection on how much our success depends on the work of others, with much of it done quietly, without fanfare and often without our adequate thanks. So, one of my New Year's resolutions is to more intentionally recognize and thank people who make my work and my days easier and happier.

The grounds workers are not the only folks working hard, especially in these weeks before the semester begins.

Their hard work inspires reflection on how much our success depnds on the work of others

After a lovely and well-attended Christmas concert by the Women's Choir; the annual Advent Vespers which, this year, included liturgy sung by Father Larry Snyder, Catholic Charities USA president and our former chaplain, and a choir of students, faculty, staff, alumnae and friends, enhanced by talented liturgical dancers; winter Baccalaureate and Commencement; and Christmas liturgy and break, the new year dawned.

During "J Term," faculty and students have been off to India to study holistic medicine, with others in various European countries, Mexico, Ecuador, South Africa and Namibia to extend their learning beyond the classroom. Campus Ministry staff and students traveled to south Texas on a justice outreach trip. Swimmers, divers, and hockey and basketball players are competing.

In San Diego, the American Library Association accredited our highly regarded master's program in Library and Information Science, and in Washington, D.C., Sister Amata Miller, director of the Myser Initiative on Catholic Identity, received the prestigious Monika Hellwig Award for national leadership in Catholic higher education. Back at home, our senior administrators engaged in two days of retreat, including an afternoon with Archbishop Flynn, who both provided spiritual guidance and cooked their dinner!

And then, the Teaching Learning Network, always a pinnacle experience. Hundreds of faculty and staff members gather to hear a professor chosen by peers to deliver a lecture centered on the spirit and philosophy of Sister Anne Joachim Moore, longtime leader of our Minneapolis campus. A visionary woman, Sister Anne Joachim died just before Christmas at age 94, but her spirit was everywhere present on this special day.

Especially poignant this year, the lecture was delivered by Professor Russ Connors, moral theologian and longtime leader of the theology department. Russ is living with a diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer. The title of his talk, "On Hope, Beauty and the Unfinished Life," says everything about the inspiring and determined way he is living with this reality. As he spoke, the room was palpably reverent and not a few tears fell. These were sacred moments and remind me, once again, why it is such a special privilege to lead this incredible institution.

Enjoy this issue of SCAN. I will likely be reading it on an airplane going somewhere, as I enter the "lots of travel" months of the year. Perhaps we'll connect somewhere. Or, as spring breaks and the snow crew trades plows for garden spades, I'll see you at St. Kate's and take pleasure in sharing with you the beauty of this place, alive with learning and on fire with its noble mission.

 
She, woodcut, 23"x31" Sister Andrea Lee, IHM

Andrea J. Lee, IHM
President, St. Catherine University

Mission Statement

St. Catherine University educates students to lead and influence. Inspired by its visionary founding in 1905 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, more than a century later the University serves diverse students, with a baccalaureate college for women at its heart and graduate and associate programs for women and men.

At all degree levels, St. Catherine integrates liberal arts and professional education within the Catholic tradition, emphasizing intellectual inquiry and social teaching, and challenging students to transformational leadership. Committed to excellence and opportunity, St. Catherine University develops ethical, reflective and socially responsible leaders, informed by the philosophy of the women's college and the spirit of the founders.

Vision Statement

To be a leading Catholic university distinguished by its innovative spirit and premier baccalaureate College for women.

PHOTO BY ALLI JAGODA