Saint John's Magazine Winter/Spring 2012

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W I NTE R / SPR I NG 2 012


All Rise

Johnnies on the Bench Page 12 The Cristo Rey Connection Page 18 Faculty Media Experts Page 22 Athletic Facilities Upgrade Under Way Page 26



18 Features 12 Good Judgment Johnnies have been presiding on the bench for more than a century. Five Johnnie judges reflect on their paths to this pinnacle and its challenges and rewards.

18 Urban-Core Prep School Graduates at SJU The Cristo Rey Network is an unusual college-prep success story, and Collegeville is proving a welcoming destination for its grads.

22 Professors on the News Need context and insight? From radio and TV to newspapers and blogs, these CSB/SJU professors help the public make more sense of the news.

26 Home Field Advantage Saint John’s launches an essential and comprehensive upgrade of its playing fields, Palaestra and Clemens Stadium to serve the recreational needs of its very active and competitive scholar-athletes.

Departments 2 My Perspective 3 View from Collegeville 10 Cloister Walk 34 Johnnie Sports 36 Alumni Connection 42 Milestones 48 Inspiring Lives

SAINT JOHN’S is the magazine of Saint John’s University. It is published in the fall and winter and the CSB/SJU magazine is published with the College of Saint Benedict in the spring.

EDITOR Jean Scoon

STAFF CONTRIBUTORS Glenda Isaacs Burgeson Rob Culligan ’82 Brendon Duffy, SOT ’02 Jennifer Mathews Emery Michael Hemmesch ’97 Adam Herbst ’99 Ryan Klinkner ’04 John Taylor ’58






LETTERS or Jean Scoon Saint John’s magazine P.O. Box 7222 Collegeville, MN 56321


ADDRESS CHANGES Ruth Athmann Saint John’s University P.O. Box 7222 Collegeville, MN 56321

© 2012 Saint John’s University

WI N T ER / SP R I N G 2012


COVER: Jack Van de North ’67,

All Rise

Johnnies on the Bench Page 12

District Court Judge, Ramsey County, Minn., continues a tradition of Johnnie judges dating back to the 1880s.

The Cristo Rey Connection Page 18 Faculty Media Experts Page 22 Athletic Facilities Upgrade Under Way Page 26

Cover photo by Steve Woit

My Perspective Fr. Bob Koopmann ’68, OSB, President

It is with profound gratitude and sincere humility that I will conclude my threeyear term as president of Saint John’s University on June 30th. While I’m looking forward to having a sabbatical and then returning to Saint John’s to continue teaching and college relations work, it’s hard for me to believe that this is the last column I’ll write as president of Saint John’s. As I reflect on my time as president, I’m thankful to all of you for your confidence in me and for easing the transition at a critical point in our history. Filling Br. Dietrich’s shoes was no small task during a challenging time. I’m proud of what we accomplished together. Allow me to share a few of the highlights. Over the past several years, we managed to strengthen and stabilize our enrollment and budget. While private colleges nationwide have struggled to recruit and retain students, we exceeded our enrollment goal each year and maintained our historically high retention rate. In addition, we managed to balance our budget, thanks to our dedicated staff and Board of Regents. I am very pleased to note that donations to Saint John’s have returned to pre-recession levels. Alumni and friends are contributing to the Annual Fund at record levels. Donors have responded well to the FirstGen program, which will provide scholarships for Johnnies who are in the first generation of their family to attend college. It’s also exciting to be moving into the implementation phase for the Learning Commons and the athletic facilities upgrade. All of these initiatives will help us continue to attract


and retain the well-rounded students that are important to the future of Saint John’s. In a ceremony at the Abbey Church last June, Donald and Mabel Jackson delivered the final folios of The Saint John’s Bible, marking the end of a remarkable journey to create an illuminated Bible for our times. I have treasured seeing this monumental work of art transform those who have experienced it, including our community at Saint John’s. I eagerly anticipate the many ways in which The Saint John’s Bible will influence artists, theologians and faith communities for years to come. To prepare SJU for the future, we created a dynamic and ambitious strategic plan. We also streamlined our governance structure. An important part of this process involved finalizing a corporate restructuring that created a new civil corporation for Saint John’s University. The abbey and university have worked on this restructuring for several years, and it’s rewarding to see it come to fruition. I’m confident that we’ve accomplished our goal of maintaining our Catholic, Benedictine character while also improving governing efficiency. You can read more about this in Cloister Walk, p.10. Serving as president has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Saint John’s is—and will always remain—the center of my life. I am honored to be among those who have provided leadership during its 155-year history. I look forward to staying in touch with you as we continue to move “forward, ever forward!”

View from Collegeville

Theimer to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

The Rankings No. 1

Michael Becker

For the second consecutive year, SJU and CSB made No. 1 in mid-length study abroad participation as reported in Open Doors 2011, the annual report on international education published by the Institute of International Education.

“Best Buy” The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2012, named SJU and CSB a “Best Buy School” based on quality of the academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance.

Top 100 SJU and CSB placed 71st and 90th respectively in the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the country in the U.S. News and World Report 2012 college rankings.

Axel Theimer, CSB/SJU professor of music, conducts the CSB/ SJU choirs at the Basilica in Minneapolis. Axel Theimer, professor of music at CSB and SJU, will receive the F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota at its Summer Dialogue conference, which will take place in August on the SJU campus. Established in 1973, the award is for lifelong conductors with outstanding contributions and distinguished service to choral music in Minnesota. It is the highest honor given by the association. Theimer has been on the music faculty since 1969, when he founded the CSB/SJU Chamber Choir and began conducting the SJU Men’s Chorus. Theimer was nominated by Fr. Bob Koopmann, OSB, and composer Dominick Argento for his vision of inclusiveness, passion for healthy singing and excellence in conducting. He will receive the award on Aug. 9. 3

View from Collegeville

Brace Hemmelgarn ’12

Erichsen ’08 Trains at SJU for U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Chris Erichsen ’08 training at Saint John’s last fall for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials.

Chris Erichsen spent much of the fall at SJU preparing for the biggest race of his life—the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trial held in January in Texas. Erichsen was among 150 U.S. runners who qualified to compete in a 26.2-mile race to determine the three men who will represent the U.S. in the marathon at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. While training, Erichsen ran between 130 and 150 miles per week. Erichsen was a multi-decorated performer in both cross country and track and field for the Johnnies from 2004-08. Saint John’s was his first choice as a place to train. “There’s really something special about being in Collegeville,” he said. “The combination of the open roads out in the country, and the woods, are a great option.” Ultimately, Erichsen did not qualify to compete in 2012. He is now focusing on the 2016 Olympics. “Assuming I stay well off health-wise and continue my training, I should be in a lot better shape four years from now and even eight years from now,” he said.

SJU Awards Honorary Doctorate to Sir Arthur Foulkes

Peter Ramsey

Sir Arthur Foulkes, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by Fr. Bob Koopmann, OSB, at a ceremony in Nassau, Bahamas on Oct. 2. Foulkes was honored for his role in achieving peaceful political and social change in the Bahamas and for representing the Bahamas in world affairs. Saint John’s relationship with the Bahamas began in 1891 when the first monks ministered there. Since then, 126 monks have served the people of the Bahamas and 650 Bahamians have attended Saint John’s University.

Sir Arthur Foulkes, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas


Thomas Brossart ’14

Columnist and Political Analyst Mark Shields Delivers McCarthy Lecture

Mark Shields (L) chats with Ken Roering ’64 at the McCarthy Lecture reception.

Described by The Wall Street Journal as “the wittiest political journalist in America,” Shields combined humor with vast experience to offer insight on current political topics at the fifth annual Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture. Shields has covered 17 national conventions and 11 presidential elections as a journalist. He believes journalists have a responsibility to report a wide range of issues to encourage civic engagement. “We all, without sounding preachy, are members of the same human family,” says Shields. “We have to know about each other and what each other faces.” The lecture was sponsored by the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at Saint John’s University and the University Chair in Critical Thinking. View the Mark Shields lecture at

Nate the Great Friday, April 27, 7 p.m. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU Abraham. In. Motion. The Radio Show Saturday, April 28, 7:30 p.m. Escher Auditorium, CSB Minnesota Orchestra Sunday, April 29, @ 2 p.m. Escher Auditorium, CSB

CSB/SJU Fine Arts Calendar Over the Rhine Saturday, Feb. 25, @ 7:30 p.m. Gorecki Family Theater, CSB The Musical Tale of Peter Rabbit Friday, March 16, 7 p.m. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU Project Trio Friday, March 23, 8 p.m. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU Sarah Vowell Co-sponsored with the CSB Literary Arts Institute Friday, April 13, 7:30 p.m. Escher Auditorium, CSB

Russell Malone Quartet Jazz Cabaret Friday, May 4, 7:30 p.m. Gorecki Family Theater, CSB Great Theatre presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream Friday, May 18, 7 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2 p.m. Sunday, May 20, 2 p.m. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU For tickets, contact the box office at 320-363-5777 or order online at Get information and tickets on your smart phone. 5

View from Collegeville

Thomas Brossart ’14

The Class of 2015 is the latest class to take up residence at Saint John’s University. These young men share many Johnnie characteristics. At the same time, each is unique.

Learn about some of the members of this class by taking the

2015 P 4P Quiz Two of these statements about the Class of 2015 are true and one is false. Can you pick out the false statement?

o o o

a. One member of the Class of 2015 has won several Battle of the Bands competitions in the Twin Cities. b. One first-year Johnnie was a champion of Teen Jeopardy! and won a trip to Europe. c. One first-year Johnnie traveled to Bosnia Herzegovina as a representative to a peace conference.


Answer: 4 b. This did not happen. But here’s what did happen: Tim Goh ’15 started a successful band with his friends in tenth grade, and they compete as well as play for charity events. Jake Barrientos ’15 attended the Build Bridges, Not Walls conference as a youth representative in high school.


Patrick Gibbons ’15 placed sixth in a national language contest. If you wanted to greet him in the language of this contest, how would you say hello?

o o o o o4

a. Guten Tag b. Ni Hao c. Bonjour d. Hola

Answer: c. Gibbons placed sixth in Le Grand Concours, the National French Contest sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. Can you identify which photo shows a member of the Class of 2015?


a. Answer: 4 b. Wendell Harren ’15 has the distinction of being a fifth-generation Johnnie.

o Gotthard Harren


Great-great-grandfather, Gotthard Harren 1871 (pictured left) Great-grandfather, Joseph C. Harren 1907


Grandfather, Hon. Joseph A. Harren 1949 Wendell’s father, Richard Harren 1976 Wendell Harren

Nearly one-third of the Class of 2015 has a legacy connection to either SJU or CSB. For most, that connection is an immediate family member.

Match the 2015 Numbers 494

Number of states represented


Number of students with National Merit Scholar designation


Number of high school valedictorians


Size of class


Number of countries represented

Answers: Size of class-494. Number of countries represented-14. Number of states represented-24. Number of high school valedictorians-5. Number of students with National Merit Scholar designation-11. 7

Westminster Cathedral Choir Marks Abbey Church 50th

Simon Tottman

View from Collegeville

The only Catholic cathedral choir in the world to sing daily Mass and Vespers, the Westminster Cathedral Choir performed in the Abbey Church in honor of its 50th anniversary. The world-renowned choir of men and boys from London’s Westminster Cathedral performed on Oct. 23 as part of the 50th anniversary of the Saint John’s Abbey and University Church. Under the direction of choral conductor and master of music Martin Baker, Westminster Cathedral Choir remains the only Catholic cathedral choir in the world to sing daily Mass and Vespers. The concert also marked the inaugural year of the Institute for Sacred Music at Saint John’s (ISM). The purpose of the ISM is to preserve the heritage of sacred music and foster its further development for use in liturgy and concert, building on Saint John’s Catholic and Benedictine musical traditions in an ecumenical spirit. The Saint John’s Abbey and University Church was designed by the Hungarian architect and former member of the Bauhaus, Marcel Breuer. Construction of the church lasted from May 19, 1958 to Aug. 24, 1961.


SJU Receives STARS Silver Rating for Sustainability Achievements SJU has received a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a new program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. “STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland. “Saint John’s University has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library has been awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for libraries and museums and is sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). HMML is one of only five libraries and five Mark Aasmari of the Monastery of St. Mark in Jerusalem learns museums chosen to receive this annual award. the HMML digitization process. Medal winners are selected from nationwide nominations for institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, outstanding community outreach and advancement of global cultural understanding. “The work you have done is an inspiration to libraries and museums throughout the nation,” said Susan Hildreth, IMLS Director, remarking on HMML’s achievement. “With innovation, creativity and a great deal of heart you have achieved an outstanding level of public service.”

