Saint Benedict's Magazine Spring 2018

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For this community,

BREAKING BREAD means more than a meal

INSIDE • The Tables We’ve Shared p. 10 • The WholeMe Story p. 16 • Ancient Grains Rising p. 20 • A Taste of Restaurant Life p. 22




we’ve shared

20 FEATURES 10 16 20 22

The Tables We’ve Shared The WholeMe Story Ancient Grains Rising A Taste of Restaurant Life


22 DEPARTMENTS 1 2 4 26 27 34 37

The College of Saint Benedict Magazine is published three times a year by the office of Institutional Advancement.

Message From the President

EDITOR Greg Skoog (SJU ’89)

Worth 1,000 Words

ASSISTANT EDITOR Bridget Sitzer Nordlund ’08

News I’m a Bennie Class Notes

Bennie Connection Generosity

CONTRIBUTORS Mike Killeen Chelsea Korth ’09 Kristin Sawyer Lyman ’00 Sara Mohs Tommy O’Laughlin (SJU ’13) Leah Rado Kelly Smith ’08 Courtney Sullivan COVER PHOTO Bennie Bread, photo by Tommy O’Laughlin (SJU ’13) CONTACT College of Saint Benedict Magazine Institutional Advancement 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099 For address changes, please call 1-800-648-3468, ext. 1 or email Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer The mission of the College of Saint Benedict is to provide for women the very best residential liberal arts education in the Catholic and Benedictine traditions. The college fosters integrated learning, exceptional leadership for change and wisdom for a lifetime.



AT THE TABLE Nearly a decade ago, I wrote an article about the intersection of food culture and religious culture. The premise of the article is that the loss of food culture – families sharing a meal – may be hastening a decline in religious engagement and vice versa. Shared meals and food serve an important role in identifying, understanding and sharing some of the most valuable elements of culture. Elements that we are often otherwise unable to articulate. Intuitively, we know this at CSB. Our recognition of what food can express about who we are is readily visible on campus: We greet every student who tours campus with a loaf of Bennie Bread. Bennie bars are highly prized and sought after in our community. Traditions like the first-year dinner and senior-year dinner bookend a student’s on-campus experience. In between, annual events like the Christmas dinner, pajamas and pancakes, and bread and prayers mark a student’s experience.

Whether laughing or commiserating, food enables us to break barriers and to see the heart and soul of another.” Why do these moments of shared food and group meals mean so much? These are the moments when we can be our most authentic selves. They are moments when we can be vulnerable with one another. Whether laughing or commiserating, food enables us to break barriers and to see the heart and soul of another. In these moments, food serves as a powerful vehicle for creating vital and lasting traditions – traditions that illuminate who we are. “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” This famous quote from Jean Brillat-Savarin explains the goal of this edition of our magazine. In these pages, we share a very different part of ourselves, a more intimate insight into who we are as a family and community. What do we share over a meal? What traditions define us? How has food brought us together? And in what ways has our appreciation of food’s importance shaped the paths of some impressively entrepreneurial Bennies? Read on to learn more. Welcome to our table.

Mary Dana Hinton College of Saint Benedict President

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THEY CALLED IT “MINNESOTA NICE” We call it Benedictine hospitality. During Super Bowl week in Minnesota, Marylou Salzer ’97, her husband Joel (SJU ’97) and kids Charlie, Claire and Will, got the chance to host Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon for homemade hotdish. “I think [one] part that was interesting,” says Marylou, “was that sharing a meal truly does bring people together ... whether it be family or complete strangers.”

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$500K Alumna Gift Drives New Administrative Complex

For Judy Gretsch Schmid ’63, introducing new students to the College of Saint Benedict has the potential to change the future. So when she learned that the building renovation project going on now will include creation of a space to welcome Admission guests, she wanted to get involved. “I consider it a privilege to give to this area at Saint Ben’s, as they have nurtured so many women to be caring, contributing citizens of our global communities,” she explained. Schmid has pledged $500,000 to support the project. The welcome center will become the inviting new front door of campus to the 4,000 prospective students and their families who tour the CSB campus each year. Each tour of campus will leave from the welcome center into a plaza overlooking Sacred Heart Chapel.

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In addition, the renovated buildings will provide space to house CSB Institutional Advancement, the CSB Business Office, CSB/SJU Human Resources and the CSB/SJU Office of Marketing & Communication. All of this will free up space to begin transforming the Main Building into a true 21st century learning space. The opportunity for this project came about when three existing buildings – Caedmon, Wendelin and the Artisan Studio– were

made available by Saint Benedict’s Monastery for purchase by the college. By choosing to renovate rather than build new, we’ll meet the college’s needs without expanding our carbon footprint. The renovations will be built to an efficient LEED standard. And, historically, we’ve been able to renovate space for 60-75 percent of the cost of new construction. This is a sustainable and efficient operation.


First Use for Saint Benedict Athletics Complex The CSB soccer team made a midseason “home field” switch last fall as they moved across campus to the new stadium pitch at the Saint Benedict Athletics Complex. In the first match on the new turf field, sophomore goalkeeper Kendall Koenen kept a clean sheet and first-year forward Megan Thompson scored to lead Saint Ben’s to a 1-0 victory over UW-River Falls. Thompson was on her way to earning the MIAC Rookie of the Year award for the season. “The new outdoor athletic complex is extraordinary,” said head soccer coach Steve Kimble. “The field quality, function, feature and appeal all compare with the best college facilities in Minnesota. Saint Ben’s has taken a giant step here to meet – and even exceed – the standards for facilities.” The fact that the complex is constructed and available specifically for women’s athletics makes it even more special to Kimble. Head softball coach Rachael Click agrees and is anxiously looking forward to her team’s first game across College Avenue in just a few days when St. Thomas comes to town on April 7.

For Click, the weather-readiness of the new turf field is definitely going to be a game changer. After years like 2013 (no home softball games) and 2014 (two home dates), a field that’s easier to clear (and ready to play on once it’s cleared)

will make a major difference. After all, she said, “When you’re looking to keep home games on the schedule, keep them on time and keep student-athletes on campus and in class, this is a tremendous advantage.”

President Hinton Recognized with Bicentennial Medal In September, CSB President Mary Dana Hinton was honored with a Bicentennial Medal from her alma mater, Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Hinton is a 1992 graduate of Williams. Williams established its Bicentennial Medals program on the occasion of its 200th anniversary in 1993. The Executive Committee of the Society of Alumni and Williams President Adam Falk select five recipients each year to be honored for distinguished achievement in any field. Hinton was recognized for her “passion for educational equity” which is “reflected in her commitment to ensuring underrepresented students have access to a liberal arts education.”

Four other Williams alums were also recognized in the same ceremony:

named CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Wendy Young, Williams class of ’83, is president of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and a law and immigration policy expert who works to assist and defend unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the U.S.

Ira Mickenberg, Williams class of ’72, is the founder and director of the National Defender Training Project. He works to improve the quality of legal representation given to indigent criminal defendants in the U.S.

Dr. Richard Besser, Williams class of ’81, is a pediatrician and former leader at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has covered medical stories for ABC News. He was recently

Adam Schlesinger, Williams class of ’89, is a co-founder of the band Fountains Of Wayne. He also writes and produces songs for television, film and theater.

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CSB/SJU to Host Second Liberal Arts Illuminated Conference

The current narrative about the liberal arts is a strong indictment: The liberal arts are a luxury for the wealthy. Liberal arts education teaches an outdated canon with no connection to “real life.” The liberal arts provide good outcomes for students who were predisposed to succeed.…Our experiences shine a different light on the subject. This summer, from July 9-11, the second Liberal Arts Illuminated Conference aims to reframe this narrative to highlight the value of the liberal arts

in practicing inclusive excellence. The liberal arts provide exceptional guidance for addressing current complex issues in higher education and provide insight to implement practices, policies and programs fostering success for our institutions and all of our students. This is the second Liberal Arts Illuminated Conference to be hosted by CSB and SJU. The first, held in 2016, drew faculty, administrators and trustees from liberal arts institutions across North America to discuss “pathways, possibilities and partnerships.” As one attendee put it at the time, “All elements, woven together, made for a rich integrative experience and a thick body of content on which to reflect.”

This year’s conference should have a similar impact as we bring together representatives from top liberal arts colleges, as well as public policymakers, for a substantive, generative conversation about our future as liberal arts institutions. By design, the conference will provide participants with materials, ideas, partnerships and commitments by the time they return to their campuses. In addition, the conference is intended to facilitate informal interactions with other leaders, trustees and faculty members. You can learn more at

CSB and SJU Awarded $600,000 Grant from Mellon Foundation The College of Saint Benedict recently received a $600,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support initiatives focused on inclusive pedagogy and community building. The goal for BECOMING Community is to teach and enable CSB and SJU faculty, staff and students to become agents of change by preparing them to dismantle oppression rather than simply learning about oppression. “At the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, we remain steadfast in our mission to ensure that every student we serve, and every person who works here, is fully included in defining our community: to have a voice; to be treated with respect; to be valued; to be transformed as they transform us,” said Mary Dana Hinton, CSB president. 6 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

“This significant Mellon grant aligns with our belief that community is constitutive to who we are as Benedictine colleges and that community is an ongoing, dynamic and inclusive process that includes students, faculty, staff, our founding orders and the geographic community within which we dwell. The BECOMING Community grant supports our efforts toward intentionally creating community and will propel us forward as we seek to transform who we are in BECOMING Community for all,” Hinton added. “We are very appreciative of the generosity of the Mellon Foundation,”

said Michael Hemesath, SJU president. “The BECOMING Community grant will allow members of our community to become agents of change in our community and beyond. The goals of this grant are completely consistent with our Benedictine emphasis on living in community and our responsibilities to each other in that community. The grant will also allow us to move forward with many of the goals of Strategic Directions 2020, which recognizes the challenges of ensuring all members of our increasingly diverse student body have the fullest possible educational experience at CSB and SJU.”


