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ENERGY Passing the torch for the next century ignites alums



• Reunion and centennial awards recognize outstanding alumnae p.10 • All-School Reunion recap p.24


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10 College of Saint Benedict Magazine is published three times a year by the office of Institutional Advancement, Kimberly Ferlaak Motes ’89, vice president. EDITOR Tammy Moore



FEATURES 8 10 20 24

Centennial Guide Stretching What’s Possible Presidential Path Sisters for the second century

CONTRIBUTORS Glenda Isaacs Burgeson Ellen Hunter Gans ’05 Lavy Lee SJU ’14 Kristin Sawyer Lyman ’00 Sara Mohs Jennifer Simonton ’13 Greg Skoog SJU ’89 Ashley Ver Burg ’10 COVER PHOTO Alums danced to music from the decades before the kickoff to the All-School Reunion.

DEPARTMENTS 1 2 4 32 33 38 41

Message from the President Worth 1,000 words News I’m a Bennie Class Notes Bennie Connection Generosity

CONTACT College of Saint Benedict Magazine Institutional Advancement 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099 For address changes, please call 1-800-648-3468, ext. 1 or email Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer The mission of the College of Saint Benedict is to provide for women the very best residential liberal arts education in the Catholic university tradition. The college fosters integrated learning, exceptional leadership for change and wisdom for a lifetime.



The world needs more

I am in awe of our 21,000 alumnae living in 52 countries around the world. And to our parents, donors and friends: your belief in our mission and enduring legacy drives us in our unending quest for continuous improvement. Together, we have accomplished so much, and the world is a better place because of you.

Bennies take the lessons from this Catholic, Benedictine residential liberal arts tradition and bring them to work, to communities around the world and into homes. A Saint Ben’s woman is grounded in the ability to think critically, to listen with the ear of the heart, to face adversity and to solve problems. This is what makes Saint Ben’s a place like no other. This is what makes a Saint Ben’s woman like no other. All of this firmly solidifies for me a position I’ve stated before: The world needs more Bennies.

“I don’t mean Saint Ben’s should get bigger. I mean better. We should make Saint Ben’s stronger and more capable than ever....”

And when I say this, I don’t mean Saint Ben’s should get bigger. I mean better. We should make Saint Ben’s stronger and more capable than ever — so she remains an institution that attracts young women of potential; educates them in mind, body and spirit; and connects with them in ways that make them Bennies for life. In May, we graduated 514 new alumnae (see page 6). I imagine a world 100 years from now where instead of 21,000 alums, we have had another 50,000 women educated in the Saint Ben’s tradition.

Now, as we celebrate our first 100 years of this amazing tradition of education for women and we anticipate the next 100 years, we must reflect the changing world. We must advance new ideas and encourage brave ambitions just as our foremothers taught us. Our first graduating class faced a very different world than the class of 2013. But all of the technological advances and even the coming 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote won’t negate the need to develop and educate women as we continue to make our way through what’s been deemed “the century of the woman.”

President Baenninger becomes an official Bennie; Harvey Jewett receives the President’s Medal of Honor at commencement 2013.

demonstrate what’s possible when drive and determination are coupled with Benedictine values and stewardship. You’ll also learn about the career paths of Beth Dinndorf ’73 and Barbara Edwards Farley ’81, who recently began their new posts as college presidents. Success is evident in each of these stories, but so are the countless hours of work and obstacles that are equally important to their achievements. The Sisters of Saint Benedict set us on this course. But this next century is our turn. It’s up to you and to Bennies everywhere to become the “sisters for the next century.” Whether you are an alumna, parent, friend or donor, it’s up to us to approach the future with the same big, audacious spirit that drove our foremothers. Looking forward, I see a brilliant future of unparalleled opportunity for Saint Ben’s women — on campus and throughout the world. We must continue to pave the way for our next 100 years. The world needs more Bennies.

As the Women’s College Coalition aptly asserts, there is an unfinished agenda for women’s equality. We wait in anticipation for the first woman president of the United States. We have yet to earn equal pay for equal work. Society’s and our own expectations make aspirations and goals for women and girls complex and slow to change. Saint Ben’s has helped. And each of you is a beacon of progress for an entire world of women. And we are making progress. We saw this in full force at our All-School Reunion in June. On pages 12-18 , you’ll meet the recipients of this year’s reunion and centennial awards — truly remarkable women who


Visit to find all of the centennial celebration information.


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Spirits aflame

The Kick-Off Celebration for this summer’s All-School Reunion culminated in a visually stunning ceremony in which the Sisters of Saint Benedict “passed the torch” to alumnae of all ages. The result was an extraordinary demonstration of how powerful we are when our lights shine together.

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Burke Presidential Award

President Baenninger receives

President MaryAnn Baenninger has been chosen to receive the 2013 William M. Burke Presidential Award for Excellence in Experiential Education. This award is presented by the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) and funded by The Washington Center (TWC) for Academic Internships and Seminars in memory of TWC’s founder William M. Burke. Baenninger will accept the award at the 2013 NSEE conference in St. Pete Beach, Fla. in October 2013.

community, including the development of the Office of Experiential Learning and Community Engagement, support of undergraduate research and study abroad opportunities and development of scholarships that support experiential opportunities for students with financial need. Baenninger has also championed the development of the MapCores Program, which supports experiential opportunities for women in the STEM fields of mathematics, physics and computer science.

Baenninger is receiving this award for her exemplary work in building and supporting experiential learning opportunities for the Saint Ben’s

The Burke Award consists of a $2,000 scholarship to be awarded to a Saint Ben’s student who is involved in experiential learning.


new members of the Saint Ben’s Board of Trustees

The following individuals began their three-year terms on the College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees on July 1, 2013. Jennifer Schweich Barta '92, president, Saint Ben’s Alumnae Board, senior manager of research and development, General Mills, Minneapolis, Minn. Andrea Driscoll '14, student trustee, College of Saint Benedict, Spearfish, S.D. Mark G. Fleischhacker, president, Lake Region Medical, Chaska, Minn.

Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Ph.D., vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs at American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates Margaret Murphy ’90, president, Olson, Minneapolis, Minn. Marilyn J. Porter, director of engineering and facilities, Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit, Minneapolis, Minn.

Carol M. Schleif, regional chief investment officer, asset management, Abbot Downing, Minneapolis, Minn. Daniel L. Scott, shareholder, Leonard, Street and Deinard, Minneapolis, Minn. Mary Thompson, reporter, CNBC, New York, N.Y.