Wayne Torborg

HMML Awarded National Medal of Honor

Donald Jackson appeared on NBC’s “Today” show on Oct. 19 to discuss the completion of The Saint John’s Bible. Anchor Matt Lauer interviewed Jackson, who also appeared on the program at the beginning of the project in 1999. When Lauer asked Jackson if a younger generation, accustomed to a multitude of technologies, would grasp the magnitude of the achievement, Jackson responded affirmatively and without hesitation. “When you use a quill, because it is a delicate instrument, and it picks up you—I mean as you write, every breath you take, (every) heartbeat, just like a musical instrument, it goes into that,” Jackson said. “I just do believe that on one level, people pick up on that energy.” See The Saint John’s Bible on “Today” at

Tim Ternes

The Saint John’s Bible Featured on NBC’s “Today” Show

Matt Lauer (L) interviews Donald Jackson about The Saint John’s Bible on the “Today” show. 9

Cloister Walk

Saint John’s Abbey Authorizes Creation of New Civil Corporation for SJU The monks of Saint John’s Abbey recently announced that they will transfer Saint John’s University to a new civil corporation, effective July 1, 2012. The decision to create a University Corporation was made mutually between the University’s Board of Regents and the Abbey after extensive and thoughtful deliberations that began in 2006. The Abbey and the University feel this structure will best ensure the strength and viability of both institutions. Until now, there has been a single corporation, the Order of Saint Benedict, with four divisions—the Abbey, University, Prep School and Liturgical Press. Under the new arrangement, the University will operate as its own Minnesota non-profit corporation, while the Abbey, Prep School and Liturgical Press remain divisions of the Order of Saint Benedict. The SJU Board of Regents will become the SJU Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will govern the University with greater fiduciary authority. There will be six monastic Trustees. SJU’s president will be appointed by and report to the Trustees. The Abbey and University previously endorsed a sustaining agreement that describes their covenant relationship and outlines the principles underlying the new civil corporation. It is not a legal agreement but is no less important: It describes the spirit of the Abbey/ University relationship and makes clear that they intend to operate as close partners. The University will remain a part of the Order of Saint Benedict as it relates to the Catholic Church under canon law* and will retain its Catholic status under the Order of Saint Benedict. *The body of laws and regulations made by or adopted by ecclesiastical authority to govern the Church and its members.

To provide more insight into the change in corporate structure, we asked four Saint John’s leaders who have been deeply involved in the decision for their reflections. Following are excerpts from conversations with Ann Huntrods, Chair, Saint John’s University Board of Regents; Abbot John Klassen ’71, OSB, chancellor of the University; Fr. Bob Koopmann ’68, OSB, president of Saint John’s; and Dan Whalen ’70, Chair, University Task Force on Corporate Structure.

In a nutshell, what is changing in the governance structure? Huntrods: The Board of Regents will become a Board of Trustees. As Trustees they will have authority for the financial responsibilities of the University in a way that the Regents don’t currently have. Koopmann: We still will be one in certain ways. For example, according to church law or canon law we’re

What Is Changing?


Abbot John Klassen ’71 Chancellor Ann Huntrods Chair, Board of Regents

still one organization, we’re one person. But according to civil law, the University steps out as a separate non-profit corporation. That’s the basic difference. Whalen: The mission of running the university will be transferred from the Order of Saint Benedict to the University and its Trustees and management, principally the president. Klassen: The Trustees will have complete authority to approve and devise budgets. They’ll have a stronger and clearer link to the curriculum of the University. The Abbey, for its part, has a clearer line of commitment to the Catholic and Benedictine identity of Saint John’s University.

Why is the new structure good for the Abbey and University? Klassen: From the Abbey side, I think we are going to find that we have a lot of energy released because we’ve eliminated some of the redundancy. We can attend to issues around making sure that we have a really good strong campus ministry for our students and our increasingly diverse student body. Secondly, that we have the right energy and people for the faculty resident program, that we’re doing a good job of getting our monks

Fr. Bob Koopmann ’68 President

Dan Whalen ’70 Chair, University Task Force on Corporate Structure

ready to teach in the University and to lead the University. Those are areas that, in fact, we as a monastery care about deeply. We want to have a strong future in relationship to the University by participating at all of those levels.

of the relationship, and in my view, it’s even more important than the new civil corporation.

Huntrods: The advantage to the University is that the new Trustees will have clarity about their role and also have a clear sense of their responsibility for the University’s financial affairs.

What will feel different at Saint John’s University and Abbey after July 1, 2012?

Koopmann: Those very Catholic, very Benedictine parts of our ministry that have been so important, especially the faculty resident program—you won’t see any difference. Actually, because it’s so spelled out about who does what, I think you’ll see a strengthening of that program.

Whalen: It’s been drafted and crafted to express the heart and soul of how we intend to live together.

Koopmann: Nothing. When alumni come back to campus they won’t feel anything different, we’ll all be around, those monks who are in the dorms will still be there to greet you. I don’t think you’ll find any difference at all.

Whalen: It means that those who choose to be Trustees and whoever chooses to be president of this great University are fully responsible for its destiny, and that’s a very good thing.

Whalen: What will be different for alumni and students is probably nothing. I wouldn’t expect people to see any change at all. The phones will be answered the same way, there will be the same people working here. The sun will still rise in the east and set in the west. A lot of these things are just not going to change.

Why is the sustaining agreement important?

To read the Sustaining Agreement, go to

Huntrods: Because it lays out in a clear way how the University and the Abbey can maintain and grow the great and deep relationship that they currently have. It’s a fundamental agreement that talks about the spirit

For a video of Abbot John, Fr. Bob, Ann Huntrods and Dan Whalen discussing the governance change, go to governance.htm.


Donat Trettle 1881 (dec.), Judge of Probate, Minnesota I Joseph B. Himsl 1888 (dec.), District Judge, Minnesota I Albert H. Klasen 1893 (dec.), Judge of Probate, Minnesota I Edward J. Devitt ’34 (dec.), Federal Judge, Minnesota I Lloyd O. Stein ’35 (dec.), District Judge, Minnesota I Earl J. Meinz ’36 (dec.), Judge of Probate, Minnesota I James Cunningham ’38 (dec.) I Norbert J. Muggli ’41 (dec.), District Judge, North Dakota I John M. Knapp ’43 (dec.), Judge, Tax Court, Minnesota I Donald E. Shanahan ’45 (dec.), District Court Judge, Minnesota I Robert G. Renner ’47 (dec.), Federal District Judge, Minnesota I Paul J. Doerner ’48 (dec.), Judge, Minnesota I Roger J. Nierengarten ’48, Appeals Court Judge, Minnesota (ret.) I John E. Simonett ’48 (dec.), Supreme Court Justice, Minnesota I Robert J. Breunig ’47 (dec.), District Court Judge, Minnesota I Donald A. Gray ’49 (dec.), District Court Judge, Minnesota I Joseph A. Harren ’49, District Judge, Minnesota (ret.) I Rainer Weis ’49 (dec.), District Court Judge, Minnesota I John A. Althoff ’52, District Judge, Colorado (ret.) I Richard L. Kelly ’52, District Court Judge, Minnesota (ret.) I Robert J. Ryan ’52, Judge, Minnesota (ret.) I Clinton W. Wyant ’54 (dec.), Judge, Washington, DC I Kenneth G. Ziebarth, Jr. ’54, Judge of Superior Court, California (ret.) I Lawrence A. LeClerc ’55, District Judge, North Dakota (ret.) I George R. Corsiglia ’57, Circuit Judge, Michigan I John J. Weyrens ’57, District Court Judge, Minnesota (ret.) I James B. Gunderson ’58, 10th Judicial District Judge, Minnesota I Michael J. Haas ’58, Judge, Cass County, Minnesota (ret.) I Norman Backes ’59, District Court Judge, North Dakota (ret.) I Vernon J. Rausch ’59 (dec.), Administrative Law Judge, Minnesota I Daniel M. Kammeyer ’60, Judge, Minnesota I Richard W. Sabers ’60, Supreme Court Justice, South Dakota (ret.) I Franklin J. Knoll ’62, Judge, District Court, Minnesota (ret.) I Robert A. (Jim) Randall ’62, Appeals Court Judge, Minnesota (ret.) I Richard T. Jessen ’63, District Court Judge, Minnesota (ret.) I Kim R. Johnson ’63, District Circuit Judge, Minnesota I John C. Lindstrom ’63, District Court Judge, Minnesota I Richard J. Ahles ’64, District Court Judge, Minnesota (ret.) I James W. Hoolihan ’64, 7th Judicial District Judge, Minnesota I Paul A. Markson, Jr. ’65, District Court Judge, Colorado (ret.) I Stephen J. Askew ’66, District Court Judge, Minnesota (ret.) I Timothy J. Baland ’66, Judge, 7th Judicial District, Minnesota (ret.) I Roger J. Quinn ’66, Chief Judge, 10th Judicial District, Minnesota (ret.) I Neville K. Adderley ’67, Justice, Commonwealth of the Bahamas Supreme Court I Michael D. Ryan ’67 (dec.), Justice, Supreme Court, Arizona I Jack Van de North ’67, Judge, Ramsey County District Court, Minnesota I Michael T. Decourcy ’68, Judge, Ramsey County, Minnesota (ret.) I George M. Gaffaney ’68, Administrative Law Judge, Minnesota I Harold W. Schultz ’68, Workers Compensation Judge, Minnesota I Stephen M. Swartz ’68, Judge, Douglas County, Nebraska (ret.) I Ronald E. Goodman ’69, District Judge, North Dakota (ret.) I Michael J. Kraker ’69, District Judge, Minnesota I Thomas F. Haeg ’70, Court Referee, Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota I Thomas J. Gmeinder ’70, Conciliation Court Judge, Minnesota I Michael J. Howlett Jr. ’70, Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois I Thomas P. Knapp ’70, Judge, 7th Judicial District, Minnesota I Gen. Mike Marchand ’70, Chief Appellate Judge, U.S. Army (ret.) I Donald J. Venne Jr. ’70, District Court Judge, Minnesota I Timothy K. Connell ’71, District Court Judge, Rock County, Minnesota I Jeffrey L. Flynn ’71, District Court Judge, Minnesota I Lewis M. Nixon ’71, Circuit Court Judge, Cook County, Illinois I Michael J. Grigsby ’72, Municipal Court Judge, Marysville Municipal Court, Ohio I David W. Peterson ’72, District Court Judge, Redwood County, Minnesota I Gerald J. Seibel ’72, Pistier Court Judge, Minnesota I William P. Balestri ’73, Associate Circuit Judge, Illinois I Joe L. Hegel ’73, District Judge, 16th Judicial District, Montana I Brian P. Moehn ’74, District Court Referee, Hennepin County Juvenile Court, Minnesota I James N. Duvall ’75, Judge, Buffalo and Pepin Counties, Wisconsin I Michael A. Fahey ’75, District Judge, Scott County, Minnesota I Gary P. Mesna ’75, Compensation Judge, Minnesota I Jay D. Carlson ’76, Judge, Todd County, Minnesota I Gary J. Pagliaccetti ’76, District Judge, Minnesota I John H. Scherer ’77, Judge, Stearns County, Minnesota I Frank L. Racek ’79, District Court Judge, Cass County, North Dakota I Hon. Steven R. Schwab ’79, District Court Judge, Freeborn County, Minnesota I William J. Cashman ’82, Stearns County Judge, Minnesota I Thomas F. Mulvahill ’84, District Court Judge, Colorado I Geoffrey W. Tenney ’93, Judge, Wright County, Minnesota By John Rosengren ’86

Your Honor The list of Johnnie judges reads like a Who’s Who. It includes supreme court justices in several states and the Bahamas as well as U.S. district court judges nationwide. Many on the list have become household names to those in legal circles—from District Court Judge Robert Renner ’47 and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice John Simonett ’48 to District Court Judges Frank Knoll ’62 and Steve Askew ’66. The tradition hails back to our first Johnnie of record on the bench, Donat Trettle 1881, a Minnesota probate judge, and spans the centuries to the most recent appointment, Wright County Judge Geoffrey Tenney ’93. In this article, we highlight a handful of current judicial appointments. All of them arrived at Saint John’s—often with other career ambitions— and went on to reach the pinnacle of their profession after embarking on a career in law. What do they have in common? Saint John’s not only influenced their professional path; its intellectual and moral education continues to direct their work.


Michael Ryan ’67 Supreme Court, Arizona

“It’s easy for a judge to fall into the trap of decisions for superficial reasons or reasons of emotion or what the public might think. Having a broad liberal education really helps in being a judge. The principles we were taught at Saint John’s helped me think a little deeper than that.”