Book Your Benedictine Heritage Tour Reservations are being taken now for the College of Saint Benedict / Saint John’s University Benedictine Heritage Tour with CSB President Mary Dana Hinton and SJU President Michael Hemesath ’81, from Sept. 27 through Oct. 7, 2018. Sponsored by the Benedictine Institute and operated by Anthony Travel, the Benedictine Heritage Tour is a life-changing voyage of discovery and a truly eye-opening opportunity. Tour participants will travel as a group to several sites in Italy and Germany that are associated with the Benedictine origins of the CSB/SJU community. The tour is meant to provide firsthand familiarity with the historic Italian and Bavarian sites to which the Benedictine communities of Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s trace their origins. THE TOUR INCLUDES: • Accommodations at four-star hotels throughout Rome, Eichstätt and Munich, with an exclusive overnight at St. Scholastica Monastery • Exclusive group excursions with experienced English-speaking guides • Group discussions arranged by CSB and SJU • Selection of group meals • Commercial group airfare from Rome to Munich • Ground transportation and private airport transfers • Anthony Travel on-site representative • All taxes, porterage and gratuities To learn more, contact Anthony Travel Distinctive Events at 574-344-2133 or

Tremendous Response Fuels Give CSB Day It was a big day. That much is certain. On Wednesday, Nov. 15, we jumped into Give CSB Day – our annual day-of-giving event. Our goal was to bring in as many dollars as possible in one 24-hour period to help support scholarships at Saint Ben’s. And when the clock struck 12, over a thousand donors like you had helped contribute an incredible $422,142.

“We ended up with our best giving day ever in total dollars raised,” said Maggie Weber Utsch ’00, director of annual giving. “It is overwhelming to think about the 1,013 donors who took time out of their busy day to support CSB.”

“This is such a powerful statement of support for our students,” concluded Utsch. “I cannot say ‘thank you’ enough to our Saint Ben’s community.”

Generous leadership gifts from a group of key donors fueled matching grants that lasted all day, meaning that donors making a gift at any point in the day had their gifts doubled for Saint Ben’s. In fact, at two points during the day, special “power hour” events meant that incoming gifts were tripled.

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Saint Ben’s Faces Listed Among ‘100 People to Know’

Corie Dumdie Barry ’97

Brenda Piette Kyle ’86

College of Saint Benedict President Mary Dana Hinton and two CSB alumnae were listed among Twin Cities Business’ “100 People to Know” for 2018.

Hinton, who has served as the 15th president of CSB since July 1, 2014, was elected board chair of the Minnesota Private College Council in July 2017, Twin Cities Business noted. “She’s now speaking out on issues that affect Minnesota’s 17 nonprofit colleges and universities. She will be addressing affordability and access, which are challenges at schools that charge higher tuitions than public schools do.” The magazine concluded that, “As president of Saint Ben’s … Hinton is focused on strengthening women’s leadership opportunities and supporting campus inclusion for all.” CSB graduates Corie Dumdie Barry ’97 and Brenda “B” Piette Kyle ’86 were also recognized with the honor, which was published in the magazine’s December issue.

Barry, a member of the CSB Board of Trustees, was named the chief financial officer at Best Buy Company in June 2016. She has been with the company for 18 years, steadily climbing to executive leadership. Kyle was named president and CEO of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Aug. 1, 2017, after serving 11 years with the St. Paul Port Authority. Both Hinton and Barry were named in the “Overachievers” category, defined by the magazine as “respected figures of influence, known for longstanding effort and results.” Kyle was named in the “Emerging” category, defined by the magazine as “leaders or influencers new to a role, whose early efforts will be closely watched by the business community.”

Dance Team Records Two Top-10 Finishes at Nationals ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex is becoming more and more like a second home for the College of Saint Benedict dance team. CSB competed at the Orlando venue four times over a two-day span in January and came home to St. Joseph with a pair of top-six finishes in the nation as a result. Saint Benedict finished third in the Open Pom category and sixth in Open Jazz at the Universal Dance Association College Nationals in Orlando, Florida. This marks the fifth time in the past six seasons that CSB has finished in the top five in the country in the Open Pom category. Saint Benedict won national titles in 2013 and 2014. CSB competed in both categories Saturday, Jan. 13, and advanced to the finals thanks to solid semifinal performances. Saint Benedict was one of nine teams to advance in the Open Pom category and one of 14 to advance to the finals in the Open Jazz category.

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Slow Start, Big Finish BY | LEAH RADO

At the beginning of the 2017 season, the College of Saint Benedict volleyball team was picked to finish sixth by the MIAC head coaches in the league’s preseason coach’s poll. How wrong they all were. The middle-of-the-pack vote seemed justified after a slow start to the season, but after going 5-6 to start the year, CSB pulled together and rattled off a sevenmatch winning streak – including a sweep of Bethel – to improve to 12-6. After a pair of losses, Saint Benedict put together another seven-match winning streak, which included wins over 11thranked Gustavus and a feisty St. Olaf

squad, and culminated with winning the MIAC Championship match 3-2 over top-seed St. Thomas on the Tommies’ home court in St. Paul. “This season was one of the most enjoyable I have had as a coach or player,” CSB Head Coach Nicole Hess said. “While we struggled getting the wins early, the adversity and learning that happened during the losses really propelled us when it mattered most.” The conference title marked the first for CSB volleyball since 2009, and the first for any sport at Saint Benedict since soccer won the league championship in 2013. The championship win secured a spot in the NCAA Division III National Tournament for CSB, where the team

fell 3-1 to UW-La Crosse in the first round. Following the season, senior Megan Pekarek and first-years Hunter and Madison Weiss earned All-MIAC First Team honors, and Pekarek earned AVCA All-Central Region First Team and AVCA Honorable Mention AllAmerican accolades. “It is still so surreal that we are conference tournament champions,” Hess said. “What a lot of people don’t know about (the fifth and deciding set against St. Thomas) is that Lauren Mathews lost a contact lens, had a kill and served three points to win the game. Those are the memories that will last a lifetime. I could not be more proud of our coaching staff, players and fans.”

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The we’ve shared BY | KELLY SMITH ’08


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DECADES LATER, THEY STILL REMEMBER THE SPECIAL K BARS – SPECIAL K CEREAL BARS WITH PEANUT BUTTER, TOPPED WITH MELTED CHOCOLATE CHIPS. IT’S A TASTE AND A RECIPE SO ICONIC THAT MOST ALUMNAE SIMPLY REFER TO THEM AS BENNIE BARS. For Saint Ben’s alumnae, community was created as much around the table as it was in classrooms and over coffee on campus. In the 160 years that Benedictine women have lived here, dining has transformed for the sisters and students who call this home. Menus and practices have evolved with the times and a growing student body, yet the sense of togetherness – as well as the century-old recipe for Bennie Bread – have stayed the same. “It really is a central part of how we experience community together,” says Bernie Elhard ’82, who was the director of culinary services from 1991 to 2001. (She’s currently an assistant professor of nutrition.) “It’s more than nourishment of the body; it’s a nourishment of the soul and our connectivity to each other.” For generations, food has helped cultivate Benedictine values of hospitality and community living at Saint Ben’s, bringing total strangers together over hot meals or special desserts. “It’s always a social time,” says S. Cecelia Prokosch ’61, who was the food service director from 1966 to 1991. “It builds community and extends hospitality. We love food, and we use food to celebrate.” She oversaw dining during dramatic changes at Saint Ben’s such as the start of a meal exchange with Saint John’s students in 1969 after classes became co-ed. Then, Saint Ben’s tripled its enrollment in the 1970s, growing so quickly that students were housed in temporary trailers on campus. “It seems like it changed a lot,” Prokosch says. But, “it all worked.”

For many sisters, tending, feeding and, when the time came, plucking turkeys was one of their first duties when they came to the community.

Serving up food wasn’t always so easy. Even though electricity arrived on campus in 1905, food was cooled on ice blocks until the 1930s and perishable items from sauerkraut to potatoes were canned and stored in the root cellar. (In case you’ve ever wondered, that’s what the mound in front of Mary Commons was and still is.) By the 1940s, the community was proudly self-supporting, boasting 640 acres of pastures, crops and barns housing cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. But it meant a lot of manual labor. Sisters wore habits as they kneeled in the dirt fields to harvest potatoes while others tended to turkeys outside a barn – the dome of the Sacred Heart Chapel towering in the distance. What started with 30 birds in 1930 grew to a flock of more than 4,000 turkeys. It all happened here, with sisters milking 60 Holstein cows and managing their own meatpacking plant.


“It was a lot of work,” Prokosch says.

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Canning was a big project each summer for the sisters.

A CHANGING ERA Jeanne Filiatrault Laine ’65 may be one of the few people who gets nostalgic over the smell of manure. But when the wind would pick up at night as she strolled across “the tundra” of the open campus toward the Benedicta Arts Center, she would invariably get a whiff of the pungent smell. To her, it was a reminder of trading city life in Duluth for the small Central Minnesota community. “I loved that smell; it was so different … the fact it was a tiny little town and rural,” she says. “It was a big, windy, wide-open space.” Living in the Main Building, she had convenient and close access to the basement cafeteria (the Caf), even though it meant sharing a large room with not one roommate, but 19 other women. In the Caf, where students coveted the fresh rhubarb custard pie and special caramel rolls, she mingled with strangers at the family-style tables, dined next to nuns or grabbed a bag lunch to take on walks in the nearby woods. “The nuns were pretty good cooks,” she recalls, adding that she never minded the jaunt to the Caf when she lived in Mary Hall her remaining three years. “The campus was beginning to change quickly when we were there.” So as the campus changed, so did the length of that walk to the Caf. Apartments were soon built further away on campus, complete with

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kitchens, giving older students the chance to prepare meals on their own and rely less on campus dining services. Dining norms had shifted from table service to buffet style, leaving one sister so disgusted by the change that she left the dining room to show her disapproval in the 1960s, according to archives. The growing student body also made it more difficult for the sisters to rely on their own farms, Prokosch says, and dining services started purchasing from food suppliers. An orchard near the Main Building had to be relocated further south after two acres of apples and plums didn’t yield much due to the “constant raiding by students,” according to one sister’s account. By 1961, the dairy herd was sold and by the mid1970s, the hog farm and poultry farm both shuttered – relics of a bygone era.