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We remember

Dr. Stanley Idzerda, president emeritus A well-read, erudite scholar, a champion of the liberal arts and a deeply reflective and spiritual family man is how the College of Saint Benedict community will remember Dr. Stanley Idzerda, president emeritus of the college, who died Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the age of 93. Idzerda’s hiring as eighth president of Saint Ben’s in 1968 created more than the usual inquisitiveness about a new president. He, himself, was a curiosity as the first lay president of Saint Ben’s and the first lay president of a women’s college in Minnesota. He was male, and he was originally from New York. When he moved to St. Joseph, he brought with him his wife, Geraldine, and their seven children. During his presidency, the college experienced record growth in enrollment and new academic programs in nursing, East Asian studies, physical therapy and liberal studies were added to the 29 existing majors. Beyond these obvious successes, Idzerda will be remembered for his revealing

and authentic passion for educating women. During a 1968 radio interview, when posed with the question, “So what exactly is the purpose of a girls’ school?” Idzerda did not miss a beat. With his quick and direct manner he responded, “Well, how about the purpose of women’s education? It seems to me we must respect women as complete persons who have as complicated and as exalted a future as men and who in this century certainly play an increasingly more fundamental role in the shaping of our society than we might recognize. Let us say we have only a certain number of opportunities to educate people. If we had to reduce them for somebody, I would educate more women than men for obvious reasons.” In this, the college’s centennial year, we honor and recommit to the values demonstrated by Dr. Stanley Idzerda. Idzerda’s legacy will continue through the success of the college he loved and the alumnae his leadership touched.

Dedication of Idzerda Community Center The Saint Ben’s community celebrated the college’s 100th birthday with Idzerda and close family and friends, in July 2013, with the dedication of Idzerda Community Center, located in Centennial Commons. The space honors Idzerda’s service and steadfast leadership during a critical time in the college’s history. Idzerda (center) with former CSB Presidents S. Emmanuel Renner and S. Colman O’Connell

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Class of 2013


centennial celebration College of Saint Benedict began a yearlong celebration of its centennial in May, with the graduation of 514 women who comprise the last graduating class of the college’s first century. Denise DeVaan ’75, senior consultant with ICF International, was the commencement speaker. During the ceremony, a President’s Medal was presented to Harvey Jewett, a member of the Saint Ben’s Board of Trustees and long-time supporter of the college. President MaryAnn Baenninger received a honorary bachelor of arts and doctor of humane letters degrees from the college in recognition of her skilled leadership in higher education, unwavering commitment to the liberal arts, outstanding accomplishments at CSB and her devotion to the development of young women at the college.

Alivia Tison ’13, student speaker, Denise DeVaan ’75, guest speaker and President MaryAnn Baenninger

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Blazer Golf

HEATS UP for 2013 season

When looking back at the 2012 Blazer Golf season, two names show up time and again: Grace Todora ’15 and Bridget Cummings ’15. Now entering their junior year, the two athletes carded all five of the lowest rounds turned in last season. And, they were the only two players to achieve scores below 80 all season. The duo is anticipated to be one of the top pairs in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) for the next two years. And that’s only the beginning. The remaining Blazer golfers are not far behind the dynamic duo. Sophomore Lauren Wise finished a strong first season as a Blazer golfer and is expected to join her teammates with scores in the 70s as her career progresses. Last season’s highlights for the team included a fifth-place finish in the MIAC and a first place finish at the Blazer Invite for the third consecutive season, winning by 22 strokes. At the Blazer Invite, Todora took home individual medal honors and partnered with Karly Pratt ’13 to earn the top two positions. Todora scored an 80 on the first day, which was the lowest round of the entire tournament. What’s on the horizon for 2013? A team of young, energetic athletes determined to top last year’s individual and team performances. Talent, drive and youth may be the combination that will earn this team championship honors in the 2013 season and beyond.

Bridget Cummings ’15

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Grace Todora ’15


• Stay informed about all the exciting events taking place throughout the centennial year • Share your stories and your photos • Learn about the rich history of our community • Be part of something memorable


CSB C NNECT U Unite and share with a world of friends and fellow alums right ffrom your phone! Visit the App Store (for iPhone) or Google Play Store (for Android), search “CSB Connect” and download the app tto your electronic device. Visit to vview the fun collection of photos!

SAVE THE DATE! Mark your calendars now for our Centennial Gala

APRIL 26, 2014

on April 26, 2014, at The Depot in downtown Minneapolis. You won’t want to miss this grand finale to our centennial year! Contact Tim Benz, associate vice president of institutional advancement, at 320-363-5800 or, for sponsorship information or to purchase tickets.


Centennial Gala THE DEPOT



Show your Saint Ben’s spirit with a broad selection of centennial gear. Shop at the CSB Bookstore or online at

SISTERHOOD JEWELRY COLLECTION Celebrate and commemorate the connection that binds all Bennies together with a signature line of jewelry that honors past, present and future.

Cuff Links

Lapel Pin


Charm Ring

Ring with CSB Inlay


Fashion Pin




Join us for a spectacular season! Purchase tickets at 320-363-5777 or • Patti LuPone Saturday, Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m. Escher Auditorium, CSB • Nellie McKay Friday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. Gorecki Family Theater, CSB • The Wailin’ Jennys Saturday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m. Escher Auditorium, CSB The Wailin’





• Rhythmic Circus Saturday, Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU • Aquila Theatre’s production of Fahrenheit 451 Friday, Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU

• Voice Saturday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery • It’s Christmas with the Steeles Saturday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU • The Nutcracker featuring the CSB/SJU Orchestra Saturday, Dec. 14, 2 & 7 p.m. Escher Auditorium, CSB



In 1913, “Saint Benedict’s College” was a novel idea whose time had come. As Annette Atkins, CSB/SJU professor of history, puts it in her book, “Challenging Women Since 1913: The College of Saint Benedict,” “While a high school education may have been adequate for the young woman of the 19th century, the Sisters saw that it would not be enough for the 20th.” But as progressive as the idea of a women’s college in Minnesota was at the time, the idea of a liberal arts women’s college was even more so. The Sisters weren’t building a school for the time. They were building a school for the future. “Saint Ben’s in 1913 and Saint Kate’s in 1905 in St. Paul were extreme pioneers in the Midwest because the education wasn’t designed to pursue one specific thing,” says College of Saint Benedict President MaryAnn Baenninger. “It was a worldopening adventure, rather than a lifenarrowing adventure.” Increased educational opportunities for women were expanding expectations and opening half a world of potential. Lynn Pasquerella, president of Mount Holyoke College explains, “Women’s colleges opened the gates of academia for talented women from all socioeconomic backgrounds with the conviction that challenging women academically would enhance their ability to contribute meaningfully to society’s greater good.”

Women’s colleges, then and now, have thrived by not just admitting and educating women, but by building an academic experience around women — in both coursework and campus life. Scripps College President Lori BettisonVarga elaborates, “Opportunities continue to expand with each generation, and the potential for women to contribute to solving the most challenging issues facing society in every part of the world is being realized.”