Michael Ryan ’67 majored in English at Saint John’s University and completed a ten-week Marine officer training program the summer before his senior year. The second lieutenant from Saint Paul was deployed to Vietnam in the spring of 1968, a year after his graduation. He was shot in combat, received a Bronze Star for heroism in battle and two Purple Hearts but lost the use of both legs. Thinking he wouldn’t be able to navigate snow in his wheelchair, he applied to a master’s program in English at Arizona State University. When he realized he didn’t want to teach, he switched to the law school—he’d discovered he

liked the legal atmosphere from his experience as a battalion legal officer handling minor violations in the Marine Corps. At the time, Ryan had no thoughts of becoming a judge. “It was unheard of because none of the benches were accessible for wheelchairs before the Americans with Disabilities Act,” he says. After Ryan served eight years as a deputy county attorney in Maricopa County, Arizona, his work on several high-profile cases attracted the attention of a judge who asked him to apply for an opening on the county’s Superior Court. Ryan did and served on the Superior Court for eleven years. Gov. Fife Symington III appointed him to the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1996. Six years later, Gov. Jane Dee Hull appointed him to the Arizona Supreme Court. He retired in 2010 but still sits on cases when another justice has to recuse himself or herself. Ryan presided on the first Arizona case to have gavel-to-gavel television coverage and another where CBS filmed the jury deliberations. But he anticipates that his legacy will be serving at just about every level: trial court, appeals court and the Supreme Court. Ryan is quick to admit that Saint John’s left its imprint on him. In his undergraduate days as an English major, he was impressed by the scholarship and history of the Benedictines, who had preserved the texts of civilization. His professors, who included Stephen Humphrey, English, taught him to think beyond the surface. “It’s easy for a judge to fall into the trap of decisions for superficial reasons or reasons of emotion or what the public might think,” he says. “Having a broad liberal education really helps in being a judge. The principles we were taught at Saint John’s helped me think a little deeper than that.” He points to one principle in particular. “You learn the importance of integrity,” he says. “That’s extraordinarily important.” Ed. note: It is with deep regret and sympathy that we learned of Justice Michael Ryan’s death as the magazine went to print.


Jack Van de North ’67 District Court, Ramsey County, Minnesota

We obsess about being absolutely right. But there isn’t always a right answer. There’s a well-thought-out answer. It is more art than science.


A Chicago native, Jack Van de North ’67 did not know a soul in Collegeville when a monk in a truck picked him up at the train station. Van de North, the first in his large family to attend college, quickly fell under the influence of Hilary Thimmesh, OSB, professor of English, who taught him “the joy of words” in an honors course. “He is a guy who loves words and appreciates saying things the right way,” Van de North says. “After a semester with him, I thought words were cool.” As a freshman, Van de North had gotten involved in student government as a way to meet people. One of those was Joe Farry, student council faculty advisor and government professor who encouraged Van de North to major in government. That led to a constitutional law course with Jeremy Murphy, OSB, an attorney who joined the order after his wife died. Fr. Jeremy was famous for screaming

Neville Adderley ’67 returned to his native Bahamas after majoring in math at Saint John’s University and pursued a career in civil service. He had risen quickly to the level of deputy permanent secretary, just a notch below the top post, when he decided he wanted to shift to the private sector. He considered business and accounting but chose law because he figured it would give him the most flexibility and independence. At 30, he left to attend law school in London. When he again returned to the Bahamas, Adderley entered private practice, specializing in commercial development law. He also served five years as a Senator. Nearly 30 years after completing law school, he was invited to be a judge. He declined at first, but the idea of being able to make a contribution to society as a judge appealed to him. A year later, in 2007, he accepted an appointment to the Bahamas Supreme Court. Adderley honed the discipline necessary to research and write opinions at Saint John’s University. “One got into the habit of being able to sit down, set a goal, concentrate on it and complete what one set out to do,” he says. One of the most difficult decisions of his tenure on the bench came when he handed down a death sentence to a man convicted of “an extremely heinous murder.”



at the opposition from behind their goal at Johnnie hockey games—a sort of one man Rat Pack—and also for providing that glimpse of what law school might be like for classes of aspiring Clarence Darrows. Constitutional law stoked Van de North’s nascent interest in law, and Fr. Jeremy helped secure a place for him at the University of Notre Dame Law School through his buddy there, Joe O’Meara, the dean. Van de North continued to hone his writing skills, first in the Minnesota Attorney General’s office and then in private practice. After 25 years, the environmental and utilities cases he handled “started to feel a bit stale.” Ready for a change and intrigued by a friend’s enthusiasm for his work as a judge, Van de North had lunch with Diana Murphy, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that he had gotten to know while the two served on Saint John’s Board of Regents. Murphy thought Van de North had the right temperament to be a judge and encouraged him to pursue an opening on the Ramsey County District Court. He did, and Gov. Arne

Carlson appointed him in 1998. Van de North discovered Murphy was right. His temperament seems well-suited to the job. He especially enjoys the problem-solving aspect and the chance to make a difference in people’s lives. He also recognizes that his role carries “an awesome responsibility.” As a judge, he must apply the law to the facts before him. “We obsess about being absolutely right,” he says. “But there isn’t always a right answer. There’s a well-thought-out answer.” It is, as he says, more art than science. The love of words that Fr. Hilary gave him helps Van de North craft his decisions. So, too, does contemplation, a monastic value he picked up on the shores of Lake Sagatagan. “I’m sure I wasn’t the first Johnnie to walk out to the chapel to think about what was going on in my life,” he says. “Time for reflection and contemplation is so important. And humility. Boy, do judges ever need that, and patience. “I’d like to think that all of us Johnnies who have become judges have put our Saint John’s background and the Rule of Saint Benedict into what we’ve done.” Van de North has had a very broad experience on the bench, deciding everything from contested adoptions to environmental disputes to murder charges and the constitutionality of state legislation. He has been involved with “just about every conceivable area of law.”

Adderley weighed the crime, considered the precedents of previous cases and studied the sentencing guidelines. His decision reflected his commitment to justice. Adderley expects that his legacy will last in the opinions he has authored. “I try to write a judgment as if it’s going to stay around for a while,” he says. “I hope my legacy will be good, solid decisions based on the law that will be useful to people doing research in the future.”

Neville Adderley ’67 Supreme Court, The Bahamas

One got into the habit of being able to sit down, set a goal, concentrate on it and complete what one set out to do. 15

2009 Criminal Docket Monday’s Docket All rise His Honor No talking Sheet 4 Line 4 Male 24 Eighth grade 2 felony priors Robbery $14.68 Agreed Plea 4 years IDOC* Sheet 3 Line 5 Male 43 Junior college Sex offender Registration violation Plea 2 years IDOC Sheet 10 Line 2 Male 18 6th grade Armed robbery Bodily harm Bench Trial 5yrs IDOC Adjourn Tuesday’s Docket All ri..... Tuesday’s Prayer Abide with me, And From the chill of nonchalance, Safeguard my soul. *Illinois Department of Corrections

By Michael Howlett ’70 Copyright © 2010 Commonweal Foundation


Mike Howlett ’70 Circuit Court, Cook County, Illinois

… I’m required to maintain my own sense of independence and detachment so that I can make decisions without fear or favor of the people in front of me.

Mike Howlett ’70, another recruit from Chicago, left Saint John’s University after his sophomore year to enter a diocesan seminary. But he soon realized he would rather come home in the evenings to a wife and children than books and a stereo, which was the life of the diocesan priests he observed. He returned to Collegeville, where he majored in government and minored in philosophy. He went on to marry the woman he had been dating before his seminary training, then enrolled at Notre Dame Law and followed his father’s path into law and politics. Howlett served as an assistant U.S. attorney, a special deputy prosecutor and a private attorney in the decade after law school before accepting an appointment as an associate judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County in 1983. After three years, he resigned to run for lieutenant governor alongside Adlai Stevenson III. Howlett’s father had managed Adlai Stevenson II’s campaign for governor and served as Illinois secretary of state. The younger Howlett and Stevenson lost the election, so Howlett returned to private practice. He also taught law at Chicago area law schools and eventually joined the Loyola University faculty in 2001. He was appointed judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County in 2005. Howlett lists as necessary requisites for a judge character, temperament, courage, patience, the skill to listen and the ability to treat everybody with dignity. The monks modeled those values along with a detachment from society. “That’s a good thing for a judge, because I’m required to maintain my own sense of independence and detachment so that I can make decisions without fear or favor of the people in front of me,” he says. “The Benedictine tradition of a commitment that transcends the world is good for that.”

Your Honor In Conclusion

Lewis Nixon ’71

Circuit Court, Cook County, Illinois

[Being a judge] seemed a good way to finish a legal career. I would have an opportunity to resolve disputes.

As a boy growing up in Chicago, Lewis Nixon ’71 did not dream of becoming a judge. He wanted to be an FBI agent. When he flunked out of basic accounting—a prerequisite to working for the bureau—his freshman year at Saint John’s University, Nixon figured law might be a good alternate career. His junior year, his government professor, Joe Farry, and Don LeMay ’49, OSB, director of admissions, paid his bus fare to a law school fair in Chicago. Nixon returned with an invitation to attend De Paul University. Nixon credits faculty members like Farry and education professor William Cofell for teaching him to think critically. The Benedictines also taught him the value of community in a place where it’s just as important to live with others as it is to live detached from society. “I learned how to live in a communal world,” he says. After completing his law studies at De Paul, Nixon spent four years as an assistant U.S. attorney and five years litigating for a private firm and Burlington Northern Railroad before joining the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development in 1983, where he eventually became regional counsel, supervising the legal staff of the six-state Midwest region. Three decades later, after 27 years as a litigator, Nixon began to think about becoming a judge. “It seemed a good way to finish a legal career,” he says. “I would have an opportunity to resolve disputes.” He was appointed to the Circuit Court of Cook County in 2001 to fill an unexpired term and had to run for election the following year to retain the post. He won the primary and ran unopposed in the general election. He ran again—and won again—six years later to retain his position. “I’m glad I took the chance,” he says. “If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have this job. It’s a good job.”

The practice of law, just like the law itself, continues to evolve. Most recently, technology has affected its course, with records and briefs going electronic. While that may increase efficiencies, it can also create pressure to rush decisions. “There’s a tension between the desire to do things more efficiently and the need for attorneys and judges to have a calm spot in the middle of the storm to come up with solutions to problems,” Van de North says. The current economy has caused some firms to scale back on attorneys and push younger hires to work longer hours. That can make it tough for lawyers fresh out of law school to find jobs. But once they do, there may be more opportunities to practice. Ryan sees globalization opening up jurisdictions. “You’re representing corporations or entities that have interests across state lines or country boundaries,” he says. “Arizona is moving to open up the process to have lawyers practice here if they practice in another state.” That’s also leading to widespread consideration of a universal bar exam to replace the current practice of each state having its own bar. While technology, globalization and economics will continue to influence the practice of law, one constant will be the place for well-prepared, principled practitioners. “We’re always going to need good attorneys and wise, hardworking decision-makers,” Van de North says. “I don’t think that’s ever going to go away.”

John Rosengren ’86 is an award-winning journalist and author based in the Twin Cities.