THE COZY CAF Walking the path from Aurora Hall to the Main Building on a cold day, Lucy Gutchewsky Bauer ’77 would always find a warm haven waiting for her at the end. Inside the Caf, the first-year student relished a snug refuge of home-cooked meals. “It was always so good,” says Bauer with a smile. Her face still lights up today remembering those Bennie Bars. “I’ve never been able to make it,” says

Bauer, whose own claim to fame is coming up with the recipe for oatmeal cookies for Bo Diddley’s Deli, which opened in St. Joseph in 1981 (and remains a staple in downtown St. Joseph). There weren’t many options for offcampus dining in St. Joseph when she was a student in the 1970s – just three bars, Kay’s Kitchen and Graffiti, a pizza joint where the Local Blend is currently located. Over the years, though, St. Joe saw its dining options expand – and so did campus. By the 1980s and 1990s, new housing sprouted on campus to meet the stillincreasing population, with students trekking to the Caf from new dorms in Lottie and Margretta halls. Elhard, who had donned a white uniform to work in the kitchen as a student in the late 1970s and early 1980s, took on the top spot running food services in 1991. It was a busy time, she attests, with all the food for the monastery, college and catering coming out of one kitchen. But practical traditions, such as freezing freshly-grown rhubarb, continued. By 1996, the college took over food services from the monastery, swapping roles so the monastery leased the space and the college managed it. Also that year, the Haehn Campus Center opened, updating food options on campus with grab-and-go items such as sandwiches and burgers from McGlynn’s, which replaced a smaller spot called The Loft.

Bennies ate “family style” in Gertrude Hall (part of the Main Building) until 1956, when the switch to buffet-style serving started.

The sisters worked side by side with lay employees to feed the campus community.

Abby Campbell ’06 would trek to McGlynn’s to stock up on chips, Cheerio M&M bars and deli sandwiches or grab a cup of coffee for late nights studying. After cross-country running practices, she and her teammates would fuel up and continue conversations from long runs over long dinners in the Caf, which had things like a make-your-own waffles station or a salad bar and themed dining rooms.

“The goal is to have the dining center serve as a community place,” explains Kim Poganski, the current director of culinary services. Alumnae “can’t believe the choices that are available now in the Gorecki Dining Center.”

With the multiple, smaller dining rooms, “It didn’t feel so cafeteria-esque. It sort of felt like that was your home – your place to be,” Campbell says. “We bonded over miles on the road and meals on the table.” And desserts. “The Special K bars were a big deal,” she admits. It wasn’t until she returned to Saint Ben’s after graduation to work in Admission for two years that Campbell ate at the Gorecki Dining Center, the $12 million building that opened in 2007. While she fondly recalls eating at the Caf, she says she also understands the need for campus dining to change with the times.

“(The Caf) didn’t quite have the wow factor of walking into Gorecki,” Elhard says. The opening of Gorecki marked the end of a joint food service with the monastery for the first time in its history, returning the Main cafeteria to the sisters. (Both the college and monastery shared their recipes, though.) The new dining center also ushered in a new way of presenting food – giving students the option to not only pick what to eat but how much to take, for instance, spooning ingredients into a dish for the Mongolian grill.

The new space also encouraged mingling, designed with different styles of seating – from large tables to booths and high-top tables. “It really is a central part of how we experience community together,” Elhard says. “People really do make connections and relationships that last their whole life.”


“That’s what a lot of people care about when they visit schools,” Campbell says. “It’s a big selling point.” As campus buildings spread farther south, students grew less and less thrilled to make the hike to the Caf, according to Elhard. So the new state-of-the-art building was more centrally located and kept Saint Ben’s competitive and able to accommodate the growing community.

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“THE GOAL IS TO HAVE THE DINING CENTER SERVE AS A COMMUNITY PLACE.” Kim Poganski, the current director of culinary services

KEEPING TRADITIONS Some things never change, though. Stewardship has remained an important value at Saint Ben’s over the decades. In the early years, sisters sent food waste to a hog farm. And during the Great Depression, they shared food with families in need. Now, surplus food is redistributed, when possible, through the CSB Community Kitchen program. Food waste is sent in barrels to local pig farms for feed and any waste from food preparation is sent to a small compostable site on campus. A greenhouse on campus also grows kale and spinach, which is used at McGlynn’s. Perhaps the biggest change came in 2011 when the Gorecki Center got rid of trays to not only cut down on the use of water to clean them but decrease food waste was, assuming that people were putting more food on their tray than they really needed. It worked. The amount of food waste nearly cut in half, Poganski says. Just like in the early days at Saint Ben’s, providing fresh food is also important, so Poganski says the college looks to get food from local farmers through suppliers when possible. Gorecki has also changed with the evolving food needs and preferences of students, adding more vegetarian options

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and international foods to reflect a diverse student population. In addition, there’s now a dietician to help guide students with dietary needs and add calorie counts to the menu – reflecting a national trend in providing more information to restaurant customers. “People just want to know what they’re consuming,” Poganski says. Culinary services staffing has also grown. More lay people have been hired over the years, assisted by students wearing baseball caps and knitted shirts – a far cry from the cotton dresses and starched headbands marked with ‘K’ of the past. Today, 75 culinary services staff work with 240 student employees, serving an average of 2,700 people a day at Gorecki and 800 people a day at McGlynn’s. Next spring, two concession stands will open at the new Saint Benedict Athletic Complex – the first permanent outdoor concession stands on campus. And over the years, dining services has expanded to provide more catering for conferences and workshops held by outside groups on campus and weekend wedding receptions. “It really opened up the market for serving more off-campus visitors,” Poganski says of the Gorecki Center, which is also open to the public, with many visitors stopping in for Sunday brunch.


courtesy of CSB Culinary Services


The timeless appeal of Saint Ben’s food stems from some things that haven’t changed, such as the Bennie Bread recipe, which has remained virtually the same since 1914. Unlike factory-made bread, Bennie Bread is homemade, with no preservatives, a darker color and a crunchy crust. Today, it is baked at both the college and the monastery. Prokosch says alumnae also still gush about the coffee cake, Swedish rolls and caramel rolls from their time on campus. And after hearing so many alumnae reminiscing about coconut crunch from decades ago, Poganski says, Gorecki brought it back. However, the two most common recipe requests today (both shared at right) are for banana bread and, yes, those legendary Bennie Bars that faculty, staff, students and alumnae of all ages devour. “It’s still a favorite,” Poganski says. “It’s an icon.”

Butter, softened Granulated sugar Egg liquid (whole) Buttermilk All-purpose flour Baking soda Salt Baking powder Yellow petite bananas (pureed)


1 cup 1-3/4 cup 10 Tbsp 12-1/3 Tbsp 3 cups 2 tsp 3/4 tsp 7/8 tsp 5

1 Cream sugar and butter on 2nd speed until light and fluffy. Scrape as needed. 3-5 min. 2 On 1st speed, slowly add 1/3 of the eggs. Continue to add eggs in thirds and scrape after each addition. 3 On 1st speed, add all the banana puree and scrape as needed. Mix for 3-5 min. 4 In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the mix and blend on 1st speed until smooth, scraping as necessary. 5 Finally, add ½ of the buttermilk and mix on 1st speed until smooth, scraping as necessary. Continue to alternate adding flour and buttermilk, scraping as needed, ending with flour.

Granulated sugar Light corn syrup Peanut butter Special K cereal Semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup 1 cup 14 oz. 6 oz. 1-1/4 cup

1 Spray a large mixing bowl with vegetable oil spray. 2 Add corn syrup and sugar to mixing bowl and mix well. Microwave on high for approximately 3-½ minutes or until mixture boils. 3 Add peanut butter and mix well. Microwave for approximately 1-½ minutes. 4 Add Special K and mix well. (Do not over-mix. The cereal will break down.) Spread mix into 9x13-inch pan. 5 Top pan with chocolate chips. Put tray in oven at 200 degrees for approximately 4 minutes – just long enough to melt the chocolate chips. 6 Spread chocolate evenly. Cut into bars when cool.

6 Pour into greased bread pan and bake at 300 degrees for 90 minutes or until internal temperature is 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The Wh leMe Story BY | CHELSEA KORTH ’09

Photos by Jennifer Simonton ’13.

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Mary Maus Kosir ’89 is the co-founder of WholeMe. She recently sat down with writer Chelsea Korth ’09 to talk about trends in snacking, the importance of clean eating and the winding path of her entrepreneurial journey. CK


Where did your life and passion for food begin to intersect? When my husband (Michael Kosir ’89) was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, we had two young children. And, as a family, we thought we were eating healthy. We started following an auto-immune-disease friendly diet, which means cutting down on preservatives as a means to lower inflammation. I began exploring a grain-free diet and was also spending a lot of time at my local crossfit gym. In my free time, I was in the kitchen finding and developing recipes that were full of flavor and would appeal to my kids, but would also be healthy and filling for us as a family. Finding snacks that fit this bill was a challenge – most granolas and bars on the market were laden with sugar. The initial version of what I didn’t know would become WholeMe Clusters emerged during this personal testing phase. I brought a batch to my gym to share with friends and received unexpected, wholehearted encouragement. I trademarked the name “WholeMe” and its domain before I knew for sure what WholeMe would become.


How did you decide to make the jump?


How did you decide where to launch?


It was gradual! I was 48 years old when I changed my career and stepped completely away from my role as the assistant dean at the Carlson School of Management. I had met Krista Steinbach through my gym, and at the time she was the pastry chef at The Bachelor Farmer (an eco-conscious café in the North Loop of Minneapolis). After a series of conversations, we decided to join forces and go all in. In the beginning, we rented a community kitchen space by the hour. We were pitching our product to local grocers, boutique shops and gyms. We were told no a lot, and we kept going back and back and back. We slowly built our retail base, store by store, and gym by gym. Now we’re in 2,000 retailers across the country.


We decided not to go the farmers’ market route, although we know many food start-ups have had success there. When you’re building a company, it is all-consuming. To consider spending all your time during the week building your business, and then spend all weekend at the farmers’ market stand seemed incomprehensible, both energy- and time-wise. We knew we wanted to focus on natural and specialty grocery stores, and at boutique gyms, which is where the swell of our base developed. At our home gym alone, we cultivated 100 passionate ambassadors who walked with us from the beginning and spread our brand by word of mouth to their friends and family and their co-ops.

Spring 2018 | 17


What does clean eating mean in the context of WholeMe as a company?


What trends in clean eating do you predict we’ll see over the next few years?


Clean eating to us means whole ingredients and no preservatives. WholeMe’s vision comprises three words: active, authentic and gutsy. These are not only product attributes, but also the attributes of the lifestyle of those who enjoy our product. The food we make is built for active lifestyles, as fuel for an engaged and adventurous life. Our product is authentic, and the ingredients are simple. We never want a customer to have a “Google moment” with our product; we want the ingredients to speak for themselves, to be real and transparent. WholeMe’s grain-free clusters are full of nuts and seeds, honey and coconut oil.