Redefining the women’s college Over the years, Saint Ben’s has taken the idea of a women’s college and created a uniquely powerful version of it. And, ironically enough, our relationship with the men of Saint John’s is part of what makes the Saint Ben’s experience so effective. Past Saint Ben’s president (1968-74), and one of the chief engineers of CSB/ SJU collaboration, the late Dr. Stanley Idzerda, in his essay, “Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s: ‘Why Should We Travel Together?’” championed the “values and activities typical of a single-sex campus.” He also noted the advantages for women “to be able to exercise leadership and creativity in many areas which are not typically prerogatives on a completely coeducational campus.” At the same time though, he recognized the value of coeducation, noting that members of the

“People think Saint Ben’s was pioneering because they were educating women. Really, the Sisters of Saint Benedict were pioneering because they were educating women to do anything.” President MaryAnn Baenninger

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faculty “testify that men and women have improved as a result of our collaboration.” So part of what makes Saint Ben’s so effective at building confident, competent women is that it’s a single-sex campus that still offers mixed-gender viewpoints and experiences. Professor Emeritus Ozzie Mayers was a key figure in integrating gender into the CSB/ SJU curriculum during the 1980s. “In 1979, when I arrived, I think there was a women’s history course, literature by women and maybe a psychology course,” Mayers recalls. And while Women’s Studies programs have become more common in higher education today, Mayers considers Saint Ben’s to be uniquely positioned to provide a richer experience — given our women-only campus and integrated curriculum. “The wonderful advantage of Saint Ben’s,” says Mayers, “is that women get more opportunities to assume challenging and rewarding leadership roles than they might at a coeducational institution. But we also try to educate the students about the issues faced by men. We look into the complexity of gender rather than oversimplifying it.” One key source of those leadership opportunities Mayers talks about is the S. Nancy Hynes Institute for Women’s Leadership (see Proactive Leadership on facing page). Another is our MapCores program, now entering its fifth year, which marks a concentrated effort to increase the number of women in the traditionally underrepresented STEM fields including mathematics, physics and computer science. That program is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Students at Saint Ben’s are given a broad, empowering liberal arts education. They’re given real leadership opportunities. They’re given an encouraging environment in which to explore the gender issues that challenge our world today. So what’s possible for Bennies? With some of the high-achieving women on the next few pages, it’s not much of a stretch to say, “anything.”

Proactive leadership By Jennifer Simonton ’13, former public relations coordinator for the S. Nancy Hynes Institute for Women’s Leadership As Saint Ben’s continues to push toward a world filled with educated, confident, spiritually grounded women leaders, the S. Nancy Hynes Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL) is a prime example of that vision put into action. The Hynes IWL was initiated in 2003 by two students, Beth Heinzen ’05 and Sarah Sumers ’04, who realized that a specific space offering gender-related discussion and women’s leadership opportunities would make a valuable addition to this women’s college campus. The institute was dedicated to S. Nancy Hynes in the fall of 2007. Her courses on gender issues focused on how both genders are affected in the ongoing struggle for equal human rights. Of course, her work did not go forward without difficulty, as many Catholic colleges were not addressing those issues yet. But her fiery personality and zeal for gender equality catalyzed this movement, and her abiding passion and spirit remains a role model for the student staff. The Hynes IWL is staffed by six students, led by the student director, and is estimated to actively reach at least half of the student body in a given year. What started with an idea and desire has evolved into a welldeveloped organization that continues to gain recognition. The student staff is guided by a board of advisors made up of faculty and staff, but the students are ultimately in charge of programming and what role the institute plays on campus. This is what sets the institute apart.

Together, the student staff shapes programs to fit the current issues facing their peers — female students. In looking at college women’s needs, each academic year looks entirely different, but the pillars of the program remain constant.

Examples of past successful programs: • Women’s expeditions — Excursions like horseback riding and rock climbing that recognize that women build confidence when they stretch themselves • Leadership Speaker Series — Inspiring speakers like Lilly Ledbetter, Tererai Trent and Anne-Marie Slaughter • Educational programming — Including documentary screenings (e.g., “Half the Sky,” “Invisible War”) and reading groups (e.g., “Her Place at the Table”, “The Hook Up Culture”) • Sexual assault awareness and redefining feminism campaigns • Women as Global Leaders — A two-week May Term trip to study women and leadership in various cultures The programs and dedicated space offer a platform for focused dialogue among participants which has resulted in a heightened awareness and increased knowledge of gender issues. Overwhelmingly, women who have participated in the programs suggest that they are challenged daily to think critically about gender and leadership-related issues, while also encouraged to be passionate and individual women leaders.

Kenzie Kraemer ’08 changes lives in Dominican Republic. See page 12 for full story.

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What’s POSSIBLE? Making communities better Barbara Torborg Melsen ’78, S. Emmanuel Renner Award for service to College of Saint Benedict

Barbara Torborg Melsen ’78

Kenzie Kraemer ’08

Barb majored in accounting at Saint Ben’s, but for her, satisfying work has little to do with numbers on a spreadsheet. She has dedicated her life to tireless volunteerism, and she has put her degree to good use in countless boardrooms, as chair of the Benilde-Saint Margaret School’s Board of Directors and numerous other boards including an affordable housing nonprofit and the League of Catholic Women.

Kenzie sprang into action — and started hiking. She walked through mountains looking for potential springs that could be a source of the water. After a few months, she identified two sources that could flow to the community using gravity.

Today, Barb serves as a member of the College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees. She is chair of trusteeship as well as cochair of the centennial campaign steering committee. She serves on the executive committee, buildings and grounds committee and the coordinate relationship committee. She is also a former president of College of Saint Benedict Alumnae Board.

This great accomplishment is just the beginning of Kenzie’s mission, which is to build relationships and form trust with low-income communities all over the globe. Kenzie still talks weekly with community members in the Dominican Republic, and today she’s pursuing a graduate degree in global health at Emory University.

Beyond Barb’s continued and respected guidance on the Board of Trustees, she demonstrates fearless leadership to help fulfill the college’s immediate needs. During the last two weeks of June, Barb, along with Kathy Kurvers Henderson ’85, led a challenge match aimed to increase alumnae participation in giving before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. This is only one example of Barb’s vigorous motivation toward achieving the highest standards for Saint Ben’s.

Never saying “impossible” Kenzie Kraemer ’08, Benedictine Service Award

Laura Hauff ’03

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love with her work that she extended her stay in order to tackle additional projects. The community asked her if she could do anything about the lack of clean water. Three water taps provided water for only 20 of the 200 homes.

After Kenzie graduated in 2008 with a degree in nutrition, she headed straight to the Peace Corps. She found herself in the Dominican Republic where she immersed herself in the community. She fell so in

Kenzie then collaborated with the local residents to build the aqueduct system so they could learn together how it worked in order to maintain it in the future.

While reaching out to populations across the world, Kenzie shares her spirit with generosity and empathy.

Improving women’s health Laura Hauff ’03, Decade Award It is fitting that Laura graduated from an all-women’s undergraduate institution. As a biological anthropologist, she has devoted her career to women’s health — specifically the study and analysis of maternal and infant health. Laura is a tenured faculty member in the anthropology and public health science departments at Santa Clara University. She explores how maternal characteristics, such as nutritional status, affect breastfeeding outcomes. Her research sheds light on

obstacles to breastfeeding and on finding ways to alleviate those challenges. She teaches a variety of introductory and advanced courses such as Introduction to Biological Anthropology and Human Health/Disease, Evolutionary Medicine and Human Development/Sexuality. Since graduating from Saint Ben’s, Laura received a grant from the National Science Foundation to complete her research and earned a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. She then received a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University. Laura’s professional accomplishments are extraordinary, but they’re just part of the reason why she received the Decade Award. She has been recognized by her peers as a great role model and leader for young alumnae through outstanding achievements, global consciousness and community involvement in her profession.

