Informed AN INSIDE LOOK AT HOW PHILANTHROPY SHAPES SAINT BEN’S
BUILDING ON OUR HERITAGE
A Note From the President p. 2 >B uilding for the Future p. 4 > A Prayerful Decision p. 6 > Impact Beyond a Dollar Value p. 8 > Saint Ben’s Was Able to Offer Me More p. 10
A Note From the President
BUILDING ON OUR HERITAGE The sisters of our Benedictine community have long exhibited incomparable vision and foresight. This was evident in 1857 when four nuns and two monastic candidates traveled across the country to Minnesota, in spite of the harsh climate, to establish what became, at its peak, the largest community of Benedictine women in the world. They stared at an open prairie but saw a hospital, a Benedictine community and a college. And they didnâ€™t just envision it; they made it happen. Personally, I have always been impressed with and thankful for their spiritual and stabilizing presence. And now we have a whole new reason to be grateful to our beloved sisters. They have agreed to make three monastic buildings available for the college to purchase and repurpose.
Mary Dana Hinton
We cannot overstate the significance of this gesture. It speaks volumes not only about the sistersâ€™ generosity and partnership, but about their ability to, once again, envision the powerful potential in each of us. Theyâ€™ve acknowledged the evolving needs of the College of Saint Benedict, which continues to emerge as a national and international leader. They have placed their faith in us to make productive use of the spaces they have cherished for generations. And we will honor that faith. By repurposing existing buildings instead of building new, we make a strong statement of sustainability and responsible allocation of resources. We now have a new opportunity to live out our values of embracing tradition and history while at the same time looking to the future and thinking big.
They have placed their faith in us to make productive use of the spaces they have cherished for generations.
We hope you share our excitement for this project and our enduring gratitude to the sisters who make it possible.
AN INVITATION TO EXPERIENCE INNOVATION Please mark your calendar and join us on campus on Thursday, April 21, for an open house introduction to the newly renovated nursing department. Light refreshments will be served. And, as it will also be Celebrating Scholarship & Creativity Day, I strongly encourage you to make an afternoon of it by staying to take in the presentations all across campus of some of our studentsâ€™ best research and scholarship. Gertrude Hall, part of our Main building
BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE Itâ€™s an innately human question: How do you honor your heritage while planning for the future? The College of Saint Benedict recently faced this question when assessing the growing need for increased academic and administrative space. The answer came from very close to home. The Benedictine sisters have made three buildings available for purchase.
This project is more than sustainable; itâ€™s also financially responsible. This gesture will allow the college to meet the needs of students and community while focusing on renovations instead of building new, which is in keeping with a commitment to sustainability. These renovations will be sensitive to the historic character of the structures and the site and will honor the history of the monastery.
Here’s a snapshot of the spaces being acquired: Caedmon was built in 1911 and has already seen its share of transition – it was once picked up and moved to a new location and has served many functions over the last 100+ years. The two-story building boasts more than 6,000 square feet and was originally built as a horse barn. More recently, it has served as a residence. St. Wendelin was built in 1955 as the monastery’s original butcher shop. The 4,500-square foot building has since provided both office and residential space. The Artisan Studio is a sprawling,12,000square foot space built in 1962. It was originally built as a carpenter shop and is in current use as an artisan studio for the sisters as well as lay artisans. Caedmon
The exciting key objective this will accomplish will be to relocate most of the college’s administrative functions and convert the
college’s portions of the Main building into a cohesive and updated academic space. This project is more than sustainable; it’s also financially responsible. Historically, the college has been able to renovate space for 60-75 percent of the cost of building new. The renovations will be built to a LEED standard and, since the buildings are already on the power grid, there won’t be an expansion of the college’s carbon footprint for additional utility structures. “Recycling buildings is the ultimate expression of building green,” says Brad Sinn, CSB executive director of facilities.
“These renovations will be sensitive to the historic character of the structures and the site and will honor the history of the monastery.” 5
A PRAYERFUL DECISION The College of Saint Benedict shares more than a campus, history and spiritual grounding with the sisters of Saint Benedict. We also share an extraordinary partnership. That partnership includes the Joint Planning Advisory Committee (JPAC), which provided the platform for a historic question:
look at the stewardship of the space we have here,” says S. Michaela. The sisters recognized that they weren’t likely to need all of the space long-term and would potentially need to take down one or more of the buildings in the future. To have the college assume ownership and invest in renovations felt like a mutually beneficial scenario.
Could the sisters hold the answer to the college’s need for additional space? It’s not a question anyone took lightly. The sisters’ history is deeply embedded in these spaces, and the college recognized that. In considering their answer, the sisters turned to another deeply embedded part of their history: their Benedictine tradition and values. “As Benedictines, we needed to bring this to the community,” says S. Michaela Hedican, prioress of Saint Benedict’s Monastery. “In our community, everyone has a say and everyone has a vote. Making
S. Michaela Hedican
decisions is a prayerful process during which we take time to reflect and discuss together.” S. Ardella Kvamme, the monastery’s treasurer, assumed responsibility for leading this process. Ultimately, the answer was yes. “Change is always hard and there were a lot of questions, but it was important for us to
“The fact that the college has a vision for these spaces and will be able to honor the buildings’ history and legacy – that’s a real gift to us,” explains S. Michaela. “The college is a sponsored institution of this [monastic] community and it’s important to us to work together. We’re very grateful for the college being sensitive to the legacy of what has been, and for carrying that history forward.” That gratitude is matched and returned by the college to the sisters. We are forever grateful for what they started. And we are honored to continue their legacy and ours – in partnership.