Collegeville and Cristo Rey By Joseph Young ’73

Steve Woit


A Partnership of Preparation and Graduation

n 2009, Saint John’s bestowed its highest honor, the Pax Christi Award, on Jesuit Father John Foley, president of the now 10-year-old Cristo Rey Network (CRN). This network of 24 Catholic preparatory high schools serves economically disadvantaged youth who live in urban communities with limited educational options. The same year, CRN launched the University Jeb Myers ’97, principal of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Twin Cities (CRJHSTC), Partners Initiative (UPI), is on a mission to prepare students for college success. inviting colleges and universities to formalize relationships of mutual support John’s Abbey and University. with Cristo Rey (Spanish for “Christ the King”). The reverberations are evident in the several graduates Saint John’s University and the College of Saint of Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s who have gone on to serve Benedict accepted that invitation, embarking on a formal the network as employees and volunteers, including Jeb partnership with CRN. Myers ’97, principal of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Twin SJU’s informal relationship with CRN, however, dates Cities (CRJHSTC) in Minneapolis, founded in 2007. back to 2006, when it began recruiting and enrolling “We want to find the best environment that will allow students and graduates of Cristo Rey schools. Fifteen our students to thrive in college,” says Myers. “University Cristo Rey graduates currently attend SJU and a sixteenth Partner colleges and universities have great support graduated in 2011. SJU and CSB are among 40 colleges structures and a great track record of preparing and and universities participating in the UPI, which provides graduating students.” support to CRN graduates, all of whom attend college. University Partner schools provide Cristo Rey students During the 2009 Pax Christi Award ceremony, Abbot with scholarships and other financial aid. Saint John’s has John Klassen OSB ’71 pointed out that the Jesuit values also hosted campus tours, providing transportation for and ideals exemplified in the Cristo Rey philosophy, prospective Cristo Rey students, parents and counselors, structure and tradition echo the Benedictine values of Saint and has sponsored counselors’ attendance at national


Steve Woit

Steve Woit

whose parents might have been farmers or small business owners who likely didn’t attend college but hoped their children did. “We now have Latino, African-American and African immigrant students whose parents have the same dreams for their children,” he continues. “Cristo Rey offers students who have the desire and work ethic an opportunity for a great high school education and then admission to a great college such as Saint John’s or Saint Ben’s.” Anne McCarney CSB ’02, English teacher, CRJHSTC Just as Cristo Rey schools have prepared students The Benedictine values of faithfulness, counseling conferences. for life at Saint John’s or Anne McCarney CSB ’02 prayer, work and service to others dovetail Saint Ben’s, Benedictineteaches English at CRJHSTC beautifully with Cristo Rey’s Jesuit values-based education after having taught from 2006 traditions of academic excellence, coupled has prepared many CSB/ to 2011 at Verbum Dei—a SJU graduates for a life with professional work experience. long-standing Cristo Rey prep of service in Cristo Rey —Bob Elfstrand ’84 school in Los Angeles—and schools. working in the CSB/SJU admission office from 2002 to 2006. McCarney says she often encouraged her Verbum Dei students to consider attending Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s because she knew it would be—despite climate and culture differences—an excellent fit for many of them, and would provide them with community support conducive to collegiate success. “Sending students from L.A. to Minnesota may not always seem like the logical choice, but I knew they’d be okay,” she says. Of the 16 CRN graduates who have enrolled at SJU, 14 are from Verbum Dei, plus one each from CRJHSTC and from Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver. Bob Elfstrand ’84, director of development, CRJHSTC Cristo Rey Network schools are “small high school communities that introduce the greater world to students “Saint John’s introduced me to the greater world,” and families that did not have prior access,” says Myers. “In Myers says. “My parents, while successful and hardessence, we are Saint John’s on a high school level.” working, do not have college degrees. I was provided the “At high school,” says CRJHSTC graduate Jeffrey opportunity to think beyond myself and my hometown. Weinhagen SJU ’15, “every teacher was there to help My college roommate was from Bolivia. Our classmates you succeed. It’s the same with Saint John’s faculty and aspired to do great things nationally and internationally. administration. There’s never a day that I feel out of place at Our professors challenged our global perceptions and Saint John’s.” provided many examples of how we could engage the world “Saint John’s has a history of serving first-generation and contribute. The environment, beliefs and examples college students,” says Bob Elfstrand ’84, CRJHSTC were contagious, and I got bitten.” director of development. “In years past, those were Early in his teaching career Myers was drawn to schools predominantly Catholic boys from central Minnesota that served the most under-resourced of students, he says.


“As a Twins fan, I am a big believer in he says, along with CSB/SJU’s Intercultural cheering for the underdog. Our school LEAD (Leadership, Education, and provides a place for students to hone Development) program, fostered Benedictine their talents while dreaming about values such as hospitality, justice and respect greater possibilities for themselves. for persons. Our students are introduced to a world “These values have guided me through previously inaccessible to them and my years at Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s,” he their families.” says. “They have molded me into the person I “Very few urban students have have become. And they will help me become the opportunity to attend a private a successful and effective counselor. I will use college prep school,” McCarney says, them as fuel to help as many underprivileged “particularly one where students know Christian Aguilar ’11 students as I can, as long as God gives me from day one that they are expected health.” to graduate from both high school McCarney and Elfstrand second Aguilar’s and college, and they expect that of sentiments about values. themselves.” Elfstrand adds that the “The Benedictine value of respect for the minuscule drop-out rate for CRN whole person and the idea of ‘listening with students and graduates attending the ear of the heart’ fit perfectly with the college stems from “instilling a belief close connections teachers build with CRN that ‘You can and will succeed.’ We set students,” says McCarney. Adds Elfstrand, high expectations.” “the Benedictine values of faithfulness, The first CRN and SJU graduate prayer, work and service to others” dovetail to meet those expectations at both beautifully with Cristo Rey’s “Jesuit traditions the secondary and collegiate levels of academic excellence, coupled with is Christian Aguilar ’11, who has professional work experience.” Jeffrey Weinhagen ’15 already begun traveling up the career That work experience is manifested in path of service to education chosen CRN schools’ “Hire4ed” corporate workby CSB/SJU graduates like Elfstrand, study program, in which all CRN students McCarney and Myers. Aguilar work one day each week in a professional graduated with a BA in communication setting—law offices, banks and hospitals, and is currently working as an intern in for example—to fund the majority of their the college guidance office at his high tuition. school alma mater, Verbum Dei. Weinhagen, whose work-study included a “My career goal is to become a stint at the University of Minnesota Academic college guidance counselor, helping Health Center’s communications department, students in urban areas move forward plans to attend law school and become an and continue on with their postimmigration lawyer after graduating from secondary education, expose them to Saint John’s. Richard Davis ’13 a world larger than their own, and Richard Davis ’13, a studio art major, show them that with hard work and says his work-study at Verbum Dei included determination they too can succeed and accomplish great service at a law firm, apartment complex and, as a senior, things,” Aguilar says. He adds that Saint John’s “helped at a mutual funds company, where he assumed significant me become a more culturally accepting person, teaching responsibility. me to keep an open mind regarding others, be it in respect “It was a little more serious,” he says, “because if I to their race or sexual orientation.” Aguilar’s professors, messed up a number on the Excel chart it could have


Steve Woit

At high school, every teacher was there to help you succeed. It’s the same with Saint John’s faculty and administration. There’s never a day that I feel out of place at Saint John’s. —Jeffrey Weinhagen ’15 wrecked other numbers across the board. They did have experts that could go in and fix that, but still… .” Davis says his work-study provided “a release from things going on at home or in school” as well as an opportunity to network with professional people. “The intangibles students earn through the work program are incredible. They learn real skills and develop concrete visions of where they want to go in life,” McCarney says. “They graduate with a better resume than any I saw working in admission. I’d ask other students why they wanted to go into law, and they’d say, ‘I love Law & Order on TV.’ Our [CRN] students say, ‘I’ve worked at a law firm for the past four years.’ They have worked real jobs and know how to interact with adults professionally.” At CRN schools, those professional networking opportunities, along with community atmosphere, dedicated faculty, post-secondary partnerships, rigorous curricula, Jesuit ideals and great expectations, all add up to success. That is an equation for success that also adds up for Tim Kosiek ’80, a financial professional who is no stranger to numbers and sums, and who is bullish on Cristo Rey schools. Kosiek, a partner with the the Baker Tilly accounting

The Cristo Rey Network • A group of Catholic, college preparatory high schools for urban youth with limited educational options • Mission: To prepare students for college success • Founded in 1996 in Chicago by Fr. John Foley, SJP • Students work five days/month in entry-level jobs at a professional companies. The fee for their work is directed to underwrite tuition costs. • 24 schools in 22 cities and Washington, D.C. • 100% accepted to a 2- or 4-year college

Trish Flock CSB ’85, science teacher, CRJHSTC firm in Minneapolis, epitomizes the passion and commitment many Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s alumni share for the Cristo Rey Network. Since 2007, Kosiek has served Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Twin Cities as a volunteer, first as a full-time business activities director, then on the board of directors, which he currently chairs. “The Cristo Rey approach to Catholic education,” Kosiek says, “is one of the most powerful frameworks for enabling young men Tim Kosiek ’80, chair, and women in poverty to CRJHSTC board of develop the confidence and directors abilities necessary to make meaningful contributions to their communities, their families and to the greater society as a whole.” Joseph Young ’73 is a St. Cloud-based writer.

Johnnies who have supported Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Twin Cities: Charles Hoenig ’59 Hon. Franklin Knoll ’62 John Scholze ’82 Bob Christensen ’88 Justin Rath ’04

David Jasper ’59 Tim Kosiek ’80 Bob Loonan ’83 Efram Smith ’92

Hire4Ed Sponsors Stuart Harvey ’83–Ceridian John Hooley ’74 —SuperValue John Wiehoff ’84—C. H. Robinson Joe Cavanaugh ’94—Youth Frontiers


Media outlets often turn to experts in academia for comments about current events, to provide context and insights. Reporters regularly rely on CSB/SJU professors Kay Wolsborn, Louis Johnston, Annette Atkins and Nick Hayes for their expertise in their respective areas.

Kay Wolsborn

Louis Johnston

Political Science


Scholar – Journalists Extending the Classroom to the Public Kay Wolsborn, professor of political science, is a frequent guest on “Almanac” on Twin Cities Public Television (TPT), and she often receives calls from journalists at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the St. Cloud Times and St. Cloud radio station WJON. During the Minnesota Sesquicentennial, Annette Atkins, professor of history, was a popular media source and is now featured on “Morning Edition” on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) in a series of conversations with Cathy Wurzer on historical topics. Both Nick Hayes ’69, professor of history and SJU University Chair in Critical Thinking, and Louis Johnston, associate professor and chair of the economics department, are frequent guests on MPR public affairs programs, and both are contributing columnists for the online news outlet MinnPost. Becoming a media regular requires more than expertise, says Michael Hemmesch ’97, SJU director of media relations. The first requirement is a willingness to be available on short notice, a standard these four faculty members routinely meet. They also have the ability to communicate ideas to a wide-ranging audience—a trait reporters value, he says. There is also a mushroom effect. If the reporter has a successful interview, he or she will tend to call that source again. Once a professor’s comments are aired or published, the media coverage generates more media calls, Hemmesch says.


By Glenda Isaacs Burgeson

Wolsborn says it’s important to understand what the media needs and to respond quickly and succinctly. She keeps her answers clear, simple and straightforward. “There is a certain way to communicate. I try not to deliver my class lecture,” she says with a smile. “They usually have a story in mind.” She became a media source years ago, when a colleague referred a reporter to her. Because of her academic discipline, her media contacts tend to follow election cycles. Since former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s congressional district includes St. Joseph and Collegeville, Wolsborn also gets calls from national reporters from time to time. When speaking with political reporters, Wolsborn follows some guiding principles. “I try my best to be neutral in my analysis,” she says. “I try not to predict the future.” Her goal is to advance audience learning. Without being pedantic, she tries to represent her discipline in a systematic, responsible way. For Johnston, providing commentary on economic issues in the media is the ultimate classroom experience. “It’s a fun part of teaching,” he says. Like Wolsborn, he became a source for media when a colleague recommended him. He views the experience

a lot of important stuff, but if we only talk with each other, we muzzle our trumpets.” Hayes has two careers—teacher and journalist—although teaching is his first love. In his journalism career, he has provided commentary on international affairs for radio and television, including MPR, National Public Radio, and PBS’s “The Annette Atkins Nick Hayes ’69 NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” In 1991, he received an Emmy for his work on TPT’s History History special report on Russia. He has published commentaries in a variety of publications, including The Moscow Times, Star Tribune, as an opportunity to bridge the gulf between “what the Pioneer Press and Newsweek International. public knows and what professors know.” “I am a professor among journalists and a journalist The challenge, he says, is to make a connection with among professors,” he says. listeners by addressing the question: “What is it people The two careers complement each other. He says want to know?” his work in journalism has made him a better teacher, There is also the temptation to drift into certainty because it has improved his ability to communicate, and where none exists. “It’s tempting to speculate, but his work as a journalist has given him access. sometimes the answer is ‘I don’t know.’ Reporters “As a result of the connections I’ve made, I have want answers, but you can’t omit qualifications. To do greater access to world leaders,” he says. otherwise crosses the line and strays into punditry,” he He believes liberal arts professors are a natural fit for says. “Then I would cease being a scholar.” journalism. Johnston uses his discipline to discuss what is going “We liberal arts professors are inclined to speak to on in the world and to lead a meaningful search for a larger audience, and the media wants people who are answers. inclined in that direction.” “Economic analysis is a mode of thought, a way of thinking about the world.” Recently, Johnston has expanded his audience through social media. His Twitter following has reached 378 and continues to grow. “Social media and blogs have become very important to public discourse because they speed the dissemination of knowledge. A lot of policies now being debated were first discussed on blogs” he says. Atkins wants to reach a wider audience, and her features on MPR allow her to do just that. “I see them as platforms to translate what I know to an out-of-school audience,” she says. The positive feedback she receives confirms her view that Minnesotans have a strong interest in their history, and she wants to tap into that. “The Historical Society is older than the state,” she says. “I want to feed that intellectual hunger.” This map shows where and how often CSB/SJU faculty Her easy conversational style makes her a natural for were quoted in the media during 2011. the radio. “Academics have not made a habit of speaking in a Glenda Isaacs Burgeson is CSB/SJU director of editorial services. language that is accessible,” she says. “Historians know


Dawid Chabowski ’11

Not long after Benedictine monks founded Saint John’s, they realized that if you want a thriving college for men, you had better have topnotch sports and recreation programs. This is even more evident today.