Innovating the innovators Kari Erpelding Bunkers ’83, Distinguished Alumna Award Kari has noticed a common theme in her efforts since college: She seeks to understand the current state and do what she can to effect positive change. To say that Kari is making a difference in the world is an understatement. She is one of the key influencers and strategists behind one of the world’s top medical institutions. She is a practicing physician and the chief medical information officer at the Mayo Clinic. Kari is in charge of bringing Mayo into the digital future. She also lends her expertise to numerous boards and councils both at Mayo and throughout the greater medical community. Her goal: to create a sustainable model of healthcare for the community and regional practices of Mayo Clinic. Kari has not only made a huge contribution in the medical field, she also carefully balances work with family life and is a great role model to all who know her.

Pioneering civil rights Betty Schneider ’39, Presidents’ Award When Betty Schneider was a student at Saint Ben’s, activist Catherine de Hueck visited the college and spoke about the work she was doing in the poorest neighborhoods of New York City. Betty was inspired to make a difference and wrote to Catherine to ask if she could come and work with her that summer. This was 1937, long before the civil rights movement beckoned a segregated nation to march and dream and mend. Betty went to work with New York’s poor, beginning her long life of service with the Friendship House apostolate in Harlem and later in Chicago. Betty did not wait for a national movement to spotlight the need for interracial justice. She followed an inner calling that told her the time for equality was now and the only way to make it happen was to simply do the work.

Kari Erpelding Bunkers ’83

Betty Schneider ’39

Championing public health Mary Kay Braus Hunt ’56, Presidents’ Award After working as a dietician, Mary Kay decided a career in public health would let her have a bigger influence on the individuals and families with whom she was working. So, at age 47, she enrolled at the University of Minnesota and earned a master’s degree in public health nutrition. With renewed purpose, Mary Kay began her second career at the University of Minnesota, where new methodologies in disease prevention were taking shape. It was an exciting time in public health research, and Mary Kay reveled in the opportunity to take the reins and lead in its evolution. She later took those strategies east and conducted research at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control. From her findings she published nearly 50 articles in peerreviewed journals.

Mary Kay Braus Hunt ’56

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What’s POSSIBLE? Celebrating new voices S. Mara Faulkner ’62, Presidents’ Award Time and again, S. Mara’s former students report that her classes were the most inspiring and formative experiences of their college careers. She taught with passion, kindness and tremendous dedication to her students for more than 50 years. As one student explains, “She pushed me to find my voice and then celebrated it when I did.” S. Mara Faulkner ’62

S. Mara holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota, and she has authored three books — one of which was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award. She has won America magazine’s Foley Poetry Contest for her poem, “Things I Didn’t Know I Loved.” In 2001, she received the S. Mary Grell Teacher of Distinction Award.

Helping build families out of fragments Joan Strom Riebel ’64, Presidents’ Award

Joan Strom Riebel ’64

Joan graduated with a major in social science education and got her first job at the Home of the Good Shepherd, a residential facility for “wayward” girls. The experience fit her like a glove. While working on her master’s degree, Joan saw the need for supplemental training in her field. She wrote and was awarded a federal grant to train human services professionals working with families struggling with sex abuse issues. As a result, she was the first foster care trainer in the country for a public agency. She also planned, coordinated and conducted the first National Symposium on Family Sexuality.

Judge Elizabeth Hayden ’68

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In 1984, she became executive director of Family Alternatives, a licensed foster care and adoption agency. Under Joan’s leadership, the nonprofit organization grew from $120,000 to $3.5 million annually. A sampling of awards showcasing her leadership include the Mother Benedicta Riep Award from Saint Benedict’s Monastery, the CSB Benedictine Service Award, the Morris Hursch Award from the Minnesota Social Service Association and the Leadership Award from the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota. She was also named one of the “100 Points of Light” at the University of Minnesota’s Centennial Celebration.

Changing the face of justice Judge Elizabeth Hayden ’68, Presidents’ Award While working in various jobs in social work in the public sector, a chance meeting in court gave Liz an idea. Underwhelmed by the “blustery” performance of the illprepared attorney who was cross-examining the case, Liz believed she could do a better job. So she enrolled in Oklahoma City University where she received her juris doctorate. She moved back to Minnesota and became the first female assistant county attorney in Stearns County. After six years in the county attorney’s office, she was appointed the first female district court judge by Gov. Rudy Perpich. While breaking new ground as a female attorney and judge brought her immense satisfaction, it also brought constant scrutiny from male counterparts who fully anticipated her failure. She proved them wrong, and she resided successfully on the bench for 23 years before retiring in 2009.

Igniting education Diana Lamb ’69, Presidents’ Award Making progress in the classroom has been Diana’s mission for nearly 35 years. She came to Saint Ben’s in 1965 as a foreign exchange student and graduated with a degree in sociology. She taught social studies in St. Cloud and Peru before moving to Boston to teach and, later, manage bilingual programs throughout Boston’s public schools. She served as principal of two schools before becoming superintendent in Dubuque, Iowa; San Antonio, Texas; and Chelsea, Mass. As the first female superintendent in San Antonio, she won national acclaim for dramatic accomplishments in student achievement. Prior to her arrival, San Antonio was the worst-performing school district in Texas, with 42 schools rated as low-performing by the state. By 1999, none received that rating, and student scores had increased dramatically in all subject areas. To critics who believed she moved too quickly on reform, she says, “A child is only in the third grade one year.”

Digging in and making it work Mary Dombovy ’77, Presidents’ Award After graduating from Saint Ben’s, Mary went to medical school and completed a neurology program at the Mayo Clinic. She then completed a rehabilitation residency and conducted research on stroke and brain injuries.

During her residency, Mary learned about an opportunity to develop a new Brain Injury and Stroke Program at Unity Health System in Rochester, N.Y. So, in 1989, Mary packed up her husband and two small children and moved east. But, shortly after arriving in New York, she realized the resources hired to help her get the program off the ground weren’t going to materialize.

Diana Lamb ’69

Determined to make it work, she dug in and never looked back. Nearly 25 years later, the program has grown into one of the nation’s top neurosciences clinics with 220 full-time employees, including 10 physicians, three neuropsychologists and a large staff of physical, occupational and speech therapists.

Striving for sustainability

Mary Dombovy ’77

Judy Forstner Poferl ’82, Presidents’ Award During graduate school at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, an internship led Judy into the energy field. Eventually, this turned into a job at a state agency where she received national exposure working with the commissioner on a highly contentious policy involving the storage of nuclear waste. Today, Judy is corporate secretary and vice president for Xcel Energy, having most recently served as president and CEO at Northern States Power (NSP). During her tenure at NSP, Judy was instrumental in converting a number of old coalfired plants to be more environmentally responsive. She also helped craft plans for the Energy Innovation Corridor, an initiative that showcases sustainable energy projects located along an 11-mile stretch of the new Central Corridor light rail line in Minneapolis.

Judy Forstner Poferl ’82

Judy’s work ensures a healthier environment today and for generations to come.

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What’s POSSIBLE? Shattering expectations Karin Remington ’85, Presidents’ Award

Karin Remington ’85

Irma Mayorga ’88

Although she holds a Ph.D. in mathematics, Karin is not a typical mathematician. Her entire career has focused on using data and technology as tools to conduct research, collect information and make new discoveries.

Irma was the first in her family to attend college and she did so at the request of her mother, who insisted that college was where Irma “needed to be, even though [my mother] couldn’t describe to me what would happen there.”