I think that gluten free and grain free are here to stay. Plant-based products are growing in prevalence. I think product claims will continue, but that consumers will demand products that taste good even without these claims. If we can create more products like this, healthy and delicious, it could be revolutionary. To shift the larger scale of products we see on the shelves, we need to push the envelope forward for natural, whole ingredients.


How do you see WholeMe as an educator in the food landscape?


We see ourselves as here to open eyes. Not only to our product, but to other products we support. We make a point to highlight other brands on our blog, which lists our go-to’s for our favorite products in the marketplace – preferably local! We’re here to build awareness of options and make sure people see them. We want to break barriers and help people make sound food choices. Unfortunately, the USDA guidelines on fat are inclusive of preservative-laden products, and exclusive of whole foods with natural fats that can fuel you. We want to help shift that bad rap.


So, how does “gutsy” fit in?


It starts at the beginning. Starting this company was gutsy – to dive in and enter a playing field we knew nothing about. But, it’s also about the product itself. Our product is edgy, it’s a new format of snacking. We’re a grain-free product with a big flavor punch. People don’t expect a healthy product to taste so good. They’ve been blown away.

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What advice do you have for consumers discerning food labels and making clean eating choices?



Keep it simple. I like to tell people, “If your grandma wouldn’t know what that ingredient is, put it back.”


If you’re not comfortable putting it in your body, put it back.


Don’t sacrifice flavor at the expense of anything!


Claims aren’t everything. Products will boast any kind of claim they can, and claims are fine, but they must primarily deliver on nutrients, flavor and texture.


Buy based on packaging only once. (If it looks tempting, be tempted! But don’t buy again if it doesn’t taste good.)


What does clean eating mean to your customers?


We have a fictional key customer and influencer named Lindsey who helps us home in on our customer base. We see her as a college-educated young woman. She’s urban, single, has expendable income and belongs to a gym like Soul Cycle. She’s an ingredient reader, and when she loves something, she shares it wildly. She shares products she loves with her mom and her sister who has young children. We think of her when we try to get in the mind’s eye of our customer. She’s in the grocery store, picking up a new product, and as she eyes it, she flips over the package to read the ingredients. If she sees something she doesn’t recognize, she puts it back on the shelf instead of in her basket.


How does WholeMe work with other local companies to promote clean eating and clean ingredients? We are lucky to have a robust food community and food culture in this state, with many innovative food companies on the rise. We are especially thankful to Grow North, which was developed by the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota. It’s a gathering of CEOs from about 10 different small food companies, once per month. These monthly meetings go a long way to help build us up. We have the opportunity to be vulnerable in the presence of other small businesses. We open up the hood of the car and really look at what’s happening so we can learn from our mistakes, create solutions together and band together on making a difference. The landscape is challenging, and this group helps forge friendships, build networks and share best practices in an intimate space.


Tell your grocers the products you want to see! It’s important for consumers to have a voice – it will be the only way small brands can grow, and clean, whole foods will gain market share. If not, Fortune 500 brands will continue to be the majority presence on shelves. Individual advocacy is critical. Many grocers have forms you can fill out to request particular products. Don’t forget you can also use your circle of influence. Advocate as widely as possible, by word of mouth with family and friends, by writing a blog post or by using social media.


an d


What if my local grocer doesn’t have many clean eating options?

Entrepr ene urs




How is WholeMe working toward food equality?


Food equality is a challenge to be aware of and to work on. WholeMe in its current stage is still not profitable. We do donate any product nearing the end of its shelf life to do a small part. Healthy ingredients are incredibly expensive. This is where it is important for us to band together with other food entrepreneurs to make our businesses work in today’s environment, so that we can serve the whole community. We’re always in dialogue on how to partner to source ingredients and make sustainable choices in the long run.

ts r A al r e b i L As an English major, Mary didn’t study the fundamentals of bringing snack foods to market during her time at Saint Ben’s. But, as a liberal arts student, she definitely learned to think.

“The Benedictine spirit provided a constant sense of place for me during my time as a student,” she recalls. “Whether in my residence, in the classroom or in the community – Saint Ben’s, without a doubt, prepared me to live and think out of the box.”

Today’s Bennies and Johnnies have a platform Mary didn’t. The Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship is an education resource that provides classes, coaching and assistance to entrepreneurs.

One of the driving forces behind the McNeely Center is a strong cadre of alum mentors like Mary. “I got engaged in earnest in the last year or so,” she says. “My background is in higher education, and I love working with college-aged students. My involvement so far has included mentoring Entrepreneur Scholar students, judging a competition, participating in a speaker series … and, of course, sending healthy snacks to students during finals week.”



BY | SARA MOHS WHEN ALI HALL ’17 TALKS ABOUT EMMER WHEAT, HER PASSION IS PALPABLE. THE ANCIENT GRAIN WAS THE FOCUS OF A THREE-SEMESTER RESEARCH PROJECT HALL CONDUCTED IN HER JUNIOR AND SENIOR YEARS AT SAINT BEN’S. “I get so excited talking about emmer,” she says. “I can just feel my mood being elevated right now thinking about my research experience and how it could make a difference in people’s lives.”

PLANTING THE SEED It began with an email from Jayne Byrne, chair of the CSB/SJU Nutrition Department, when Hall was studying abroad in 2015. Byrne had attended a presentation on ancient grains by Dr. Abdullah Jaradat from the USDA and thought the topic might be of interest to Hall, who was leaning into a passion for food product development. “The presentation explained the work that’s going on at the USDA experimental station in Morris (Minnesota) and why ancient wheats are an important crop to develop,” says Byrne. “I thought of Ali because, as a student in the nutrition science major, she was interested in a food science project. I thought it would be interesting for her to learn more about this emerging food and do a project that might help consumers use this product when it appears on the market.” The topic surfaced the following spring when Hall was tossing around ideas for her senior research. She landed on a thesis that would determine if consumers would embrace the ancient grain in a bread product. She knew her findings would

be beneficial to Dr. Jaradat and could potentially impact the way we eat and the way we farm.

CULTIVATING RESEARCH To understand the significance of ancient grains and their eclipse by modern wheat, one needs to go back more than 2,000 years. Although bread was invented roughly 10,000 years ago, it was transformed during the Roman empire when the Romans realized that modern grains were easier to cultivate and produced higher yields than ancient grains, which contain an extra hull. Though the hull provides an added

layer of protection against organisms or viruses in the environment, it creates an inconvenient extra step in the production process because it has to be removed before the grain is consumed or made into flour.

Hall reached out to Steve Nelson, owner of Collegeville Artisan Bakery, who provided her with a bread recipe that contained four simple ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast.

While modern wheat is easier to mass produce, ancient grains, such as emmer wheat, bring unique benefits to the table. Emmer wheat provides more protein, fiber, vitamin A and zinc. It also produces less phytate compared to the wheat we consume today. Phytate is a chemical that binds calcium, iron and potassium during the digestive process. So besides being nutrient-dense, the ancient grain enables more of those nutrients to be absorbed.

“I had a lot of trial and error with the recipes. A lot of the recipes failed because emmer is a very dense product compared to common wheat. If you replicate a recipe by simply swapping emmer for common wheat, the bread comes out rock hard. When I threw it out, it literally sounded like a brick hitting the ground,” recalls Hall.

But that’s not the main reason Dr. Jaradat and the USDA have the grain on their radar. Besides being a nutrient powerhouse, emmer is sustainable in our changing environment. “Emmer wheat was originally grown in the Fertile Crescent, which is very salty soil. The USDA is interested in emmer because our soil is becoming more and more salty, especially in North Dakota and northern Minnesota. Modern wheat can’t survive in saline conditions but emmer wheat flourishes,” explains Hall. But before the ancient grain becomes a viable alternative to modern wheat, it needs to clear an important hurdle – getting a thumbs up in taste. Hall wanted to find out if consumers would find emmer palatable in a product such as bread.

MEASURING AND BAKING The first step was obtaining the wheat flour, which she eventually located at small farms in Washington and Iowa. Next, she needed a recipe.

By reducing her water-to-flour ratio and adding xanthan gum – an ingredient that expands the gluten protein structure and gives bread an airier quality – she achieved the results she was looking for.

TASTING THE RESULTS Then came the moment of truth. Hall conducted a sensory evaluation for 161 panelists using two loaves of her handcrafted bread. One loaf contained 100 percent emmer flour and the other contained 70 percent emmer flour. The panelists, who consisted of faculty and students, evaluated the loaves on their appearance, color, texture and overall liking. On a scale of 1-7, both of Hall’s loaves scored over a 5. “I was really excited to find out that my results were statistically significant with this product. But I was even more touched by the comments people made on the evaluation form. Many said they really enjoyed the taste and texture. That was very rewarding,” she says. Hall presented her research in a scientific journal, at the Minnesota Academy of Dietetics conference and in an oral

presentation on CSB/SJU Scholarship and Creativity Day. She also shared her findings with Dr. Jaradat from the USDA, who will use the information to help promote the ancient grain to regional growers.

SAVORING THE EXPERIENCE Beyond the results themselves, Hall’s research experience at Saint Ben’s continues to pay off. She says it helped her land her first job as a Business Analyst for Optum at United Health Group in Eden Prairie, and it taught her important skills in time management, communication and objectivity that help her stand out. “I have to do a lot of research on various topics in the health care industry, and having my background in research really sets me apart. I’m able to look at different articles and not just read what the article is saying, but also understand the lens or bias that the article is written from. Then I look for other articles that contradict that viewpoint, so I can find the truth in the middle,” says Hall. As Hall’s career continues to grow, so does the potential for emmer wheat. Dr. Jaradat sent emmer seeds to Hall and Byrne, which were planted in the Common Ground garden at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. Once they’re harvested, Alexa Everson, a professor in the Nutrition Department, plans to have students develop other products with the ancient grain. “We’re very proud of the work we do on campus as a department to promote food literacy for the students here, and Ali’s work is a good example of how we participate in that goal,” adds Byrne.


Emmer wheat is traced to the Near Eastern Fertile Crescent and has been consumed for 7,000 years.