Game Changer!


A Multimillion-Dollar Investment in Saint John’s Athletic Facilities “Sports and fitness programs and athletic facilities are boost enrollment, to attract male students to a liberal arts among the top factors for men when choosing a college,” environment and to field competitive sports teams.” comments Dr. Cal Mosley, vice president for admission In 2007, Gustavus Adolphus College invested millions and financial aid at Saint John’s and Saint Benedict’s. “If in its football stadium, and baseball, track and soccer we don’t maintain leadership in this area, we’re going to facilities. Three years ago, Macalester College opened a $42 struggle to meet enrollment goals. Just as compelling, a million, 175,000-square-foot sports and fitness center. Last sense of community develops out of athletics for all of our year, the University of Saint Thomas opened the Anderson students and alumni—not just current student-athletes.” Athletic and Recreation Complex, a $52 million, 180,000 Fr. Doug Mullin, SJU vice president for student square foot facility. “It’s a game changer,” says Stock. development, observes that “At Saint John’s, athletics “Not just for teams in the MIAC, but for all Division III and fitness are central to the holistic education of men. colleges.” Nationally, 75 percent of college students participate “The Saint John’s athletic tradition is unrivaled in in recreational activities. At Saint Division III sports,” continues Stock. John’s, this statistic is even higher—an “And we have some of the most astonishing 90 percent. picturesque sports and recreation fields “Athletics are also important to our in the country. Recently, our football educational mission,” continues Mullin. stadium was named one of the ‘13 “SJU student-athletes have higher Best Places to Watch College Football,’ graduation rates and higher mean GPAs which is something the Johnnie faithful —Fr. Bob Koopmann, OSB than our non-athletes. In addition, our can be proud of. But our athletic coaches are teachers and mentors, and they play key roles facilities are no longer adequate to meet the needs and in the character and leadership development for so many of demands of our students. They need a major facelift.” our young men.” Since the Warner Palaestra was remodeled and the “To put things in perspective, there are 650 McNeely Spectrum was built 14 years ago, programs and intercollegiate athletes at SJU,” comments Tom Stock, participants have been added without providing more space Saint John’s athletic director. “That’s double most other to support student needs,” says Stock. “We are woefully men’s programs in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic inadequate indoors when varsity spring sports begin Conference [MIAC]. We provide 12 intercollegiate sports practice early second semester. We’re barely able to provide as well as several club sports including lacrosse, rugby, outdoor space for the hugely popular fall and spring Nordic ski and water polo. Saint John’s has 4,000 recreation intramural activities and there is little to no time and space participants every year and a culture of club sports has available for free play for the general student body.” emerged where we actively recruit club student athletes. At To protect the future of Saint John’s University, it is Saint John’s, our students live and breathe athletics.” essential to “invest” in the future of Johnnie athletics. First-rate facilities go hand in hand with successful “We certainly do not need a new $52 million complex,” athletic programs. In Minnesota and nationally, the stakes said Stock. “But we do need a major investment to meet continue to rise. the needs of our students. Otherwise, our competitive “The race is on,” says Stock. “Across the country advantage in attracting and retaining topnotch student colleges are building multimillion-dollar athletic facilities to athletes will erode.”

“Athletics are the front porch of a university.”


Athletic Fields Upgrades

Tennis Complex

Baseball Park Road & Parking

Dome & Turf

Soccer Field Tunnel


Intramural Fields

Athletic Buildings/Stadium Upgrades

Warner Palaestra Basketball Wrestling Lockers

McNeely Spectrum Baskets Track Bleachers

Fitness & Training

Press Box

Clemens Stadium Turf Track Lights


Athletic Fields

Dome & Turf • Seasonal dome • Synthetic turf • Dome accessory building • Terraced seating • Removable football goal posts • Portable soccer goals • Equipment storage

Tennis Court Complex • 7 U.S.T.A. courts • Fences and wind screens • Court lighting • Bleachers • Storage building • Bang board

Entrance/Parking/ Tunnel • New entrance road • Sidewalks/lighting • 120 parking stalls • Landscaping • Tunnel access from McNeely Spectrum to Dome


Soccer Field • Natural turf (sand-peat topsoil blend) • Team dugouts and benches • Bleacher relocation • Press box • Irrigation system • Retaining wall

Baseball Park • Baseball field with artificial turf • 500-seat grandstand • Press box • Dugouts • Field lighting • Bull pens • Batting cages

Plaza • Concession • Restrooms • Ticketing • Storage 31

Athletic Buildings/Stadium

Fitness & Training • Fitness Center/Training Center • Equipment replacement • Gathering space (commons)

Football Stadium • Renovated press box and suites • Football field turf replacement • Lights on football field/track • Recruiting lounge


McNeely Spectrum • Drop-down baskets • New bleachers • Resurface track

Track & Field • Resurface track • Relocate hammer and discus

Basketball Arena • Refurbish floor (Smith Court) • New shot clocks and backboard lights • New scoreboard • New bleachers • Air conditioning


Johnnie Sports

All-American wrestler Matt Pfarr ’12

Matt Pfarr ’12: Farmer, Wrestler, Biologist By John Taylor ’58 “Wrestling and farming are intermeshed in my family life,” says Matt Pfarr ’12, a four-year member of the SJU wrestling squad at 174 pounds. “Many years ago we converted Dad’s mechanic shop into a wrestling dojo complete with exercise equipment, weights, sauna and full-size wrestling mat. After a full day working together on farm projects, we’d invite anyone from the community out to the shop who is interested in athletic development.” Pfarr was a Minnesota state champion at 160 pounds as a senior at Le Sueur-Henderson High School in Le Sueur, Minn. He also earned the top Academic All-State award from The Guillotine, a publication for the Minnesota amateur wrestling community. Pfarr received a number of DIII looks, but a visit to Saint John’s sealed his decision. “I met with Dr. Rodell of the biology department, took in a Johnnie football game and ran along Lake Sagatagan to the Stella Maris Chapel on a picturesque fall day. At the refectory, I experienced the traditional recruit dinner of a waffle covered in ice cream and all the fixings possible. I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else.” A biology major and chemistry minor, he describes himself as a “green thumb, from God’s country.” It isn’t hard to figure out why he wants to go on to graduate school in genetic counseling. His dad is an agronomist with


Pioneer Seed and a fifth-generation farmer, with a master’s in plant breeding and cyto-genetics from Iowa State. His mom is a registered nurse. An All-American at 174 pounds as a junior, he also received Academic All-American status as a sophomore and junior. “Wrestling has really added to my college experience. It’s taught me focus, personal development and a deep appreciation for what I should expect from myself.” Pfarr singles out biology professors Michael Reagan and Barb May as particularly helpful in the development of his scholarship. “The practical experience with current genetic techniques gained through their instruction has been instrumental in my education.” Additionally, Noreen Herzfeld, Nicholas and Bernice Reuter Professor in the Integration of Science and Theology, has helped him appreciate the power that genetics research has given us. “As scientific research extends the boundaries of our capabilities, we will decide exactly what constitutes an acceptable change to our most basic, genetic level,” he comments. “I feel solidly grounded to take part in this discussion, aided by my four years at Saint John’s.” John Taylor ’58 is senior associate for institutional advancement at Saint John’s.

Scorecard FOOTBALL (6-4, 5-3 MIAC) concluded its 44th consecutive winning season. Head coach John Gagliardi ended his record 63rd season with a 484-133-11 (.779) career record and a 460-127-10 (.779) record in 59 seasons at SJU. Cornerback Bobby Fischer ’13 was named to the 2011 All-MIAC first team. Defensive end Evan Cobb ’12, offensive lineman Andrew Ghostley ’12, wide receiver Brent Graboski ’12, running back Stephen Johnson ’13 and kicker Jimmie Mattson ’13 earned second-team honors. Fischer and Mattson were also named to the All-West Region second team.

CROSS COUNTRY finished third out of 11 teams at the MIAC Championship and sixth out of 26 teams at the NCAA Central Regional. Jordan Fladland ’12, Joe Gair ’12, Ruairi Moynihan ’12, Matt Scherber ’13 and John Subialka ’14 earned All-MIAC honorable mention recognition.

SOCCER (9-8, 4-6 MIAC) earned a NSCAA Team Academic Award for the third consecutive season. Midfielder Michael Coborn ’14 was named to the 2011 All-MIAC soccer first team for the second consecutive season, while defender Sam Hautman ’12 and forward David Wee ’15 were named to the All-MIAC second team. Coborn was also named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-North Region third team.

WATER POLO finished .500 in the regular season and fifth in the Heartland Division. JD Quinby ’14 and Joe Duxbury ’15 delivered the majority of the team’s goals, and the leadership of Captain Mike Kelash ’12 and solid goal-tending of Chase Miller ’12 set strong examples for the younger players.

GOLF claimed third place at the MIAC Championship. Dennis Granath ’13 and Casey Vangsness ’14 earned All-MIAC honors (top 10). SJU will compete for an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championship this spring. The appearance would be the Johnnies’ 13th consecutive at the national tournament.

Club Sports CREW represented CSB and SJU with promising finishes at several rowing regattas across the Midwest and rowed a 25K in 2:28 at the Death Row Regatta, an improvement on last year’s time of 3:00. Team membership has steadily increased in recent years.

RUGBY took second place in the All-Minnesota tournament, losing only to D1 University of Minnesota by five points, placing the Johnnies third in the state. With a strong core of juniors and sophomores, the rugby club anticipates a return to the top of the conference next year. 35

Alumni Connection

Johnnies in the Media

Richard Thill ’50 was featured in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Dec. 7th, the 70th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. As one of the last remaining Minnesotans to have survived the attack, Thill knows that sharing his memories becomes increasingly important. Thill currently serves as president and chaplain of the Minnesota chapter for survivors of the Pearl Harbor attacks.

Dick Pope ’58 is chairman and CEO of WinCraft, a Winona-based sports marketing firm. “60 Minutes” recently featured manufacturing footage from WinCraft in a story on the NFL. Wincraft is one of the NFL’s largest non-apparel partners. In addition, WinCraft hosted the national news desk of the “CBS Evening News” for two broadcasts in early February. The programs featured stories on products made in America.

Gary Eichten ’69 was featured in several news sources upon his retirement after more than 40 years at Minnesota Public Radio. Eichten, host of “Midday,” and one of the most familiar voices in Minnesota, began his public radio at KSJR in Collegeville as an SJU student. On one of Eichten’s last shows, Gov. Mark Dayton presented Eichten with a proclamation declaring his last day, January 20, Gary Eichten Day in Minnesota.

Michael Hennessey ’70 retired in January as San Francisco’s longest-serving sheriff. He looked back on more than three decades of service with the San Francisco Chronicle in December. Among Hennessey’s accomplishments include improving training for staff, conditions in the jails and rehabilitation programs for prisoners.

Dave Daniel ’73, Ron Duffy ’75, Don Nierengarten ’73 and Jim Schnepf ’75 were featured in the St. Cloud Times for their annual card game. The four alumni have played an annual 500 game since they met in a January term class in 1972. The winning pair plays for bragging rights and a traveling plaque.


Several Johnnie-owned companies were named as the fastest growing, privately held businesses in Minnesota by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Known as the Fast 50, this year’s list includes: Three Deep Inc. (6), David Woodbeck ’88, president and CEO; MSpace Inc. (8), Ryan Heining ’91, CEO; Platinum Bank (21), David Rom ’91, CEO; Fishbowl Solutions Inc. (32), Tim Gruidl ’90, president; A’viands (41), Perry Rynders ’80, CEO; and Apex Print Technologies (44), Brian Kueppers ’89, CEO, and Pat Maurer ’89, president.

The Wall Street Journal recently featured entrepreneur Tom Wicka ’90, who purchased a developing drug and started a new company, Halo Therapeutics. Wicka hopes to launch a clinical trial next year with the goal of developing a drug that will alleviate Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Wicka’s son, Nash, suffers from the genetic neuromuscular disorder which primarily strikes boys and currently has no cure.