A turning point occurred early in her career when she left the security of a government job and joined Celera Genomics — a start-up company formed to sequence the human genome within a timescale and budget thought outrageous by experts. At the end of the pilot, the Celera team had met its goal of determining the genome sequence of the fruit fly, an organism widely used for studies in basic biological and biomedical science. She has also worked at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences’ Division of Biomedical Technology, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and served as co-chair of the White House Big Data Initiative and the federal government’s Big Data Senior Steering Group.

Irma received a joint Ph.D. in drama and humanities from Stanford. She holds the distinction of attaining the first Ph.D. by a Latina in the drama department’s history.

Today, her success continues as the chief technology and science officer at Arjuna Solutions, based in Washington, D.C.

Lighting the way Irma Mayorga ’88, Presidents’ Award To describe Irma as an artist, scholar and activist is technically accurate, but belies the depth and significance of her contributions to her field. The Dartmouth professor and award-winning playwright nimbly balances the academic, nonprofit and community-based sectors of the arts, always with a driving mission of social change and empowerment of women.

Shari Lamecker Rogalski ’89

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Making information more valuable Shari Lamecker Rogalski ’89, Presidents’ Award In today’s technology age, the datamining skills and vast experiences of Shari Lamecker Rogalski are changing the way the world does business. Shari had a 20-year career at Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. While there she founded and led a new global business for them: Accenture Information Management Services, which focused on providing strategic counsel in the areas of data analysis, reporting and analytics for companies around the world. She led Accenture’s global business intelligence efforts for Best Buy, working with on- and off-shore teams to collect and use data to improve business. Eventually she was named partner. Today, Shari works at United Health Group as vice president of enterprise information management. She also shares her business savvy and intelligence as a member of the College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees. From the boardroom at Saint Ben’s to the boardroom at United Health, Shari is leaving her mark on the business world.

Expanding horizons Colette Peters ’93, Presidents’ Award The all-women community at Saint Ben’s called to Colette Peters. It’s what helped her to “strive and to expect no boundaries.” Today, Colette is the first female to lead the Oregon Department of Corrections. She’s responsible for managing 14,000 prisoners, more than 31,500 offenders on probation and parole, 4,500 employees and an annual budget of $1.4 billion. Colette has earned respect in her field as a leader who champions rehabilitation and reformation. She is also known nationally for using research and data to drive smart decisionmaking, improving outcomes for youth and increasing agency efficiency and effectiveness. She credits Saint Ben’s with providing an education steeped in Benedictine principles and says that those principles still drive her every day. In short, Colette makes a difference and lives with the conviction that others can do the same.

Going for the gold Glennis Werner Roseboom ’93, Presidents’ Award After a long stint as director of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, Glennis is tackling a new playing field as an executive at the VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa. During her tenure with the Olympic Training Center, Glennis was selected for staff assignments at five consecutive Olympic Paralympic Games, both summer and winter. She also served as an adjunct professor in the sport management

graduate program at the University of Alabama, as well as in the undergraduate program at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs.

Colette Peters ’93

She also completed a two-year Olympic Sport Leadership Certification Program with the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University, and she started a competitive women’s hockey team. Throughout her career — and her life — Glennis endeavors to live with the values with which she was raised and which Saint Ben’s reinforced.

Taking leaps of faith Krista Cleary Carroll ’00, Presidents’ Award

Glennis Werner Roseboom ’93

For Krista Cleary Carroll and her husband, a trip to Haiti 3 1/2 years ago changed the entire course of their lives. After teaching first grade in Minnesota for six years, Krista became a stay-at-home mom in New York City, helping with her husband’s thriving business. They were living the American dream. Then they witnessed extreme poverty on that trip to Haiti, and they felt an undeniable calling. Within three weeks of returning home, Krista’s husband had quit his job, and together they launched a new company called Latitude. Latitude seeks social justice and peace for those living in extreme poverty. Fifty percent of the company’s profits are donated back to the cause, providing water, food, shelter and education. Krista and her husband built the company from the ground up, and today they have 21 employees and are close to celebrating their millionth dollar given. Their focus remains strong: inspire people to make small changes in business in order to make positive changes in the world.

Krista Cleary Carroll ’00

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A Group EFFORT Welle Family Legacy Award The Welle family knows firsthand what it means to celebrate “A Century of Connection.” There are four generations of Welle women who have attended Saint Benedict’s Academy and College of Saint Benedict — from 1912 to 2014 — and there are new generations of Welle women whom we’d love to welcome as they take their turns carrying on the family tradition.

Welle Family

For more than 100 years, Welle family members have not only upheld the Saint Ben’s tradition as students, but they continue to provide support for student scholarships, they are and have been involved in various generations of our alumnae board, and they were instrumental in the creation of the Welle Book Arts Studio. Their family ties to the Saint Ben’s exemplify the Benedictine values of community living, stewardship and common good.

Bennies of the Bahamas Circle of Sisters Award

Bahamian Bennie sisters

Saint Ben’s has a long-standing relationship with the Bahamas that stems back to a Bahamian monastery and St. Augustine’s College High School in Nassau, Bahamas. The first Bahamian students enrolled at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s in the 1920s, and more than 650 students from the Bahamas have made CSB and SJU their home away from home since those early days. In 1974, the relationship with the Bahamas continued to flourish when Saint Ben’s sponsored Benedictine University College in Nassau, which assisted with providing in-service programs for teachers. A formal partnership with Benedictine University continued for more than 20 years. Today, Bahamian students continue to come to Minnesota for a fouryear liberal arts experience.

Molly McGlynn Varley ’78 and Maria Hunt O’Phelan ’78 18 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

Our Bahamian Bennie sisters are fine examples of alumnae who take their Benedictine liberal arts education into

the world and build better communities, workplaces and homes. They are business leaders, educators, community volunteers and entrepreneurs, primarily in the Bahamas, and contribute significantly to the prosperity of their country. Together, they demonstrate wisdom in sharing their collective spirit and personal strength as a prerequisite for helping others. Our Bahamian Bennie sisters are sharing their Benedictine light with others, and they are making a difference in the world.

Molly McGlynn Varley, Maria Hunt O’Phelan and friends ’78 Circle of Sisters Award Few friendships are tested with life or death, but it’s comforting to know that when faced with a life-threatening circumstance, your friends are willing to take action. In October 2011, when Molly McGlynn Varley ’78, found herself in need, her classmate, Maria Hunt O’Phelan ’78 did not hesitate to give her a kidney. Molly’s health had been deteriorating for quite some time. Eventually she learned that her kidneys were failing and she would need a transplant to save her life. When Maria and a group of 10 other Bennies who have always remained close found out, they each began testing to learn if any of them was a match. Amazingly, two of them were matches, and classmate Jane Regenscheid Erickson proudly called dibs on the honor of donating a kidney to their lifelong friend. Unfortunately, further testing revealed that Jane wasn’t a completely compatible match. She wouldn’t be able to donate. Maria, however, didn’t miss a beat. It’s been over a year and a half since the transplant and Molly is healthy and happy, thanks in part to the kindness of friends she made more than 35 years ago — Maria Hunt O’Phelan, Jane Regenscheid Erickson, Marie Berendt Speltz, Anne Budroe Benda, Katie Barry Felicelli, Cathy McKenzie O’Brien, Nancy Dunn McDermott, Joan Rahlf, Joanie Thibidou Beltis, Mary Bachmeier Dodd and Michelle Swenson Drury.