Emmer wheat is higher in total fiber, iron, zinc and vitamin A and lower in gluten

Today, emmer wheat represents only 1 percent of the world’s wheat production.

It does not require fertilizer and thrives in harsh conditions such as drought, cold temperature and in salty or depleted soil.

Spring 2018 | 21

A Taste of




If food is the spice of life, these Saint Ben’s alumnae are certainly well seasoned. All three of them followed their passion for food into family-run restaurants. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in, say hello and savor the flavor of dishes created out of love.

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that is now Roaming Buffalo BBQ. It was an old greasy spoon burger joint. We spent the next three months remodeling the restaurant with the help of family and friends. We made the tables and benches in the restaurant from Colorado pine beetle kill wood. During this time I was pregnant and three months after we opened, little J. Carter Webb joined the world. Everyone says your first year in the restaurant business is your hardest. I don’t know if we could have taken on much more that first year!

Rachael Lundby Webb ’04 Roaming Buffalo BBQ Denver, Colorado Tell us about your restaurant.

My husband, Coy, and I opened Roaming Buffalo BBQ in 2015. We are a neighborhood BBQ restaurant that features unique Colorado BBQ items such as lamb and bison, as well as the traditional BBQ meats and madefrom-scratch sides. We smoke everything fresh daily, and we are open until we sell out of ’Que (typically between 3-4 p.m.). In August 2016, we opened City & Country Deli, located two doors down from the BBQ restaurant. It features homemade deli meats, sausages, bacons, mustards and relishes. Pictures of our grandparents hang in the deli as we wanted to bring back the neighborhood delis of old. Guest favorites include our hand-sliced pastrami and corned beef sandwiches served warm. How did your journey lead you into the restaurant business?

I decided I would like a “fun job for a year” after I graduated from Saint Ben’s. I began working at Der Fondue Chessel, located atop North Peak at Keystone Ski Resort. My commute involved two gondolas, since the restaurant was located at 11,444 ft. One year turned into nine, and I progressed from lead server to general manager of the Alpenglow Stube, a four-diamond restaurant also on North Peak. While I was the general manager, I met my husband, who was an executive chef at the nearby Breckenridge Ski Resort. When Coy and I first met, we both talked about our desire to open our own restaurant someday. We had no idea that “someday” would happen so soon. Four months after we were married in 2014 we found the location

Tell us about your favorite menu item.

My favorite item is our Colorado bison back ribs served with our cilantro lime cole slaw and Santa Fe cornbread muffin topped with our homemade strawberry jalapeño jam. The bison is tender and has a gamey, iron-rich flavor. Our cole slaw is a blend of cabbage slaw, broccoli slaw, sliced Brussels sprouts and red peppers with a light cilantro lime dressing. The Santa Fe cornbread has bits of green chiles and red peppers and goes wonderfully with the strawberry jalapeño jam that we have on the tables. What feeling do you want people to take with them when they leave your restaurant?

We like guests to feel as though they just left the dinner table at our home. Our restaurant is small, so we are able to easily interact with our guests, joke with them and share stories. We want guests to have enjoyed tasty made-from-scratch food and genuine hospitality.

there is always something that needs to be done at the restaurant. What lessons did you learn as a Bennie that have followed you into the restaurant?

The Benedictine value of hospitality is one that resonated with me as soon as I set foot on CSB/SJU campuses. The genuine hellos from strangers as you pass on the sidewalks, holding doors open for each other as you hurry to class and the delicious breads made at CSB/SJU all translate to the restaurant. Our desire is for people to feel at home as they walk through our door the first time or the fifteenth. Do you have a favorite meal memory from your CSB years?

My mother still talks about the homemade cinnamon rolls that were offered the first time we toured CSB/SJU. Every time I returned home from CSB, I always made sure to grab a bag, along with a loaf of Bennie Bread. If you could have dinner with any Bennie, who would it be and why?

I was very honored to have President Hinton dine at Roaming Buffalo BBQ while she was visiting Denver a couple of years ago. I would love to have the opportunity to invite her back so that we could enjoy a longer conversation. She loved our strawberry jalapeño jam, so I sent her a jar last year. She is a fascinating lady, and I’m so glad she is our president!

What is the best thing about owning a restaurant?

Getting to know your customers and establishing relationships with them. Since we have a small restaurant, people of all backgrounds and demographics can end up sitting next to one another as they enjoy some of our craft ’Que. We also get a number of tourists from other countries who wish to taste American BBQ. It is fun to share the experience with them! What is the most challenging thing about owning a restaurant?

The restaurant industry is very challenging. Margins are slim, hours are long and finding a work/life balance is definitely difficult as

Roaming Buffalo BBQ was featured on the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise this year. The episode was Chow Down Meat Town, and they featured the bison back ribs. Rachael said it is great hearing from customers across the country saying they saw the episode.

Spring 2018 | 23

of transparency, stewardship and sustainability answered a calling of mine in the most unexpected way. Tell us about your favorite item on your menu.

Bernadette Martens Chapman ’99 The Grey Plume Omaha, Nebraska Bernadette Martens Chapman ’99 and her husband Clayton Chapman were on campus in April 2017 to present the Renaissance Lecture.

Tell us about your restaurant.

The Grey Plume is a seasonally driven restaurant in which we write an ever evolving, daily changing menu influenced by local farmer supply. We believe that understanding the journey to the plate evokes a deeper appreciation and respect for the meals we share. We seek to inspire and elevate the way Omaha thinks about food through culinary excellence, the promotion of local foods and growers, and a commitment to community.

How did your journey lead you into the restaurant business?

I fell in love with a chef. Prior to meeting my husband, Clayton, the “food world” wasn’t really in my orbit. However, as I learned more about it and started to realize the complexity of it all, I was hooked. I am fascinated by the ethos, politics and stories that revolve around food. Food can be such a powerful channel for change and activism in our communities and it goes so much further than the plate. Opening a restaurant that spoke to our value system

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It’s tough to beat duck fat French fries or doughnuts. But, we recently added elk served five ways to our menu and this particular dish is a true culmination of what lies in the heart of The Grey Plume. Earlier this winter, Clayton traveled to Heartland Elk Ranch deep in the sand hills of western Nebraska. He was able to participate in every part of the food cycle from harvesting the elk, field dressing it, transporting it back to the restaurant, writing the menu and, finally, presenting it to our guests. It was a full circle moment for us. What feeling do you want people to take away with them when they leave your restaurant?

I hope our guests feel connected to a perspective. Whether it’s a new perspective or a reminder about the transforming power of food. Do I want them to gain a greater appreciation and awareness of our local food heritage and economy? Absolutely!

But in the simplest way, I want them to feel gratified, inspired and grateful for a beautiful meal. What is the best thing about owning a restaurant?

The best thing about owning a farm-totable restaurant is the relationships we have with our producers and the messages and stories we’ve been able to share. As I mentioned before, food is a powerful vehicle and we’ve been fortunate enough to find a community brimming with farmers,

ranchers, growers, foragers and artisans who are just as passionate about growing sustainable food and have fascinating stories to share. What is the most challenging thing about owning a restaurant?

The absolute madness of it all. The pressure of owning a small business is intense at times. Not to mention the long hours, late nights and the constant struggle that everyone feels to find the balance in our lives between our careers and families. What lessons did you learn as a Bennie that have followed you into the restaurant?

Saint Ben’s fostered an undeniable spirit of mindful living and working for the common good. The Benedictine values are rooted in community, hospitality and service. All values that guide my life today. Understanding the history of Saint Ben’s and reflecting on the brave founding women, who were such visionaries, is inspiring and motivating beyond belief. Do you have a favorite meal memory from your CSB years?

My favorite meal memory is at Christmas time right before finals were starting. The campus was collectively buzzing and stressed. My roommates and I would occasionally head to the Main Building basement for dinner. There was something about dining with the exposed brick walls in the small dining rooms and wood tables. This particular night was bitter cold, but we bundled up anyway and walked together through the snow and wind. It was something about the time of year, the brisk walk and fellowship that made it so memorable. If you could have dinner with any Bennie, who would it be and why?

I would love to be at a table seated with one of the founding Benedictine sisters, who was living her monastic life on the frontier and our President Mary Dana Hinton, who is currently pushing the envelope for the liberal arts education of women. Both pioneers in their own right advocating for the same purposes with over a century in between. WOW!

Tell us about your restaurant.

We’re an American gastropub with global influences. Burgers to veggie curry, fish and chips to shrimp or fish tacos. How did your journey lead you into the restaurant business?

Our family has run a beverage catering business for many years and there was a natural synergy between that business and a bar/restaurant. We started planning to open a restaurant in 2010 and we opened in 2013. Tell us about your favorite item on your menu.

There are so many great items, but the fish and chips are really world class. Tons of flavor. During Lent, we’ll sell 150 orders on Friday nights.

Melissa Perkins Glancy ’02 Seventh Street Social St. Paul, Minnesota

What feeling do you want people to take away with them when they leave your restaurant?

‘That was really good.’ We want people to feel like they got a gourmet meal in a relaxed, cozy environment.

What is the best thing about owning a restaurant?

No two days are ever the same. What is the most challenging thing about owning a restaurant?

Also that no two days are ever the same! A restaurant is one of the most complicated types of businesses to run. From menu planning, accounting, sanitation, training, marketing, etc., there are a million little details contained within each category of crucial aspects to the job. What lessons did you learn as a Bennie that have followed you into the restaurant?

One of the best lessons I learned during my time at CSB/SJU is prioritizing and time management. Do you have a favorite meal memory from your CSB years?

Thanksgiving dinner at the Reef with the dance team each year was always a highlight and a fond memory. If you could have dinner with any Bennie, who would it be and why?

My senior year, I lived with the most supportive girlfriends. Work, family/kids and distance have us pulled in a million different directions, so on the rare occasion we can all get together, it’s treasured time. It’s these amazing Bennie’s I’d pick to have dinner with.

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In April, Precious, Ashley and Lucy have been selected to pitch PERK in the prestigious Draper Competition for Women Entrepreneurs at Smith College in Massachusetts. Watch later this month for more on their experience.