Paul Frost ’02 was editor of “The House I Live In”, a documentary film on the drug war in America. Sources ranging from the Chicago Tribune to The Hollywood Reporter announced the film’s Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in January.

Lino Rulli ’93, Emmywinning host of “The Catholic Guy,” a radio show broadcast from New York City on Sirius Radio, gave Twin Cities’ KARE 11 viewers a humorous look at the Minnesota State Fair. Rulli took reporter Julie Nelson on a tour of the fairgrounds in search of the seven deadly sins.

Seth Brown ’02, an 8th grade math teacher at Wayzata Middle School in Wayzata, Minn., received the $25,000 Milken Educator Award, called “The Oscars of Teaching.” Brown’s award was reported on several news stations and in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Brown plans to pay for graduate school and make a donation to the PTA, which helped pay for the technology he uses in his classroom, with his cash award.

Nick Howard ’04, an artist in Minneapolis, Minn., was named one of the “Artists We Love” by Minnesota Monthly in the September 2011 issue. Howard’s latest solo exhibit of pen and ink drawings opened last fall at the Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis. 37

Alumni Connection

Homecoming 2011 Photos by Paul Middlestaedt and Adam Konczewski

Members of the class of 2006 celebrated their 5th reunion during Homecoming.

Johnnie red dominates Clemens Stadium as more than 12,000 fans fill the stands.

Hey Coach Gagliardi—do I make the team?

Beautiful weather led to a great turnout of Johnnies and Bennies. “Once a Johnnie, always a Johnnie” pretty much says it all.

(Back, L to R) Dan Stepaniak ’01, Marc Kettleson ’01, Bob Wicker ’64 and Kevin Burns ’91.(Front, L to R) Brett Kusske ’06, Jason Hardie ’06, Brian Adamek ’06 and Josh Otto ’01.


Alumni Board President David Rom ’91 presents a check representing gifts to SJU from this year’s reunion classes to Fr. Bob. He is awestruck. $1,621,191! Thank you!

Fr. Wilfred Theisen ’52, OSB, CSB/SJU physics professor emeritus, gets in the game. He’s only missed two home games since 1945! Bernie Carlson ’66 (L) and Donald Kinzer ’66 reconnect after the game.

More than 3,000 alumni and friends gathered for the Celebration on the Tundra despite a heartbreaking loss on the field.

Old friends Mike Collins ’98 (L) and Eric Kraus (center) ‘98 enjoy time with Fr. Tim Backous ’76.

The Johnnie Rats add a little extra excitement to halftime festivities. (L to R) Josh Kobow ’01, Joe Cottew ’01, Nick Rowland ’01, Adam Carter ’01, Mark Woell ’01 and Daniel Welna ’01 enjoy hors d’oeuvres before the Homecoming banquet.

Best in show! 39

Alumni Connection

Spotlight on

Washington, D.C. Live in D.C.or headed there? You’ve got friends in the D.C.-area Alumni Chapter.

D.C.-area alumni gathered to cheer on Johnnie football at a live-stream game watch last October. Pictured are (L to R) James Garay Heelan ’07, Andrew Jones ’05, Kelsey Gustafson ’10, Valentin Arias Sierra ’10, John Kwacala ’95 and Misty Heelan ’07.

Co-Presidents Jeff Schnobrich ’09, “We want current students and alumni new to the D.C. area to know we are here for them as a resource and to help with advice or even a place to stay for a few days.” Valentin Sierra ’10, “We have many great D.C.- area alumni, and good things happen when we stay connected with each other and the university.”

Recent Events • Trivia Night • Evening at the Monocle Restaurant • Live-Stream Game Watch

Did You Know? • 427 alumni live in the D.C. area from the classes of 1943 to 2011 • The D.C.-area chapter is instrumental in supporting the McCarthy Center for Public Policy & Civic Engagement at Saint John’s

To Connect with the D.C. Chapter • Email Jeff or Valentin • Check out the D.C. chapter page on for more on chapter leadership, event information and pictures

For more on alumni chapters worldwide, go to 40


My first assignment in what was then the SJU public information office was to write an obituary in the summer 1973 Saint John’s on the passing of Joseph Vertin, Class of 1894. I am now helping recruit students for the SJU Class of 2016. I am proud to have an association with Saint John’s spanning 122 years…and counting. During my 20-some years as director of alumni relations, I often said I had the best job at Saint John’s. It was my pleasure to get to know hundreds of wonderful Johnnies around the country who eagerly volunteered their service to alma mater and fellow alumni. I am finding now that retirement is even a better job, especially with my part-time position as an assistant baseball coach, where I am hanging out with wonderful current Johnnie student-athletes. Part of my legacy over these decades is the SJU#1 logo that I designed some time ago. It was never meant to proclaim “WE ARE NUMBER ONE.” It’s meant to be a reminder that we need to strive to be Number One, to work to be the best … in athletics… in the classroom … as an alumni association… as sons and as fathers and as husbands … as employers and employees. It’s like when we sing the “Johnnie Fight Song”: Show the world what SJU can do.

T-E-A-M according to Thom Woodward



Serving as a volunteer…



Networking… Student preparation

Thom Woodward ’70: Four Decades for SJU Thom Woodward served SJU for 38 years in positions ranging from news service/sports information director and alumni relations director to alumni association secretary, club sports commissioner and assistant baseball coach. He was a founder in 1993 and continues as the administrator of the Gagliardi Trophy. He has been the J-Club and J-Fund administrator and secretary. He was honored in 2000 with the Father Walter Reger Distinguished Alumnus Award. Woodward’s retirement was marked by a halftime presentation at the SJU vs. St. Olaf football game last November. “Thom has touched the lives of so many of our alumni. He and Father Don Talafous have a gift to recognize faces and connect names which surpasses most mortals,” said Rob Culligan ’82, vice president for institutional advancement, at the ceremony.



Speaking positively about SJU…

Class committee Affinity groups

Saint John’s LinkedIn groups

With other alumni

Attending alumni events

Serving as an academic resource

With prospective students

Reading Saint John’s

Classroom visit Hosting a student intern

Thomas Brossart ’14

By Thom Woodward ’70

With friends With corporate leaders Wearing Saint John’s gear



Making annual, capital and planned gifts… Supporting other Saint John’s enterprises Saint John’s Abbey Liturgical Press Hill Museum and Manuscript Library Saint John’s Arboretum 41


MARRIAGES ’70 ’77 ’87 ’94 ’97 ’98 ’99 ’00 ’01 ’02 ’02 ’02 ’02 ’03 ’05 ’05 ’05 ’05 ’05 ’05 ’06 ’06 ’06 ’06 ’06 ’06 ’06 ’07 ’07 ’07 ’07 ’07


Becky Brown to Mike McShane, Aug. ’11 Mary Kay Wolfe to Terry Welsh, Aug. ’11 Jennifer (Marshall ’87) to Matthew Haines, May ’11 Nicole Newcombe to Nick Krawczyk, May ’11 Meghan (Quayle ’01) to Ryan Rector, June ’11 Kent Joseph Karls to Benjamin Daniel (Rosch) Karls, Sept. ’10 Emily Conley to Tim Enright, July ’11 Colleen Quinn to Erik Sommer, 2010 Emily (Cronk ’05) to Jesse Loudon, Sept. ’11 Pari (Allen ’06) to Raymond Luna, June ’11 Annie Aho to Josh Pantzke, Oct. ’11 Melissa Bohlig to Patrick Reichert, July ’11 Katie Borg to Nicholas Rendahl, Nov. ’10 Katie Danielson to Travis Miller, Oct. ’11 Amanda Peters to Travis Flanders, Summer ’11 Jessica (Guentzel ’05) to Rob Himmerick, Aug. ’11 Mikaila Engel to Ryan Hinman, June ’11 Stephanie Stamm to Max Holmquist, July ’11 Jessica to Ryan Johnson, Sept. ’11 Laura Justin to Joe Minke, June ’11 Megan (Haines ’06) to Tony Berendes, July ’11 Bridget (Spaniol ’07) to Ryan Brackin, July ’11 Jennifer (Bryant ’06) to Kevin Christen, June ’11 Brooke (Wheeler ’07) to Jason Hardie, July ’11 Kelsey Cotton to Matt Milbert, July ’11 Ashley Stover to Damir Tokic, June ’11 Jamie Rausch to Michael Zauhar, Aug. ’11 Heather (Hatzenbihler ’07) to Corey Busch, July ’10 Anna (Borys ’07) to Tyler Flory, July ’11 Brooke Stommes to Aaron Kleinschmidt, Aug. ’11 Emily Peick to Joe Kocik, May ’11 Maja Janjic to Dusan Kosic, Sept. ’11


John O’Brien ’08 and Laura (Murphy) O’Brien CSB ’08 scandalize the wedding party at their July 2011 nuptials. ’07 Jenny (Gray ’07) to Nate Leppanen, Oct. ’11 ’08 Katie (Ranallo ’08) to Kevin Boegel, June ’11 ’08 Mackenzie (O’Neil ’08) to Brady Brink, Sept. ’11 ’08 Nikki (Bender ’08) to Peter DeLisi, June ’11 ’08 Kaylen (James ’08) to Jeff Jackson, July ’11 ’08 Nicole Holthaus to Matthew Meyer, Oct. ’11 ’08 Larua (Murphy ’08) to John O’Brien, July ’11 ’08 Natalie (Ulrich ’08) to Dan Petersen, Dec. ’11 ’08 Nora (Kain ’07) to Tyler Tholl, May ’11 ’08 Bridget (Bursaw ’08) to Coop Waldorf, Oct. ’11 ’08 Liz (Strawbridge ’06) to Christopher Welle, Aug. ’11 ’08 Alison Hanson to Justin Wilkes, June ’11 ’09 Sarah (Moore ’09) to Andrew Eisinger, Aug, ’11 ’09 Sarah (Havemeier ’10) to Leroy Christiansen, July ’11

’09 Leslie (Rau ’07) to Dan Kirscht, Sept. ’11 ’09 Melissa (Marquardt ’10) to Alex Ludescher, June ’11 ’09 Stephanie (Majka ’09) to Antonio Nava, July ’11 ’09 Katie (Carlson ’09) to Christopher Schultz, July ’11 ’09 Kate (McIntee ’08) to Brian Strauss, June ’11 ’09 Megan (Hedstrom ’09) to Ryan Tansom, Aug. ’11 ’09 Erica (Hanson ’09) to Nicholas Winegar, Oct. ’11 ’10 Alexa (Redfield ’11) to Timothy Mayerhofer, Sept. ’11 ’10 Missy (Koch ’09) to Matt Mulligan, Aug. ’11 ’10 Christen (Beckstrand ’10) to Alex Schafer, Aug. ’11 ’11 Erin (Skluzacek ’11) to Garrett Genereux, July ’11 ’11 Ashley McVey to Aaron Sinner, June ’11 ’11 Brooke (Tuohy ’10) to Caleb Wenzel, June ’11

BIRTHS ’79 ’81 ’83 ’89 ’91 ’91 ’93 ’93 ’93 ’94 ’94 ’95 ’95 ’95 ’95 ’96 ’96 ’96 ’96 ’96 ’96 ’97 ’97 ’98

Jackie & Ray Ganas, girl, Jamie, Sept. ’11 Jeanne & Neal Binsfeld, adoption girl/boy, Lansing and Jack Donna & Phil Villavicencio, girl, Lila, Aug. ’11 Betsy (Jacobs ’89) & Sam Cutrara, boy, Theodore, May ’10 Jessica & Tim Bromelkamp, boy, Jonah, Jan. ’11 Ann & Jon Reissner, twins, girl/boy, Constance and James, Apr. ’11 Carmen & John Devney, boy, John, Mar. ’11 Liz & Chris Ortmann, boy, Walt, Dec. ’10 Atusko (Kitanaka ’97) & Mark Schlough, girl, Mona, May ’11 Laura (Stork ’02) & Matt Beirne, girl, Claire, Sept. ’11 Melissa & Dan Nosal, girl, Abby, Mar. ’10 Colleen (Hicks ’95) & Chris Gregg, boy, Henry, Dec. ’10 Ann & Christopher Hill, girl, Paige, Nov. ’11 Tessia & Pat Melvin, boy, Declan, June ’11 Raegan & Toby Miers, girl, Cheyanne, May ’11 Elizabeth & Brian Bowman, girl, Charlotte, June ’11 Karen & Andrew Kaus, girl, McKinley, Apr. ’11 Ann & Pat Kell, girl, Maggie, Mar. ’11 Holly & Christopher Koshiol, boy, Wesley, Jan. ’11 Jackie (Olson ’96) & Matt Peterson, boy, Ryan Patrick, Feb. ’11 Laura & Mark Smith, girl, Claire, Aug. ’11 Marti & Corey Brenner, twins boy/girl, Emmett and Kate, June ’11 Sally (Swanstrom ’98) & Peter Raih, boy, Jack, Nov. ’11 Jenny Hsu & Brian Hertzog, twins girl/ boy, Phoebe and Isaac, July ’11