Class of 1978 Circle of Sisters

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A PRESIDENTIAL PATH Two alumnae take their seats as college presidents BY | GLENDA ISAACS BURGESON


Barbara Edwards Farley’s first day as the 14th president of Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill., the vice president of institutional advancement resigned. She took it in stride. “I didn’t blink,” says the 1981 CSB alumna, who thought to herself, “OK. Here we go.” That was July 1. She has been on the go ever since. Beth Dinndorf ’73 never considered a college presidency as a career option, until Saint Ben’s President MaryAnn Baenninger planted the idea. “MaryAnn Baenninger is the reason I am here,” Beth says flatly and tells how a businesswoman and native of St. Cloud, Minn., wound up as president of a liberal arts college for women in Columbia, S.C. In February 2012, during dinner with MaryAnn, Beth mused aloud about her career path. She had 37 years’ experience in banking. Working as a consultant, she had just completed a major project. “What next?” she wondered. “You could be a college president,” MaryAnn replied, “and I have the perfect opportunity for you.”

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Within days Beth updated her credentials and submitted her application just in time for consideration by the search committee. In July 2012, she became the 18th president of Columbia College, one of the oldest women’s colleges in the U.S., also providing coeducational evening and graduate programs. Farley followed a traditional academic career path to a college presidency while Dinndorf followed a nontraditional path. Both are anchored by a liberal arts education at College of Saint Benedict. Despite their different career paths, Barbara and Beth share common traits that will help them navigate the often unpredictable challenges of a college presidency. “They are somewhat similar in personality,” MaryAnn says. “They both are go-getters. They are vivacious. They like to meet people, and they like to form relationships. “Both are exemplars of Bennies of their era.” By that MaryAnn means the two women fully embrace Benedictine values and especially practice the values of listening, welcoming and being responsible stewards.

Barbara (left) and Beth enjoy meeting students during the first weeks of their presidencies.

As a new member in the exclusive club of female college presidents, Barbara also is the first woman to lead Illinois College, a private residential liberal arts college serving 1,000 students. “I’m having a blast,” she says of her nonstop schedule meeting with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the college. Her appointment as the first woman to lead the college since its founding in 1829 has generated interest. “It’s been a topic of conversation,” she says. Numerous students and alumni have approached her and commented, “It’s about time,” she says. It’s easy to see why she was hired. Barbara is both a strategic thinker and a people person. “I bring a genuine interest in hearing people’s stories about what Illinois College has meant to them.” Those stories motivate her to make sure similar stories are realized by future alumni. “I enjoy being with people and getting to know them,” she says. At the first-year orientation dinners, Barbara introduced herself to each of the more than 400 guests.

In addition to her interpersonal skills, Barbara’s intellectual interests are in strategic management. She earned her doctorate in strategic management and organizational behavior, as well as a master of business administration degree from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. As a Saint Ben’s student, she majored in management, and she began her academic career at CSB/SJU, serving as associate professor of management from 1985-94. She has held academic administrative posts at The College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Penn., and most recently at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, where she served as vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college. Barbara credits two mentors who had a deep and abiding influence on her. “My late husband Jack was a very important mentor throughout my life,” she says. Jack Farley was professor of management at CSB/SJU from 1978-94. He and Barbara were married for 21 years, until his death in 2007. “One of his greatest gifts was inspiring people to achieve what they never thought possible. That is a part of him I bring to Illinois College,” Barbara says. Another mentor was Vera Theisen, CSB/SJU professor emerita of French. Barbara minored in French at Saint Ben’s, and Vera was her faculty adviser in 1980 when she studied abroad in France. “She inspired me to take full advantage of the experience,” says Barbara, who lived with the Salen family in Aix-en-Provence for six months. She has kept in touch with them through the years. “It was the single most important experience I had in college,” she says.

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Beth believes everything she has learned throughout her life has prepared her for her responsibility as president. A math major at Saint Ben’s, she earned a juris doctorate in 1982 from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn. She also has business savvy from her executive experience with U.S. Bank in St. Paul and Wells Fargo in Sioux Falls, S.D. With no direct experience working in higher education, she describes the learning curve of her first year in office as “incredibly steep.” Yet, in her years of service on the College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees, she says she benefited from a front row seat from which to observe the “capable and strong” leadership of four women who led the college. In two separate terms of service on the board, 1988-97 and as board chair from 2005 until her appointment at Columbia, she has seen first-hand the leadership qualities of S. Emmanuel Renner, S. Colman O’Connell, Mary Lyons and MaryAnn, with whom she worked most closely.

“They were great women presidents and great role models,” she says. Beth’s business acumen is apparent in the accomplishment of one of her top priorities at Columbia College, the establishment of the Institute for Leadership and Professional Excellence. The institute provides each student with a professional team of advisers focusing on coaching, professional development, leadership training and internships. MaryAnn is thrilled to welcome Barbara and Beth as colleagues, and she is delighted to include them among accomplished alumnae who will inspire Saint Ben’s students. She notes it is fitting that they both are leading liberal arts colleges. Barbara and Beth both bring to their campuses enthusiastic appreciation for their liberal arts experiences at Saint Ben’s. They believe in and practice lifelong learning. Barbara’s love for learning has renewed her interest in the French language. Two years ago she resumed her study of French, and, last year, she reconnected with her host family in France, meeting their nine grandchildren. Beth sums up her Saint Ben’s experience as “attitude.” Saint Ben’s instilled in her a sense of confidence. “Never did I think there was something I couldn’t do.” At Saint Ben’s, that was the attitude, and she was surrounded by it. “It’s a given. If you are determined, you never know what piece of your experience will open the door,” she says. “What’s so great about the liberal arts is that we are lifelong learners. We seek opportunities, and we seize opportunities.”

Bottom left: Robert Chipman, Illinois College Board of Trustees and search committee, with Barbara on her first day at Illinois College; middle: Barbara and Malinda Carlson, vice president for student affairs and dean of students; right: Beth on inauguration day

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Top: Celebrating Beth’s inauguration: Kelly O’Connell Johnson ’08, Mary Ann Muggli Haws ’73, CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger, Kim Ferlaak Motes ’89, Beth Dinndorf ’73, Kathryn Enger Enke ’05 and Harriet Helfter Terry ’73

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AGES 18 TO 97



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President MaryAnn Baenninger with Rose Ebnet Hartman ’39 and Josephine “Jo” Zehnle Terwey ’39 at the Golden Anniversary Dinner

“SIC LUCEAT LUX VESTRA: Let your light shine. As alumnae of this college, you have each taken your light into the world, and you have let it shine — in lab rooms and board rooms and family rooms around the world. Your light is a powerful thing. But when we gather together we can shine our collective light on the future. The brilliance of our aggregated light can put doubt and uncertainty on the run and build a beacon to welcome the next generation.” President MaryAnn Baenninger