’18 PRECIOUS DREW GROUNDED IN SUSTAINABILITY In the spring of 2017, Precious Drew and her two Bennie colleagues, Ashley Lee ’18 and Lucy Cervino ’18, set their sights on a new entrepreneurial endeavor. Recognizing a growing trend with millennials opting to spend their dollars with companies that prioritize social responsibility, they wanted their own venture to be serious about sustainability. “As a young millennial myself, this is definitely a trend I identified with right away,” says Precious. So the big question was posed: “What are we, and everyone else around us, utilizing on a daily basis that can be made more sustainable?” Being college students, the answer was simple – coffee. For many, a daily cup (or two) of freshbrewed coffee has become second nature. But what about the grounds left behind after that brew? They can’t make another pot of coffee, so they’re tossed in the trash. This adds up to thousands of pounds of used grounds in local landfills year after year. That’s where the inspiration for PERK: The Natural Beauty Lab was born.

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Founded through the Entrepreneur Scholars (E-Scholars) Program at the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship, PERK upcycles fairtrade and sustainably sourced coffee grounds from local coffee shops and turns them into natural, homemade skin care products. Their first product, a face and body scrub, is made with upcycled grounds, essentials oils and other natural products – giving their customers many “perks” from the earth. When they launched in December, they sold over 80 percent of their inventory in just two weeks. So what’s next for this young entrepreneur? “This semester, we’re exploring eco-friendly packaging, such as bamboo containers, to further align our packaging with our mission to be 100-percent sustainable. We’re also reevaluating our target market and looking to partner with coffee shops to not only upcycle their grounds, but also place our products in their shops. By doing so, customers will be able to see the direct connection between the latte in their hand and the beauty product on the shelf. They become part of our sustainability mission.”

Major at CSB Global business leadership, with a focus in entrepreneurship

First-year residence hall Corona Hall

Favorite course/professor My favorite course has been the UNFCCC Climate Workshop course led by Professors Troy Knight and Matt Lindstrom. In this course, we travelled to Bonn, Germany, for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. That experience solidified why I invest my time in PERK to ensure it’s an environmentally friendly business. It served as a reminder of the many negative factors that contribute to climate change – many of which are found in beauty products today. I was able to learn from world leaders, NGOs and fellow students about the causes of climate change and the ways in which one person can do their part to minimize their impact on the environment. To me, PERK is simply one more stepping stone amongst millions around the world doing our parts to save the one place we all call home – the earth.

How has your Saint Ben’s education influenced your entrepreneurial spirit? Prior to coming to CSB/SJU, I dabbled in entrepreneurship, but E-Scholars has truly pushed me to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit. You have no choice but to step out of your comfort zone. Many inspiring entrepreneurs can make it to the idea-generation stage, but the E-Scholars Program pushes us beyond that. We have to generate hundreds of venture ideas, conduct feasibility analysis, present concept tests and raise funding with the expectation that you will launch a business before graduating. I have learned that while entrepreneurship is fun, it takes a lot of work, time, commitment and most importantly, a willingness to “embrace ambiguity” in the words of Professor Paul Marsnik. There’s no blueprint to entrepreneurship. Graduating in May, I know that I am destined for entrepreneurship, and thanks to our amazing E-Scholars Program, I am fully equipped with the tools and network necessary to pursue my future endeavors.









Tara Williams Fortune received the Carondelet Award from Cretin-Derham Hall for showing immense success in her field of work, July ’17. Tara works as the immersion project coordinator at the University of Minnesota where she received her master of arts and doctorate in philosophy. Sharon Kasel D’Agostino received the 2017 Opus Sancti Thomae Award from Saint Thomas Academy. This award honors women and men who have made outstanding contributions to their business, civic, church, educational and professional communities. Kate Flynn is the principal at Madison Elementary in St. Cloud, Minn.


Rose Lambert is an executive producer at 3M in St. Paul, Minn.


Jennifer LeGrand Reiter is a researcher at Adobe in the Twin Cities.


Mia Boom-Ibes is the vice president of information security strategy, innovation and analytics at Allstate.


Tori Lee Makela is the owner of the Colorado Skyhawks franchise, a youth sports organization whose purpose is to teach life skills through sports.


Angela Pierce Mejdrich is the director of administration at Spirit of the Lake Community School in Duluth, Minn.


Jennifer Stauffenecker Bruzek was featured in Trend magazine, a new Central Minnesota publication, for her work with the non-profit she helped found, Pockets of Hope. The organization gives children new backpacks filled with personal care and comfort items as they enter foster car.

Jill Diem retired from U.S. Air Force active duty service in Aug. ’17. She was hired by Booz Allen Hamilton in Sept. ’17 as lead coordinator for the Association of African Air Forces and the African Air Chiefs Symposium for the United States Air Forces Africa in Ramstein, Germany. Since college, she has coordinated events in over 20 countries on 3 continents, working with Department of Defense, State Department, partner nation militaries and other outside agencies.


Katie DesLauriers Sullivan received the Red Knight Leadership Award from Benilde St. Margaret High School for her service and dedication to the school and Catholic education, Oct. ’17.


Amy Schwarz is a land sales and conservation easement stewardship coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in St. Paul, Minn.


Heather Parker Plumski is the director of Stearns Connect at Stearns Bank in St. Cloud, Minn.

was a speaker at TEDxStCloud, Oct. ’17.


Kristin Sweetman started her own life coaching business, Wild Roots, in the Twin Cities.


Delaney Lundeen is in physician assistant school at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Ariz.


Rebecca Gross is the business development manager at the Anderson Center in St. Cloud, Minn. Alison Maguire Matthees was awarded The Marvin Andrews Fellowship in Urban Management from Arizona State University. This award is granted to talented students aspiring to executive levels in local government. She is a Marvin Andrews Fellow and management intern at the Alliance for Innovation in Phoenix, Ariz.


Nicole Cornell earned a master of science degree in occupational therapy from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., in Aug. ’17. She is a pediatric occupational therapist at the Center for Pediatric Therapy in Evansville, Ind. Mary Gilbertson is a legislative assistant to Minnesota State Senator Tony Lourey. Laura Fox Hall is an associate business application analyst at Capella University in Minneapolis, Minn. Sarah Ober is an event coordinator at Children’s Cancer Research Fund in Minneapolis, Minn.




was honored as the Spanish Teacher of the Year by the Wisconsin chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Oct. ’17.


Sarah Domine Engdahl is the controller for the equipment finance division at Stearns Bank in St. Cloud, Minn.

Siri Berg-Moberg and Grace Werner ’17 canoed the full 1,800 miles of the Mississippi River in 60 days with a group called Gals to the Gulf. The trip raised money for the BOLD & GOLD (Boys and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development) program, which emphasizes the importance of expanding access to wilderness travel and outdoor recreation for underrepresented and excluded communities. Megan Towle is co-founder of Harmoni, an organization whose mission is to give refugees purpose, meaning and independence through digital employment.




Krista Cleary Carroll was recognized in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as co-founder and CEO of Latitude, which was named one of the best companies to work for in the region, July ’17.

is the author of a new book titled, “Women for All Seasons: Grit, Grind and Grace,” Aug. ’17.


Rebecca Heidke Kwiatkowski is the treasurer on the board of directors at the Neenah Historical Society in Neenah, Wis. She was recently the featured speaker for the Morning Star Family Memorial Program at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and a co-presenter at the Neenah Historical Society’s monthly lecture, Nov. ’17.

Ellen Donovan is a client services associate at Integrated Equity Management in Bloomington, Minn. Emily Heying is a client coordinator at the Anderson Center in St. Cloud, Minn. Grace Werner and Siri BergMoberg ’16 canoed the full 1,800 miles of the Mississippi River in 60 days with a group called Gals to the Gulf. The trip raised money for the BOLD & GOLD (Boys and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development) program, which emphasizes the importance of expanding access to wilderness travel and outdoor recreation for underrepresented and excluded communities.

For complete news and notes from classmates and to post your notes, go to BenniesConnect: or email us at Spring 2018 | 27



Gina Gass to Travis Readdick, March ’17 Amy Peffer to Troy Grossman, July ’17


Breanna Olson to Michael Schafer, April ’17


Lindsay Peckskamp to Sean Sturm, Sept. ’17 Sara Schneeberg to Ben Ivory ’07, July ’17


Jenna Haler to Eric Peterson, Jan. ’17 Michelle Nolan to Jacob Hawkins, May ’17 Laura Robinson to John Rosenberger, Aug. ’17


Ashley Bartoletti to Miles Levy, Aug. ’16 Lindsey Tucker to Jake Hommer, Aug. ’17





Nicole Maslowski to Jeffrey Schmitt, Aug. ’17 Abby Richardson to Matthew Jacobson, July ’17 Emily Rud to David Bernardy ’10, Sept. ’17


Molly Deml to Chad Cooper, May ’17 Katie Elmquist to Andrew Grausam ’11, Sept. ’17 Katie Koerner to Robert Mandell ’12, Oct. ’16 Kara Nyberg to Matt Reeve ’11, Nov. ’17


Kaylee Batcha to Andrew Fraser, July ’16 Katie Callahan to Nick VandenPlas, Aug. ’17 Rachel Dietrick to Dustin Allen, Aug. ’17 Amber Harlow to Grant Wenker, June ’16 Sarah Kruger to Andrew Hilger ’13, Sept. ’17 Sara Mickolichek to Ian Wyffels, June ’17

28 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine






Clare Murn to Trent Johnson ’14, June ’17



Stephanie Maher Fredrickson & Todd Fredrickson ’10, boy, William, May ’17

Theresa Powell to Stephen Middlebrook ’13, Aug. ’17


Tara Tollefson Gronhovd & Greg Gronhovd, boy, Oliver, Nov. ’17

Kelly Koenig Hiestand & Nate Hiestand ’03, boy, Spencer, April ’17

Alison Schadow to Jack Brandes ’13, Sept. ’17


Gretchen Adelmann Korf & Michael Korf, boy, Andrew, Nov. ’17

Jessica Guentzel Himmerick & Robert Himmerick ’05, boy, Collin, July ’17

Brianna Barrett to John Arns, July ’17


Jana Viramontes Gaffaney & Alan Gaffaney ’03, boy, Joseph, May ’17

Theresa Guentzel Reichert & Matt Reichert ’05, girl, Grace, May ’17

Alaina Cranston to Quinn Kolpin, June ’16 Laura Jellinger to Joshua Lindquist ’14, Aug. ’17 Molly Johnson to Andrew Spear ’14, Sept. ’17