’98 Robin & Pat Marushin, girl, Zoe, Oct. ’11 ’98 Amy & Nate Omann, girl, Evelyn, Aug. ’11 ’98 Kerri & Eric Werner, boy, Reid, Jan. ’11 ’99 Stephanie & Patrick Bostrom, boy, Finnegan, Dec. ’10 ’99 Michaela Ohnesorg & Ryan Bromenschenkel, girl, Emilia, Nov. ’11 ’99 Lindsay & Michael Dingman, girl, Annelise, Sept. ’11 ’99 Kristin (Kuhlmann ’99) & Samuel Francois, girl, Elizabeth, Sept. ’11 ’99 Carin & Brian Kelly, boy, Myles, May ’11 ’99 Anne & Steve Kimble, girl, Reagan, June ’11 ’99 Jen (Carling ’99) & Jeremy List, boy, Tyler, May ’11 ’99 Cindy & Casey Scheidt, girl, Kennedy, June ’11 ’99 Monica & Luke Schwankl, girl, Genevieve, Nov. ’11 ’99 Brittany & Joel Swenson, girl, Mallory, Aug. ’11 ’99 Jennifer & Scott Welle, girl, Madeline, Sept. ’11 ’00 Holly & David Bakker, boy, Jon, Aug. ’11 ’00 Anna Marie & Tom Bushlack, girl, Audrey, Apr. ’11 ’00 Lisa (Neu ’00) & Tony Kapinos, boy, Mathias, June ’11 ’00 Jessica & Trent Kirchner, boy, Carter, Oct. ’11 ’00 Kelly & Chad Krueger, girl, Korbyn, July ’11 ’00 Jennifer & Brian O’Neill, girl, Brigid, July ’11 ’00 Talia (Soukup ’02) & Michael Roder, girl, Alice, Sept. ’11 ’00 Christina & Ryan Tietz, girl, Gracie, Aug. ’11

Timothy J. Baland ’66

Minnesota’s 7th Judicial District After six years writing and translating poetry—and realizing he would not be able to send his newborn son to college on his limited income—Tim Baland ’66 went to law school. He practiced for nine years before Gov. Rudy Perpich appointed him District Court Judge in Minnesota’s 7th Judicial District. Shortly after, Baland stopped by the Abbey Church, where he prayed for wisdom, humility and courage in taking up his new duties. “My ability to do justice and also try to do the right thing was anchored in the totality of my experience at Saint John’s,” he says. Baland retired in 2006 after 22 years on the bench. He served two terms (in 2005 and 2006-08) as an international judge in Kosovo with the United Nations and was president of the Kosovo Independent Judicial and Prosecutorial Commission from 2008-10 that picked a new chief justice, new attorney general and about 330 prosecutors and judges. The English major from Rice Lake, Wisc., now regularly presents Law & Literature seminars for lawyers, judges and other professionals.



Michael A. Fahey ’75

Minnesota’s 1st Judicial District Serving as the Carver County attorney for 20 years, Michael Fahey ’75 had followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather—both former Carver County attorneys—but he had not taken that final step of becoming a judge like his father. Four times a finalist for a vacancy, he had begun to think it would not happen. The fifth time proved a charm. In 2007, Governor Tim Pawlenty appointed him to the bench in Minnesota’s 1st Judicial District. Fahey was ready for the opportunity to continue his community service, thanks to influences from Saint John’s University during his undergraduate days as a government major. “Professors like Fr. Jeremy Murphy stressed the importance of studying, being prepared and wellversed in the subject area,” says the Carver County native. Fahey often returns to campus for football games and to run on the wooded trails, which relieves the courtroom stress. He also refers frequently to a poster of Benedictine values—dignity of work, taking counsel, listening, respecting others, justice, hospitality—that hangs in his chambers. “It reminds me of my purpose,” he says.


’00 Melissa & Joel Torborg, girl, Lilah, Oct. ’11 ’00 Wesley Fletcher & Cody Zilverberg, girl, Lydia, Sept. ’11 ’01 Colleen (Probst ’01) & Chris Chambs, girl, Abigail, Aug. ’11 ’01 Kelly & Vince Jones, boy, William, June ’11 ’01 Victoria & Jeff Jurek, girl, Grace May ’11 ’01 Bridget (Brown ’03) & Nick Leonard, boy, Louis, Jan. ’11 ’01 Jil & Jedadiah Peterson, boy, Ian, Oct. ’11 ’01 Kelly & Derrick Schroeder, girl, Katherine, July ’11 ’01 Ann & Chris Skuza, boy, Parker, Sept. ’11 ’01 Megan (Qvale ’02) & Dan Stepaniak, girl, Ellen, July ’11 ’01 Gina (O’Neill ’02) & Alex Wesley, boy, Quinn, Jan. ’10 ’02 Katie (Vandendriessche ’02) & Mike Cass, girl, Emily, July ’11 ’02 Katie (Knewtson ’04) & Brooks Deibele, girl, Vivienne, Sept. ’11 ’02 Leah (Haehn ’03) & Nick Sanner, boy, Isaac, Nov. ’11 ’03 Crysta & Russell Boe, boy, Henry, Aug. ’11 ’03 Crystal & Russell Boe, girl, Eden, Dec. ’09 ’03 Amanda (Gustafson ’05) & Andy Burns, girl, Lydia, Feb. ’11 ’03 Kate (Johnson ’03) & Luke Doubler, boy, Andrew, Sept. ’11 ’03 Rosemary & David Gallagher, girl, Molly, July ’11 ’03 Wendy & Dan Kosel, girl, Greta, June ’11 ’03 Sadie (Vagher ’02) & Joel LaFrance, boy, Gus, June ’11 ’03 Alexis & Nathan Meyer, boy, Evan, Aug. ’11 ’03 Heather & Dustin Upgren, girl, Claire, May ’11 ’03 Rawney & Luke Zauhar, boy, Mac, Sept. ’11 ’04 Laura & Nathan Burr, boy, Tucket, Nov. ’11

’04 ’04 ’04 ’04 ’04 ’04 ’04 ’04 ’04 ’04 ’04 ’05 ’06 ’06 ’06 ’06 ’07 ’07 ’08 ’08 ’08 ’08 ’08

Erin (Troutfetter ’04) & Alex Jude, girl, Etta, Sept. ’11 Angela (Wiering ’04) & Jeff Kaczrowski, girl, Meredith, Apr. ’11 Andrea (Stack ’04) & Brad Koltes, boy, Nolan, Nov. ’11 Leah (Laurich ’04) & Jake Omann, girl, Mila, Oct. ’11 Lisa (Wienhold ’04) & Brandon Overman, girl, Adelyn, June ’11 Amanda (Fricke ’04) & Peter Simone, girl, Julia, Aug. ’11 Alissa (Keene ’04) & Josh Theis, girl, Lydia, Aug. ’11 Julie & Nick Thielman, girl, Olivia, July ’11 Allison (Vacek ’06) & Andy Weaver, boy, Micah, July ’11 Mandy & Ryan Weinandt, boy, John, Apr. ’11 Kristin & Joe Zimmer, boy, Shane, Sept. ’11 Theresa (Guentzel ’05) & Matt Reichert, girl, Audrey, Nov. ’11 Rachel & Mike Boyack, girl, Cora, July ’11 Kristen & Jeff Bye, girl, Leah, June ’11 Jen & Doug Gleisner, girl, Haley, May ’11 Laura (Zwach ’07) & Scott LaVoy, girl, Madalyn, Mar. ’11 Megan & Adam Gosiak, girl, Bailey, July ’11 Anna (Scheil ’07) & Morgan Skidmore, girl, Anaelyse, Aug. ’11 Sarah & James Bockwinkel, twin girls, Emelia and Adelaide, Apr. ’11 Natalie (Arel ’08) & Nathan Justin, boy, Caleb, Oct. ’11 Emily & Steven Luitjens, boy, Gabriel, Nov. ’11 Anna (Lynch ’09) & Ryan Sandquist, girl, Lucille, June ’11 Anna & Brett Willhite, boy, Paden, May ’11

DEATHS ’14 Evelyn L. Kolars, spouse of deceased Henry ’14, Sept. ’11 ’28 Theresa Warzecha, spouse of deceased Michael ’28, Sept. ’11 ’37 Doris Stenglein, spouse of deceased Gil ’37, Aug. ’11 ’38 Bob Lundquist ’38, Aug. ’10 ’38 Jerome Riley ’38, brother of deceased John, Apr. ’11 ’38 Margaret Schmitz, spouse of deceased Evertee ’38, May ’11 ’38 Juletta Spanier, spouse of deceased Joseph ’38, Prep ’38, mother of Eric ’68, sister of Jerry Ehresmann, Prep ’57, Sept. ’11 ’39 Florine Eveslage, spouse of deceased Donald ’39, mother of James ’72, Sept. ’11 ’39 Bill Hall ’39, July ’11 ’39 Mitchel Perizzo, Jr. ’39, Dec. ’11 ’41 Lyle Egerman ’41, Jan. ’11 ’41 Thomas McShane, son of deceased William ’41, brother of Mike ’70 and Tim ’81, Aug. ’11 ’42 Claudette Klein, spouse of Herbert ’42, Prep, June ’11 ’43 Ev Kulas ’43, brother of Fr. John Kulas, OSB ’53 and Paul ’61, Sept. ’08 ’43 Lloyd Whitlow ’43, Aug. ’10 ’43 Loretta Knapp, spouse of deceased John ’43, mother of Dennis ’69, Tom ’70 and Mark ’84 and, Oct. ’11 ’44 Jerry Walsh ’44, Aug. ’11 ’46 Regina Krebs, spouse of deceased Earl ’46 and mother of deceased David ’74, Nov. ’11 ’46 Rev. Norbert Wilger ’46, brother of Richard ’51 and Francis ’53, Mar. ’11 ’47 Tom Kingsley ’47, Nov. ’11 ’48 John Simonett, father of John ’76 and Paul ’80, July ’11 ’49 Joe Schwankl ’49, brother of Art ’49, May ’11 ’49 John Geiselman ’49, May ’11 ’49 Ruth Eisenzimmer, spouse of deceased Paul ’49, June ’11

’49 Pat McHale ’49, father of Mike ’75, John ’79 and Greg ’84, June ’11 ’49 Edward Schneider ’49, July ’11 ’49 M. Bernadine Gimenez, spouse of Ted ’49, Aug. ’11 ’49 Lee Hildman ’49, Sept. ’11 ’49 Elizabeth Doerner, spouse of Bob’49, Nov. ’10 ’49 Tom Forrest ’49, Aug. ’11 ’49 Ernie Demuth ’49, Nov. ’11 ’50 Tom Roeser ’50, May ’11 ’50 Audrey Gerads, spouse of deceased Val ’50 and mother of Clair ’73, May ’11 ’50 Val Gerads ’50, father of Clair ’73, Nov. ’11 ’50 Wanda Hassler, spouse of deceased John ’50, June ’11 ’50 Mel Warnert ’50, July ’11 ’50 Carroll Seymour ’50, father of Michael ’72, Sept. ’11 ’50 Rev. James Lafrenz ’50, Aug. ’11 ’51 Virginia Wilfahrt, spouse of Joe ’51, Feb. ’11 ’51 John Delyea ’51, Nov. ’10 ’51 Bernard Kaster ’51, July ’11 ’51 Elizabeth Lais, spouse of deceased Donald ’51, mother of Tom ’76, Greg ’78, and Charlie ’79, Sept. ’11 ’52 Beverly Muskat, spouse of Ray ’52 and mother of Thom ’91, Sept. ’11 ’52 Wayne Martin ’52, brother of Joseph ’49, Roger ’59 and deceased brothers Terry ’58 and John ’50, Aug. ’11 ’52 Tim Curran ’52, Aug. ’11 ’52 Francis Dichtel ’52, Jun ’11 ’53 Jan Wendell, spouse of George Crow ’53, May ’11 ’53 John Helsper ’53, June ’11 ’53 Jim Church ’53, Oct. ’11 ’53 James Riedman ’53, May ’11 ’54 Leo Kemper ’54, Aug. ’11 ’54 Bob Collins ’54, Oct. ’11

John C. Lindstrom ’63 Minnesota’s 8th Judicial District John Lindstrom ’63 had practiced in the Willmar, Minn., area for ten years and served two terms as a state representative when Gov. Wendell Anderson appointed him to Minnesota’s 8th Judicial District bench. Lindstrom served 29 years until his retirement in 2005. “I liked being in a position where I could change people’s lives if they were straying from the straight and narrow,” says the Benson, Minn., native. “I had to be careful not to get black-robe disease, but hopefully most Johnnie judges don’t succumb to that because of the experience they’ve had with Benedictine values.” Lindstrom’s experience as a history major at Saint John’s University was shaped by the likes of Don Talafous ’52, OSB; Hilary Thimmesh ’54, OSB; Don LeMay ’57, OSB; Wilfred Theisen ’56, OSB; and Stephen Humphrey ’29. “They modeled a balanced lifestyle—work, pray—and had a good sense of humor,” he says. He maintains strong ties with Saint John’s, reading Fr. Don Talafous’s daily reflection “to keep me grounded,” rooting for the football team as a season-ticket holder and visiting his son Matt ’92, the Edward L. Henry Professor of Political Science at Saint John’s.