“YOU ARE PART OF A RICH CONTINUUM of women past, present and future. And 100 years from now, the history books will talk about this moment: the moment our alumnae became the ‘sisters for the second century’ and accepted the responsibility to carry this legacy forward and ensure the future of this Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college. It is up to us to light the path for future generations of Bennies.” Kim Ferlaak Motes ’89, CSB vice president of institutional advancement

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“THE VISION OUR FOREMOTHERS had as they began the College of Saint Benedict 100 years ago stands as a witness to their dedication to the 1,500-year heritage they sought to hand on. Could they, or any of our Sisters who have been a part of the college, have imagined what the college has become and the varied ways you have carried on that love of learning, desire for God and the ways you have come to serve the world!” Prioress Michaela Hedican

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“TODAY IT’S TIME. Time to pause, and with glad hearts, say thank you. Thank you, College of Saint Benedict. You — the collective you from 100 years — you were there at important times in our lives. Some of these times were easy and some of these times were tough. No matter how we showed up, you were welcoming. You helped us to become the best women we could be.” Denise DeVaan ’75

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“A NOTE TO SAY HOW MUCH I APPRECIATED THE REUNION, particularly the creativity and meaning of

the kickoff. The event was not just a glitzy affair that could have been staged anywhere; only at the sole Benedictine women’s college in the nation. The themes of Benedictine values such as connections with one another, letting our lights shine and

passing them on, respect for elders (invocation by Jo Terwey ’39) and contemporary graduates (lights and energy) were subtly woven into a remarkable tapestry with deep meaning — and hospitality was actualized at every turn.

As part of my reflection on the meaning of the homecoming, I have read Annette Atkins’ book and the correspondence between Mother Benedicta Riepp and Abbott Boniface Wimmer in ‘Behind the Beginnings.’ Truly, we stand on the shoulders of such strong women — a challenge to all of us in our obligations to pass on the torch.”

Blazer Hall of Fame inductees celebrated at All-School Reunion

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S ’05

With affection and respect, Mary Kay Braus Hunt ’56

ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON of reunion weekend, a group of Bennies gathers over slices of rhubarb pie. They cheerfully gossip about who had broken the rules and been caught, who had the hardest professor and their favorite order at Sal’s. Then one of the women mentions how proud she is of her granddaughter. This is the class of 1963, and the memories of Saint Ben’s are as fresh as ever. As the saying goes: once a Bennie, always a Bennie. The class of 1963 attended Saint Ben’s at a pivotal time in the school’s history. They were the last graduating class before Saint Ben’s entered into a formal academic partnership with Saint John’s University. They graduated during the college’s golden anniversary, and they returned this summer to celebrate their own golden anniversary reunion during the centennial. We joined them for a reflective conversation.

Rosemary Bormann Froehle says Saint Ben’s was instrumental in teaching her how to think both critically and independently. “To this day, the Catholic social teachings and traditions I received are hallmarks of my life.”

Seeking spirituality Saint Ben’s had a profound effect on the women’s sense of spirituality. When one alumna reflects on the peace and comfort she found in the nightly ritual of praying the Compline together in the middle of campus, she was met with a chorus of agreement. Compline, a requirement on campus at the time, is recalled with a few guilty smiles — not everyone quite made it every week — but, with the benefit of hindsight, the women share a deep respect for the role these rituals played in their spiritual development.

A woman’s work

Work and play

The year 1963 was a time of national political turmoil. Rather than isolating the women from world events, this little school on a Minnesota prairie provided a frontrow seat to diverse perspectives and new possibilities.

The women recall Saint Ben’s as a place rife with both inspiration and discipline. To say that this regimented approach is recalled fondly may be a stretch, but the women did manage to find ways to enjoy themselves.

“Saint Ben’s broadened my thinking,” says Rosie Shalaba Sharkey. “The teachers saw potential in us that we didn’t even know we had.”

When asked if there were places they liked to hang out together in St. Joe, a round of giggles precedes the comments: “How much do you want to know?” and “Some things are probably better left unsaid.”

The theme of female empowerment ran deeply through the discussion at the reunion. “I know that I never would have been in a ‘man’s field’ in my government career if it hadn’t been for Saint Ben’s,” says Carolyn Offerdahl Billing.

Moving forward While there is ample nostalgia for elements of their time at Saint Ben’s, many of the women of the class of ’63 cite both pride in and optimism for their alma mater as they look to the future.

Susan Schoenbauer Thurin hails Saint Ben’s as a “fantastic academic institution” that is “on the level of really distinct women’s colleges.” Mary Jane Rabatin Doll hopes Saint Ben’s will continue building on a tradition of excellence with Benedictine values at the core. “All those values that sometimes get lost in the shuffle of everyday living — I feel responsible for carrying that message to our own families, and I think Saint Ben’s has the responsibility to continue to do that as well.”

An enduring legacy The group hails the liberal arts education as one of Saint Ben’s “essential characteristics.” “Because I was focused in the sciences,” says Carolyn Offerdahl Billing, “being exposed to the arts at Saint Ben’s is something I never would have experienced at a state college. That study of arts, philosophy, sociology and theology — it really influenced my life and every choice that I made.” Another essential characteristic: community. “We became part of a community immediately in our first year,” says S. Mary Weidner. “I really liked that, and it’s probably why I joined the community as a sister four years later.” That Saint Ben’s left an indelible mark upon these women goes without saying, but perhaps Fran Volkmuth Jacobson sums things up best: “It has been 50 years since we left, but now we’ve realized how much our time at Saint Ben’s influences us. Saint Ben’s keeps popping up. Some of the advice I give my grandchildren now, I think, ‘Oh, that’s from Saint Ben’s!’ It keeps coming back to Saint Ben’s. Every year. Always.”

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Marcy Twete

SPEAKER. WRITER. CEO. founder, career girl network

Empowerment of women is a fundamental theme at Saint Ben’s. For 2006 grad Marcy Twete, it’s her entire job. Marcy is an entrepreneur, speaker, author and founder/CEO of Career Girl Network, which connects women nationally and internationally and provides resources to women who want to excel in their careers. She recently published her first book, “You Know Everybody!” It’s fitting that we celebrate Saint Ben’s 100th birthday with a closer look at a young alum whose work is inspiring a whole new generation of women. What was your major at Saint Ben’s? Political science Which residence hall did you live in for your first year? Regina Favorite class at Saint Ben’s? Constitutional Law. It sounds boring, but it was fantastic. Latest great adventure? Career Girl Network — every day I learn more about entrepreneurship and running my own business. It is an adventure and it’s like being on a rollercoaster — some days are incredible and some days are the lowest lows and you just have to ride through it.

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Little-known talent? I started at Saint Ben’s as a piano performance major. Few people in my life know that I play the piano, but I still play every day. Who are your heroes? Hillary Clinton is a big hero; I have pictures of her all over my office. Also Melinda Gates — I want to be able to make the kind of difference for women that these women have made. I’m so inspired by them. I’d include Arianna Huffington and Sheryl Sandberg as well. Your life motto? Marilyn Carlson Nelson: “Live each day as if you had to sign your name to it.” What do you know now that you wish you’d known earlier in life? That I am powerful and capable of taking care of myself and that I can and should be independent. What advice do you have for young women who are about to graduate? Focus strongly on your passion and your mission. Find those things in your life before you think about what pays the most or what looks the best or what might be what your parents and your professors want you to do. When you do something related to your mission and your passion, everything else will fall into place.