Sara Anderson Krieg & Brendon Krieg ’02, boy, Oliver, May ’17


Christina Adams Guetter & Rod Guetter ’02, girl, Faith, July ’17

Bernadette Martinez to Kale Yarbrough, Sept. ’17

Alexa Brom Hoekstra & Travis Hoekstra, boy, Gavin, Sept. ’17

Amanda Witschen to Joel Barthel, Aug. ’17

Lindsay Etter McCarthy & John McCarthy ’03, boy, Kelley, Sept. ’16 Valerie Smith Olson & Kris Olson ’03, girl, Lillian, July ’17 Leah Haehn Sanner & Nicholas Sanner, boy, Callan, Sept. ’17



Katie McCarney Campbell & Robert Campbell, boy, Finley, May ’17 Kathryn Schmucker Kiley & Gregory Kiley, girl, Elise, Sept. ’16

Kadee Johnson Hedstrom & Charles Hedstrom, twin boys, Sawyer & Bryce, June ’17 Liz Leslie Housman & Joe Housman ’04, boy, Louis, Aug. ’17 Brittany Mrozek Schou & Andy Schou ’06, boy, August, June ’17


Amy Canfield & Michael Carlson, girl, Maryellen, Nov. ’15 & boy, Theodore, Jan. ’17 Heather Fischer Klescewski & Daniel Klescewski, girl, Hannah, Sept. ’17 Tamara Slivnik Shaughnessy & Kyle Shaughnessy ’07, girl, Josephine, Nov. ’17 Tabetha Struzyk Skaj & Jesse Skaj, girl, Olivia, Oct. ’17




Laura Backus to Thomas Steichen ’15, July ’17 Amy Knutson to Jacob Hall ’14, Aug. ’17 Jessica Raboin to Fabian Schueller, Dec. ’16


Nicole Berdan to Mitch Foley, Sept. ’17 Rebekah Meschke to Michael Wojahn ’17, July ’17 Michaela Roskowiak to Nathan Kor ’16, Aug. ’17 Jenna Schlangen to Casey Skillings, Sept. ’17 Melissa Torgerson to Troy Bauer ’16, May ’17





Megan Duppler Appelwick & Scott Appelwick ’08, boy, Brantley, Sept. ’17 Katie Ward Black & Kevin Black, boy, Luke, Nov. ’17 Katie Meyer Rawlings & Tony Rawlings ’07, girl, Mila, Aug. ’17 Ali Jacobson Ressler & Brandon Ressler, boy, Mason, July ’17



MALLORY LUNDEEN SWIERK & JUSTIN SWIERK ’08, BOY, NIKOLAI, JUNE ’17 Sonya Kamen Gaydos & Andrew Gaydos ’09, girl, Matilda, Aug. ’17 Jillian Rigg McKenzie & Patrick McKenzie ’04, boy, Patrick, Nov. ’17 Ashley Brandel Veeder & Joe Veeder, girl, Madeline, Sept. ’17 Mara Grivna Wurm & Tyler Wurm, boy, Levi, April ’16


Michelle Pickle Brown & Jeff Brown ’10, girl, Emma, Aug. ’17

UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN April 7 • 7:30pm Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU

Kayla Kragh Carlson & Steve Carlson, boy, Jude, Aug. ’17 Stephanie Maher Fredrickson & Todd Fredrickson ’10, boy, William, May ’17

DAKHA BRAKHA April 20 • 7:30pm Gorecki Family Theater, CSB AIR PLAY April 28 • 11:00am & 2:00pm Escher Auditorium, CSB

Lauren Gooley Brandt & Ben Brandt, boy, Henry, July ’17

Katherine Hanson & Kevin Davis, girl, Olive, Aug. ’17 Lauren Merz Sanger & Greg Sanger, boy, Oliver, Aug. ’17 Jill Warren Traut & Aaron Traut ’10, boy, Hayes, Sept. ’17


Laura Anderson Alonzi & Nicholas Alonzi ’11, boy, Anthony, Aug. ’17 Carley Braegelmann Castellanos & Chad Castellanos, boy, Niko, Oct. ’17 Abby Neigebauer McClure & Patrick McClure ’11, girl, Murphy, Aug. ’17 Tamara Krueger Wimmer & Ryan Wimmer ’10, girl, Josie, Aug. ’17


30 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine




Donna Van Risseghem Henry, Sept. ’16 Mary Williams, daughter of Eleanor Buchl MacDonnell, Jan. ’17 Eleanor Bohlin McHale, Nov. ’17


1974 1976 1977

Russell Christensen, spouse of Stasia Biehn Christensen, Sept. ’17 Bibiana Schirber Tristani, Nov. ’17

1959 1960

Patricia Crever Beuning, Sept. ’17

1961 1962 1966


MARBELLA MORENO & DOUGLAS BURGOS, GIRL, ADELINE, JULY ’17 Mikala Foehrenbacher Gaffke & Drew Gaffke, girl, Ruby, Sept. ’17


Carol Sonstegard Fruth, Nov. ’17


Mary Sexton Huberty, Sept. ’17 Pauline Pershke Jeneva, July ’17 Valeria Luetmer, mother of Kathleen Luetmer & Kathryn Luetmer, Nov. ’17

Lucille Kutzke, mother of Connie Kutzke Dilts, Aug. ’17 Lawrence Hansen, father of Nancy Hansen Kneip & Karen Hansen ’81, Aug. ’17

David Olson, spouse of JoAnn Vanselow Olson, Aug. ’17 S. Madonna (Mary Ann) Niebolte, OSB, Dec. ’17


Ruby Wolesky, mother of Patricia Wolesky, Aug. ’17

Jean Smoley, Nov. ’17


James Ebacher ’77, spouse of Pat Wentz Ebacher, Sept. ’17

Rosemary Kaufman, mother of Susan Kaufman Utecht & Theresa Kaufman Voit ’88, Oct. ’17

John Stackpool ’55, spouse of Mary Nelson Stackpool, Sept. ’17 Chad McGuire, son of Judith Faulkner McGuire, Sept. ’17

Irene Hayden, mother of Louise Hayden Falk, Nov. ’17

Joyce Ginther, mother of Judith Ginther McCollum & Susan Ginther Jansen ’87, Dec. ’17

Stasia Biehn Christensen, Nov. ’17

1954 1955

Barbara Heille, Aug. ’17

William Berghoff, father of Theresa Berghoff Orth & Kathryn Berghoff Foster ’80, Aug. ’17


Marge Finley, mother of Mary Finley Ostlund & Teresa Finley Murphy ’80, Sept. ’17


Leonard “Lee” Canning, father of Patricia Canning Crane & Colleen Canning ’82, Aug. ’17

Tom Landwehr ’50, father of Terese Landwehr Melis & Peggy Landwehr Roske ’77, Oct. ’17

Evelyn Krystosek, mother of Patricia Krystosek & Terri Krystosek Weyer ’83, Sept. ’17

Kathleen Simonett, mother of Cleo Simonett, Sept. ’17

Dale Eliason, father of Melinda Eliason Vidal & Jennifer Eliason Hylla ’88, Sept. ’17

Kayla Solum Geib & Mike Geib ’12, girl, Nora, Sept. ’17 Michelle Walther Mader & Patrick Mader ’12, boy, George, Aug. ’17


Kayelee Gill Freeman & Jack Freeman ’11, boy, James, Nov. ’17


Kayla Parker Jennissen & Kevin Jennissen ’14, girl, Eleanor, Sept. ’17 Maria Slivnik Harren & Stephen Harren, girl, Noelle, Sept. ’17


Karissa Ressemann, girl, Kinsley, Aug. ’17

DEATHS 1944 1945 1946

Mary McGivern Butkovich, Nov. ’17


Margie Reichling Voelker, Oct. ’17

Helen Mathias Freking, July ’17 John Rajkowski ’77, son of Donna Coyne Rajkowski, Aug. ’17 Mark Zenner, son of Evelyn Hill Zenner, Nov. ’17


Jim Engel ’52, spouse of Virginia Juettner Engel, Oct. ’17


William “Bill” Cofell ’49, spouse of Lorraine Westrup Cofell, Nov. ’17 Mary Ann Malinski Mayer, Dec. ’17 S. Colman O’Connell, OSB, Sept. ’17



The main CSB/SJU Facebook page is wonderful. But are you missing out on a whole stream of alumnaespecific content on our Alumnae Association’s page? Make sure to Like us and discover the latest alumnae news, information, events, photos and stories from Saint Ben’s.




Beverly Edwards, mother of Barbara Edwards Farley, Aug. ’17


Gust Zahariades, father of Susan Zahariades Schubloom, Oct. ’17


Donald Loeb, father of Dawn Loeb Sullivan, Sept. ’17


Michael Fandel ’58, father of Cheryl Fandel Carlson & Rochelle Fandel Blease ’94, Aug. ’17


Mary Douglas, mother of Amy O’Connell, Oct. ’17


William Buttell, Jr., father of Shannon Buttell, Aug. ’17

May Hanson, mother of Kathryn Hanson Werner, Oct. ’17

1998 2000

Kathleen Peterson, June ’15

John Spanier, father of Jonelle Spanier Heinen, Joyce Spanier Borash ’91 & Jeri Spanier Mathison ’93, Sept. ’17


Arnold Imholte, spouse of Jane Kremer Imholte, Sept. ’17

Robert Hoofnagle, father of Cindi Hoofnagle Gilmore, Sept. ’17

Roy Lundberg, father of Betsy Lundberg Quigley, June ’17

James Chan ’58, father of Suzanne Chan Streich & Kathryn Chan ’94, Aug. ’17


Doris Zimmer Budde, Sept. ’17


Judi Heinzmann, mother of Deborah Heinzmann, Nov. ’17

Paul Hufnagle, father of Mary Hufnagle Hoffman & Anne Hufnagle ’86, Oct. ’17

Linus Thell, father of Angela Thell Kearns, Nov. ’17

Marietta Haeg Schwartz, Sept. ’17


Robert Gierke, spouse of Pamela Fiedler Gierke, Aug. ’17

Burton Bancroft, Jr., father of Cynthia Bancroft Brutger, Sept. ’17


James Hardman, father of Katie Hardman, Aug. ’17

Richard Hullett, father of Janelle Hullett Johnson, Oct. ’17


Ralph Hanson, father of Joy Hanson Fischer, Aug. ’17

Herman Wicke, father of Kelly Wicke, Oct. ’17


Ronald Swanson, father of Laurie Swanson Munns, July ’17


Cordella Heroux, mother of Lynne Heroux, Sept. ’17

Carol VanKnight, mother of Billie VanKnight, Oct. ’17


Steven Hammer, father of Kelly Hammer Reeck, Oct. ’17


Virginia “Ginny” Guzik, mother of Gina Guzik Cass, Nov. ’17

Sharon Ross, mother of Susan Ross, Oct. ’17

Audrey Snyder, mother of Anne Snyder & Nina Snyder Torkelson ’84, May ’17 Joanne Dingmann, mother of Deb Dingmann Utsch, Oct. ’17