Richard Sabers ’60

South Dakota Supreme Court Dick Sabers ’60 from Salem, S.D., majored in English at Saint John’s University under the tutelage of Hilary Thimmesh ’54, OSB; Dunstan Tucker ’29, OSB; and Stephen Humphrey ’29. Knowing he didn’t want to teach English himself, Sabers became a trial lawyer for 20 years. “My English background helped in writing briefs and in creative and analytical thinking,” he says. In 1986, his University of South Dakota law school classmate Gov. Bill Janklow selected Sabers for a position on the South Dakota Supreme Court. The position meant a pay cut—he had to borrow money from an aunt “to put bread on the table”—but he has no regrets. “I loved it from the minute I started,” Sabers says. “It was a position made for me because I like to read, I like to make decisions, and I try to do the right thing.” Sabers retired in 2009 at age 70, as mandated by state law. “If you do your homework in the practice of law and you’re trying to do the right thing, you can’t help but to be a good judge,” he says.


’54 Doug Shauer ’54, May ’11 ’55 Luanne Coy, spouse of deceased Richard ’55, mother of John ’80, sister of Paul Kulas ’61 and Rev. John Kulas ’53, Aug. ’11 ’55 Gerald A. Grandmaison ’55, Nov. ’11 ’56 Audrey LaValle, spouse of deceased Tom ’56, July ’11 ’56 Austin Pithey ’56, Apr. ’11 ’56 Richard G. Schneider ’56, Sept. ’11 ’57 Mary Dullum, spouse of Ted ’57, July ’11 ’57 Florabel Rubald, spouse of Elliott ’57, Oct. ’11 ’57 Dori Meyer, spouse of Joe ’57, mother of Mark ’83, Oct. ’11 ’58 Bill Sullivan ’58, July ’11 ’58 Theresa O’Brien Hanley, mother of Lee ’58 and Dennis ’65, Oct. ’11 ’58 Richard J. Pappenfus ’58, Nov. ’11 ’59 John Barbour ’59, May ’11 ’59 John Dean ’59, May ’11 ’59 Paul Roche ’59, June ’ 11 ’60 Dick Jarvinen ’60, father of Caleb ’87, the brother of Jon ’67 and Donald ’68, July ’11 ’61 Wayne W. Reed ’61, Aug. ’11 ’61 Ed Nilan ’61, brother of Michael ’63, Nov. ’11 ’62 Bob DeWenter ’62, May ’11. ’62 Rev. Leroy Eikens ’62, SOT, Dec. ’11 ’62 Patrick Orr, son of Gil ’62, May ’11 ’63 Ed Beauclair, father of Rev. Stephen Beauclair, OSB ’63 and Michael ’68, June ’11 ’64 Bernard Fullenkamp, father of Mike ’64, Jan. ’11 ’64 Jim Meger ’64, Aug. ’11 ’64 Charles V. Franco ’64, Jan. ’11 ’64 Bob Tarbuck ’64, Nov. ’11 ’65 Thomas “Jeff” Dunn ’65, July ’11 ’65 Jim Brum ’65, brother of Mike ’73, Sept. ’11 ’65 Pete Taufen ’65, Nov. ’11

’66 Donna Tembrock, spouse of Jim ’66, July ’11 ’66 Leonard Super, father of Tom ’66, Sept. ’11 ’66 Jerry Langner ’66, Nov. ’11 ’67 Frank Paron ’67, Nov. ’11 ’67 Michael Ryan ’67, Jan. ’12 ’69 Dominic Hillesheim ’69, Nov. ’11 ’69 Donald Kaster, father of Stephen ’69 and Jeff ’77, Sept. ’11 ’70 George Waletzko, father of Ken ’70, Don ’72 and Chuck ’77, June ’11 ’70 Chuck Rasmussen ’70, Sept. ’11. ’70 Br. Aaron Jensen, OSB ’70, Oct. ’11. ’71 Carol Marrin, spouse of KC ’71, May ’11 ’72 Rita Dwyer, mother of Paul ’72, Peter ’73, Jim ’75, Tom ’77, Pat ’79 and deceased son, John ’72, Sept. ’11 ’73 Michael Arend, brother of Richard ’69, July ’11 ’74 LeRoy Housley, spouse of Neysa ’74, SOT, June ’11 ’75 Pete Rothstein ’75, father of Aaron ’03, David ’08, brother of Terry ’63, June ’11 ’76 Delores Backous, mother of Fr. Timo Backous, OSB ’76 and Randy ’83, Aug. ’11 ’76 Kathryn Irlbeck, mother of Patrick ’76, Aug. ’11 ’77 Leon Schertler, father of Steve ’77 and Tony ’83, Sept. ’11 ’77 Doris Murphy ’77, SOT, Aug. ’11 ’78 Mike Ryan ’78, Apr. ’10 ’79 Rev. Jerome “Jerry” Felion ’79 SOT, May ’11 ’80 Terry Zweber ’80, brother of Julian ’70, July ’11 ’80 Anton Lusvardi, father of Tony ’80, Nov. ’11 ’81 Ronald Gathje, father of Pete ’81, John ’85, Jim ’86, and Mike ’88 ’81 Betty Maus, mother of Bill ’81, Aug. ’11 ’81 Mary Giebel, mother of Kevin ’81, Sept. ’11 ’82 Cheryl Dobberstein, spouse of Mark ’82, Oct. ’11

’85 Mary Overman, spouse of deceased Jack ’85, SOT, mother of Andy ’78, Nov. ’10 ’86 Terrence Rolando ’86, July ’11 ’90 Gene Bialek, father of Jeff ’90, July ’09 ’91 Steve Bevan ’91, Sept. ’11 ’91 Michelle Bettin-Bren, spouse of Joe ’91, Oct. ’11 ’93 Michael White ’93, brother of James ’88, Oct. ’11 ’94 Janice Robertson, OSB ’94 SOT, June ’11 ’94 Gary Seiler, father of Will ’94, Aug. ’11 ’04 Rev. Robert Sum ’04 SOT, Aug. ’11 ’08 Shea Stremcha ’08, brother of Jesse ’99, July ’11 ’09 Christopher Hoffke ’09, Aug. ’11

Geoffrey Tenney ’93 Minnesota’s 10th Judicial District At the University of North Dakota Law School, Geoff Tenney ’93 used the same constitutional law textbook he had for two semesters with his favorite teacher at SJU, Dan Ward ’71, OSB, professor of government. Needless to say, Tenney felt well-prepared for the study and practice of law. “Saint John’s broadened my horizons,” says the government major. “It gave me a solid education, one where I learned to analyze and understand things.” Tenney worked for two Indian tribes in North Dakota before returning to practice law in his hometown of Buffalo, Minn., for ten years. Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed him to his position on the bench in Minnesota’s 10th Judicial District—which includes Buffalo. It can be awkward for him to decide disputes for high school classmates or run into defendants in Target. “A judge has to try to understand where both parties are coming from, be empathic and sometimes make hard decisions,” he says. “But as long as I treat people with respect and am fair, they’re usually okay with whatever I decide. I wouldn’t want to be a judge anywhere else.”


Inspiring Lives

Chuck’s Rosaries By Peter Smith ’68

I published a book recently, and some folks at Saint John’s and Saint Benedict’s invited me up to discuss it. The talk was to be in Sexton Commons, which stands where Saint Joseph Hall stood in my day. I’d lived in Joe Hall. I thought I would start with a quote from E.B. White: “All I hope to say in books, all I ever hope to say, is I love the world.” My book is a series of essays about a certain piquant, low-grade horror we all experience sometimes at night on the verge of sleep. We remember some long ago moment or person we might have learned something from had we been less selfish and more generous—had we been paying attention. We weren’t though, so the moment or person shows up and gently haunts us as we toss, turn, mutter, punch-fluff the pillow, and wait for sleep. Everyone is tormented like that sometimes—writers maybe more so than others. These lesser horrors aren’t just great writing material. They may well be the reason writers write at all. It’s hard to explain this to a book club after supper on Monday night. I tried one evening last winter, but I didn’t have the White quote handy. When I finished reading, a young woman raised her hand and asked if everything I wrote was negative. She’d missed the point. I hemmed, hawed, and mumbled, and we all went home less-thansatisfied with the author. I promised myself I would drive the point home at Saint John’s. I would begin with the White quote, and if her question came up again, I’d return to it. Lesser horrors equaled loving the world. There’s grace in life’s mistakes and awkward moments. As the day for the reading approached, I still couldn’t make the point as gracefully as I hoped to. Something eluded me. What? What? I tossed, turned, muttered, and punch-fluffed my pillow. Then, one night on the verge of sleep, an old man— a a lay brother who’d lived in Joe Hall—

on s w d r he wo the g n r we’re stringi



came to mind. He’d been a custodian and he’d long since acquired that humility that makes seemingly menial work around monasteries so instructional. He’d prayed. He’d worked. It was as simple and as profound as that. My roommate had had a work-study custodian’s job freshman year. The old man had shown him the ropes, and they’d struck up a friendship. I emailed my roommate to ask what he remembered. He remembered the old man had made rosaries in his spare time. He’d given my roommate one. My roommate still had it. He kept it in his desk at home, and he took it out and prayed with it now and then. There was the connection. Writers weren’t the only ones hoping to say we love the world. The whole human race hoped to say it too, whether we’re stringing words onto a page, beads onto a chain, or days onto our lives. I imagined the old man finishing a rosary and taking his new beads for a test spin, letting the decades slide through his fingers in the lamplight on his desk in Joe Hall. I envisioned him turning out the lamp, climbing into bed and praying himself to sleep with it. Maybe that’s what we do when we relive our lesser horrors at night. Maybe we’re praying ourselves to sleep along strings of people and days we’ve made for ourselves, all the while hoping to tell the world we love it. I think I got the point across that night in Sexton Commons. Then again, maybe not. I couldn’t tell. I was distracted by the old man’s spirit over there, at his desk in his room in a now-spectral Joe Hall, making yet another rosary in the lamplight.



be , e








ays onto our or d liv , in e


Peter Smith ’68 is a Minneapolis-based author and radio essayist. He is a regular contributor to “Morning Edition with Cathy Wurzer” on Minnesota Public Radio, His latest book, a memoir entitled A Cavalcade of Lesser Horrors (University of Minnesota Press, 2011), is receiving critical acclaim. He blogs at Follow him on Twitter at @petersmithwrite.

“Inspiring Lives” is devoted to reflective pieces with a Saint John’s or Benedictine theme written by Saint John’s alumni. Please feel free to submit essays, poetry or other reflections for consideration to the editor:

Steve ’61 and Lora Muggli

Giving Because It Feels Good S

teve Muggli ’61 has had a lifelong association with Saint John’s. He was reared in church and school communities served by the Benedictines and worked with his father, an electrical contractor, on many campus buildings. After graduation, Steve continued in his family business and contributed to long-term energy planning and electrical contracting at Saint John’s. Over the years, Steve has been generous to Saint John’s with his time and money. He credits the faculty and staff at Saint John’s for giving him the tools he needed for a successful and happy life. “When we were students, we were recipients of substantial support from the Abbey of both money and personnel and were able to graduate without loans,” says Steve. “I wanted to pay back some of what I received.” Since selling his business, Steve and his wife, Lora, have designated a substantial life insurance gift to benefit Saint John’s. Being able to give back, he notes “feels good!”

It’s your will. To learn more about making a bequest to Saint John’s, contact Jim Dwyer ’75, director of planned giving, toll free at (800) 635-7303 or

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID


Saint John’s University

P.O. Box 7222 Collegeville, MN 56321


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