Mary Dana Hinton and S. Michaela Hedican
“The fact that the college has a vision for these spaces and will be able to honor the buildings’ history and legacy – that’s a real gift to us.” 7
IMPACT BEYOND A DOLLAR VALUE “You can give to an endless number of worthwhile organizations,” says Theresa Smith ’81, “but when you help teach women to go out and solve the world’s problems, they become the next generation of doctors and mothers and scientists and executives. That giving has impact beyond a dollar value.” The origins of that impact began for Theresa as a student, when she developed her connections to Saint Ben’s. “I feel like the Benedictine values played a big part in both my personal and professional life,” she explains. “When I left Saint Ben’s and went to medical school at the University of Minnesota, I was shocked to find out many of my classmates didn’t like their college experiences. They felt like it was too competitive and cutthroat. And I hadn’t had any kind of experience like that.” Theresa went on to finish medical school and become a gastroenterologist. She practiced for years but, as her son grew and
left home and she began cutting back on her working hours, she started looking at the volunteer opportunities that appealed to her. “Saint Ben’s was important to me,” she says. “I felt it was time to give back because I’d gotten so much from Saint Ben’s. I wouldn’t have been able to go on and become a physician and achieve a degree of financial success if it hadn’t been for the things I learned there.” So for the last two years she’s not only taken a seat on the CSB Alumnae Board, she’s also taken part in the Bennie Mentor Program. Through the years, Theresa has given to Saint Ben’s. But in the last few years, as she’s grown
more and more active volunteering with the college, Saint Ben’s has also become a higher giving priority for Theresa and her husband, Mark Danielson. “When you’re trying to figure out where to give, you want to have an impact. When you impact several women, you impact lots of lives.” That perspective was on her mind during a recent conversation with Senior Director of Major Gifts Chad Marolf. Chad and Theresa were discussing the importance to the college of gradually raising the sights of faithful donors. Chad introduced Theresa and Mark to the newly structured O’Connell Society for donors who give $10,000 annually –
“I feel like the Benedictine values played a big part in both my personal and professional life. When I left Saint Ben’s and went to medical school at the University of Minnesota, I was shocked to find out many of my classmates didn’t like their college experiences. They felt like it was too competitive and cutthroat. And I hadn’t had any kind of experience like that.” - Theresa Smith ’81
named after CSB President Emerita S. Colman O’Connell ’49 (who works side-byside today with Chad as a major gift officer). Theresa saw the importance of “raising her sights” and increasing her gift to support scholarships for today’s Bennies. She and Mark have become founding members of the O’Connell Society. And knowing they’re helping tomorrow’s leaders has an impact beyond just a dollar value.
“When you’re trying to figure out where to give, you want to have an impact. When you impact several women, you impact lots of lives.” Mark Danielson & Theresa Smith ’81
If you’d like information on becoming a founding member of the O’Connell Society, contact Chad Marolf at 320-363-5402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAINT BEN’S WAS ABLE TO OFFER ME MORE Fatima ’19 is a first generation college student who applied to a lot of schools before choosing the College of Saint Benedict. But in the end, “It honestly came down to financial aid,” she admits. “Saint Ben’s was able to offer me more.” Fatima was offered a merit-based Dean’s Scholarship that makes it possible for her to attend Saint Ben’s. This scholarship, renewable for four years, is funded by generous gifts from donors like you. “At first I was scared (to leave for school),” Fatima says. “I am really attached to my mother. Every time I would talk to her we would refer to school as a ‘vacation’ to make it less stressful. Of course, then I would have to point out the fact that it was a place where I would have to work hard, because that’s how I will be able to get to where I want to be.” Where she wants to be, eventually, is in graduate school for physical therapy. Fatima grew up with a mentally challenged cousin
who has inspired this career path. “We went to the same elementary school. There were days that my teachers would allow me to get out of class and visit him when his teachers requested it. Being able to see him go through physical therapy, and seeing his improvement, made me want to help him at home.”
“It honestly came down to financial aid,” she admits. “Saints Bens was able to offer me more.” In November, Fatima got the chance to work during our $100K in a Day challenge, as 781 alumnae, friends and donors like you came together in a single day to donate
In the meantime, she’s embracing all that Saint Ben’s has to offer, like a challenging academic curriculum and a welcoming community. One place she’s discovered that community is in her campus job as a phonathon caller for Saint Ben’s Annual Giving Program. “Some of the people I have spoken to have great stories of their time here at CSB. It makes me happy to hear that Saint Ben’s became something great for them. My co-workers are amazing, welcoming and understanding. They are bold Bennies, they are critical thinkers, they advocate for what they are passionate for, and they are great leaders.”
Fatima’s fluency in Spanish has proven to be a great resource in her phonathon work. “I remember the first time I had to speak Spanish on a call,” Fatima cringes. “It didn’t go well. I had to translate words that I was not sure of. The next call I made was to my mother. And I said, ‘OK Mom, I’m going to practice with you.’ I needed her help. She would recommend words to use and how to state them. Thanks to her I felt more confident on the next Spanish call.”
“My first thought was ‘Wow.’ I was happy to see that there were many people that support Saint Ben’s and believe in the education it provides for women. I saw a great community come together to help Bennies keep their lights shining.” It was certainly a big number – $43,143 more than last year’s single-day record. And its numbers like that from donors like you that ensure Saint Ben’s is able to offer quality students like Fatima more. 11
Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Twin Cities, MN Permit No. 93723
ANNUAL GIVING 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374 Please direct questions to 800-648-3468, ext. 3 or email@example.com
WHO’S YOUR BENNIEFICIARY? Making a gift through your estate plan leaves a lasting impact that lives on and on. With your support and our Benedictine values and academic excellence, we can continue changing the lives of young women for generations.
Contact Chad Marolf, senior director of major gifts, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-363-5042 and start the conversation that can lead to a legacy.
AN INSIDE LOOK AT HOW PHILANTHROPY SHAPES SAINT BEN’S