Edward Pettit, father of Michelle Pettit de Dimayuga & Jane Pettit Jensen ’93, Nov. ’17

Jeffery Lang, father of Kristine Lang Erickson, Sept. ’17


Douglas Vasseur, father of Emma Vasseur, Sept. ’17


Kevin Stanoch, father of Amanda Stanoch Rudnicki, Sept. ’17


John Elmquist, father of Katie Elmquist Grausam, Nov. ’17


James Gillespie, father of Marissa Gillespie Haakonson, Nov. ’17

Audrey Olejar, mother of Maria Olejar, Nov. ’17


Gerald Bentler, father of Tammy Bentler Knutson, Nov. ’17

Charles Twedt, spouse of Donnis Snyder Twedt, Oct. ’17 James Wright, spouse of Margaret Scully Wright, Aug. ’17


Patricia Skluzacek, mother of Teri Skluzacek Carlisano & Jean Skluzacek Noack ’90, Sept. ’17 James McLean, father of Anne McLean Miele, Sept. ’17


Elmer “Red” Lodermeier, father of Mary Lodermeier Baker, Aug. ’17 Mark Lohmann ’58, father of Therese Lohmann & Allison Lohmann Gruhn ’97, Oct. ’17 Donald “Gus” Meyer, father of Lynn Meyer-Kroiss, Nov. ’17 James Lenarz ’49, father of Margret Lenarz Levin, Nov. ’17 Richard Oehmke, father of Norah Oehmke, Aug. ’17


Jordan Gettys, June ’17 Barbara Zachman, mother of Lillian Zachman Nagengast, Oct. ’17

We’re here for you! Who’s got more than 23,000 friends willing to offer advice, lend a helping hand and keep them up-to-date on their beloved college home? You! That’s who. Your Saint Ben’s connections never have to fade away — keep them growing strong and find us online today! Search or email

Keep the connections alive at 32 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine


HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT PLANNED GIVING? These alums are opening the conversations that can have a generational impact. Making a gift provision through your estate plan is a remarkably simple way to make a lasting impact. There are easy strategies that don’t require creating or revising a will. Members of the Legacy Committee are engaging in conversations with alumnae and friends of Saint Ben’s to help them reflect on how to make an impact through a charitable bequest. Give us a call to learn more.

“As a volunteer with the Legacy Committee, I help alums to remember how Saint Ben’s shaped their values, relationships and professions. Giving back is a legacy that makes such a difference to these young women, who will continue the legacy for others.” - Denise DeVaan ’75

Contact Gigi Fourré Schumacher ’74, senior planned and principle gifts officer, by calling 320-363-5480 to learn more.



SPREADRED.COM Schedule a campus visit:

Spring 2018 | 33


1 1



S. Stephanie Mongeon ’54, S. Bridgette Powers ’09 and S. Sharon Nohner ’73 reflect during the Christmas at Saint Ben’s Tree Lighting Celebration on Nov. 28.


Siri Berg-Moberg ’16 (left) and Grace Werner ’17 (second from left) canoed the full 1,800 miles of the Mississippi River in 60 days with a group called Gals to the Gulf. The trip raised money for the BOLD & GOLD program (Boys and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development program), which emphasizes the importance of expanding access to wilderness travel and outdoor recreation for underrepresented and excluded communities.


Students at St. Michael Catholic School in St. Michael, Minn., have a chance to interact with Bennies on a daily basis at school. Pictured here are the Bennie alumnae who work at St. Michael’s. Back row, L to R: Becka Wieland Aschenbeck ’04, Gina Olson ’06, Angie Marek Breen ’93, Joanna Padden ’02, Rachel Michaelis Peloquin ’14. Front row, L to R: Heidi Fleischacker Gallus ’97, Nicole Carstens Suchla ’98, Janelle Kolles Hengel ’13, Christine Schneider ’13 and Anna Deutsch Tangen ’02. Not pictured: Jennifer Sand Haller ’90.


CSB Dance Team alumnae danced at halftime during the CSB/SJU Homecoming football game on Oct. 7. Pictured from L to R: Rachel Wolfe ’17, Alison Stacken ’17, Abby Rinowski ’17, Afton Windsperger ’16, Anne Sumangil ’99, Lauren Doyscher Rudek ’06, Sarah Henning Logan ’06, Gervea Hermanson Minks ’02 and Nicole Dorcy Alden ’96.

34 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine






In celebration of Bennie Day, Rachel Kelzenberg submitted this photo of her Bennie “sisters” from the class of 2014. Pictured L to R: Angela Stevens, Madelyn Ogren, Kendall Harstad, Rachel Kelzenberg, Emma Henke, Meghan Battista and Emily Eckhoff.


Alma Jimenez ’17, Natalie Gutierrez ’18, Kim Bonilla ’17 and Bettina Milosz ’17 cheered on the Johnnies at the Johnnie/Tommie game on Sept. 23 at Target Field in Minneapolis.


Class of 2014 friends Matthew Pendleton, Genavieve Lawler, Jewel Key and R.J. Gregory reunited at a wedding this summer in Minnesota.


Nearly 30 alumnae from the St. Cloud area joined in the annual St. Cloud Bennie Day event on Oct. 5. Pictured here are Jennifer Lieser ’04, Alicia Reif ’07, Carliene Quist ’07 and Deb Frank ’96.


Class of 2000 classmates and friends Robyn Magalska Liebl, Mary Welle Herkenhoff, Angela Branco, Katie Kurtz Kettleson and Katie Larkin got together to reminisce on Bennie Day, Oct. 5.




9 Spring 2018 | 35


SUSTAINER? Being a Saint Ben’s Sustainer means that you stand up on a recurring basis for today’s Bennies. It means you know the importance of giving to fund the scholarship help on which over 90 percent of our students rely. It means you understand the impact that women’s education has – today and tomorrow.

Being a Sustainer provides a steady, predictable stream of giving.

Don’t get us wrong. We love a nice lump sum as well, but predictable Sustainer gifts help us plan for the scholarship support Bennies need.

It takes less time than you’d spend ordering a customized dog sweater.

Becoming a Sustainer is fast.

That makes being a Sustainer easy for you – and important for us. Year to year, 90 percent of Sustainers feel satisfied enough to continue their support. Our overall donor retention rate is under 75 percent.

There’s no need to remember anything.

Just like a good rotisserie oven, you can set it, and forget it!

Being a Sustainer is, well, sustainable. Less paper, less postage, fewer administrative costs ... That means more dollars end up where they’re really needed – helping Bennies.



36 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine



much is expected.” No matter what her financial status has been, she’s always done her best to share her time, skills and whatever money she can spare. That’s what got her started with CSB’s Young Alumnae President’s Circle (YAPC). Young alums make regular gifts in gradually escalating amounts as they progress in their new careers. But life gets busy and complicated and distracting. And Elise’s gift amount fell behind that rising curve. She was still making regular donations, but not at a YAPC level. Committed to Catching Up

Elise Johnson ’06

From Half a World Away BY | GREG SKOOG (SJU ’89)

When Elise Johnson was in sixth grade, while on a day-trip to St. Cloud, her family took an unplanned detour to the College of Saint Benedict, to visit one of her mother’s favorite professors. “From the moment I set foot on the campus as a 12-year-old, I just knew I wanted to attend Saint Ben’s,” she recalls. “Thankfully, I had worked hard to get good grades. I was able to get a scholarship package sufficient for my family to afford the remainder.” Those scholarships helped Elise cover the cost of her Saint Ben’s education. Meanwhile, her brother, Aaron Johnson ’07, was an ROTC Cadet at Saint John’s. So when Elise graduated and began looking at medical schools, she understood the framework of the U.S. Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program.

“It’s similar to ROTC in that the Army covers the costs associated with attending medical school and, in exchange, the recipient completes a few years of active duty service after medical training has concluded,” she explains. She’s now serving those few years as a U.S. Army doctor. In September, she was deployed to Afghanistan, working in the Emergency Department of a small NATO hospital with health care professionals from eight different countries. Together, they care for everything from seasonal allergies and influenza to severe trauma. “I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know and learn from health professionals from all over the world,” she smiles. “In our spare time we have fun playing bingo banko (a Danish form of BINGO) and I’ve even learned to play Texas hold ’em.” Raised to Give

Elise first realized her YAPC donations weren’t automatically increasing while she was flipping through the annual Honor Roll in her process of pre-deployment house cleaning. “I noticed my name was no longer listed as a YAPC donor, but I was on too tight of a timeline to investigate further,” she says. When Give CSB Day came around in November, she saw her chance to get back on track. “By that time,” she explains, “I was in Afghanistan and a phone call to CSB was not an option.” So she reached out by email to Maggie Weber Utsch ’00, director of annual giving. From half a world away (and ten and a half hours’ time difference), Maggie responded with easy-to-follow instructions on how to change her automated monthly donation online. Elise adjusted those Saint Ben’s Sustainer gifts and made an additional online gift to make up the difference for the 2017-18 fiscal year. “After my active duty service obligation is finished in 2019, I plan to move back to Minnesota and continue working as a family physician,” she says. “My short-term goal is to complete the YAPC program. When it comes to long-term goals, I plan to continue to support the women of CSB with my time, talents and financial resources for as long as possible!”

Visit and start creating a tradition of your own today.

“When it comes to charitable giving,” Elise says, “I was raised with the mindset that of those to whom much is given, Spring 2018 | 37




We look forward to seeing you

JUNE 22-24

Classes ending in 3 and 8

YOUR CLASS REUNION IS APPROACHING FAST! Mark your calendar and plan to reconnect with Bennie and Johnnie classmates and enjoy the campuses in the summer. Learn more and register today at

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