For complete news and notes from classmates and to post your notes, go to BenniesConnect:


Kristin Erickson Kraemer received her bachelor’s in nursing from Mankato State University in May ’13.


Amy Pauling has been promoted to corporate communications manager at Rudolph Technologies, Inc., a hightech capital equipment supplier to the semiconductor industry.


Dolores Heim Huber was presented the Catholic Woman of the Year award by Bishop Kevin Vann at a luncheon in May ’13 for her volunteerism in church and community in the Diocese of Orange, Calif .


S. Roberta Werner is the author of “Reaching for God: The Benedictine Oblate Way of Life.” This book is an overview of Benedictine life and prayer for the layperson. S. Roberta is the assistant oblate director at Saint Benedict’s Monastery.


Judith Koll Healey is the author of the book “Frederick Weyerhaeuser and the American West.” Healey has written two historical novels and is a member of the College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees.


Cathy Hoppa Fraley was named the university-level French Teacher of the Year 2012 by the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association. She is a French instructor at the University of Evansville where she teaches courses in language, culture, and business French.


Jennifer Pastrick-Smith has been hired by the Galleria as the retail leasing manager.


Rebecca Nelson Simenson, Willmar Middle School assistant principal, has been recognized as Central Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals Assistant Principal of the Year.




Megan Cassidy Meuli is the author of two children’s books: “Alphabet Summer: Celebrating Life One Letter at a Time” and “Alphabet Adventures: A to Z Activities, Crafts, and Recipes.” Kris Gorman Fremo’s work was on display in the Gorecki Gallery, Benedicta Arts Center. Recollection is a series of photographic images that recapitulates a mother’s childhood as seen through the life of her own child. Georgia Ann Dinndorf Hogenson received a Ph.D. from South Dakota State University. The topic of her dissertation was moral courage in perioperative nurses, and her research focused on the frequency and intensity of occurrence of moral courage in the operating room.

Liana Jacquet-Morrison placed first in the Minnesota Yoga Asana Championship 2013. She went on to attend the national championship, where she placed 44th out of over 100 competitors. She teaches at Bikram’s Yoga College of India - St. Paul.


Marcy Twete is the author of “You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network that Works!” Kelly Denne Minnich graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry in 2011 and completed a residency specializing in ocular disease at the Kansas City VA and Medical Center. She moved back to Minnesota and is practicing at Complete Eye Care of Medina with CSB alumna Dr. Gina O’Neill Wesley ’02. Katie Jermihov Jensen received her Ph.D. in biochemistry, with an emphasis in structural biology, from Purdue University in Dec. ’12.


KELLY DENNE MINNICH ’06 Graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry in 2011 and completed a residency specializing in ocular disease at the Kansas City VA and Medical Center. She moved back to Minnesota and is practicing at Complete Eye Care of Medina with Dr. Gina O’Neill Wesley ’02.

Katy Lang Kirchner received a MPH degree from the Universtiy of Minnesota in June ’11. Carliene Quist received a MSW degree at the University of Texas El Paso in May ’13. In June 2013 she was named the State of Texas MSW Student of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers, Texas Chapter.



Kristi Curry Hill received a MA in special education from Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tenn. in Dec. ’12. Lauren Neal Broxterman received a MA degree in teaching curriculum and instruction from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kan., in May ’13.

DOLORES HEIM HUBER ’41 Was presented the Catholic Woman of the Year award by Bishop Kevin Vann in May 2013, for her volunteerism in church and community in the Diocese of Orange, Calif.

ShaLane Reeves-Torkelson received her JD degree from New England School of Law in Boston in May ’13.

KATELIN WEIERS ’13 Was one of 12 international winners of Zonta International’s Jane M. Klausman women in business scholarship awards in 2012. She is an actuarial assistant at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

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34 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

Rebecca Peters to Chad Walker, Dec. ’12


Rosamond Spring to Matthew DeVoer, Nov. ’12

2008 2009

Mara Taney to John Stevens ’08, Dec. ’12

Katie Misukanis to Jeff Pan, Nov. ’12

Natalie Dimberg to Jacob Kruger ’09, Dec. ’12

Breehan Carreon to Colin Mattison, Dec. ’12

Dana Scheppmann to Alex Wieme ’09, May ’13


Elizabeth Sturm to Joseph Harvieux ’02, June ’13

Erika Whitesell to John Zignego ’09, Aug. ’12


Shannon Coen to Dustin Koenig, March ’13


Sarah Paoletti to Nathan Hookman, Jan. ’13

Alison Benes to Matthew Johnson ’11, May ’13


Katherine Jermihov to Samuel Jensen, July ’11

Breanna Auringer to Tom Allen ’09, June ’13.

Katie Kalkman to Gabriel Harren ’10, Aug. ’13




Sarah Wildenborg to Bryan Toov, April ’13 Kaitlin Korkowski to Ryan Haug, May ’13

Carolyn Haupert to Brandon Drazich ’09, June ’13

Kayla Poissant to Alex Gassner ’11, July ’12 Katrina Deal to James Ball, July ’11


Alyssa Sinner to Josh Meuwissen ’12, May ’13


Tori Lee Makela & Karl Makela, girl, Macie, Jan. ’13 Lara Grove Zuleger & James Zuleger, boy, Logan, May ’13


Michelle Ashfeld Wedeking & Justin Wedeking, girl, Maya, Aug. ’12 Hannah Herzog Letofsky & Ted Letofsky, boy, Gabriel, Feb. ’13 Elizabeth Mudd Wenderski & Jason Wenderski, boy, Connor, June ’13


Jody Cushing Zetah & Christopher Zetah, boy, Cooper, May ’13 Rachel Stokman Brown & Curtis Brown ’97, boy, Jude, Dec. ’12


Jenny White & Brett Baloun ’98, girl, Anna, Dec. ’12


Sara Anderson O’Rourke & Cap O’Rourke ’98, girl, Paige, April ’13 Danielle Phillips Anderson & Steven Anderson, girl, Everette, Sept. ’12 Katie Hagen Cheney & John Cheney, boy, Charles, June ’13


Jennifer Loos Schneider & Eric Schneider ’98, twins, Madeleine & Samuel, Dec. ’12


Bobbi Stotz Scherping & Alvin Scherping, girl, Faith, March ’13 Shannon Shimota Hanlon & Steve Hanlon, boy, William, March ’13 Stacey Peterson Sexton & David Sexton, boy, Dane, Nov. ’12 Rhonda Swanson & Bill Evans, girl, Kaia, March ’13 Sarah Dominik Jennings & Shawn Jennings, girl, Lucille, June ’13 Deb Hoeben Charon & Travis Charon, girl, Abigail, Jan. ’13 Paula Traeger Bloch & Jason Bloch ’99, girl, Arika, July ’13


Katie Niehaus & Matthew Skudlarek, girl, Lucy, March ’13 JoLynn Schlichting Markison & Cindy Markison, boy, Zander, July ’12 Lisa Neu & Tony Kapinos ’00, boy, Anthony, May ’13 Jennifer Hreha Paulson & Brian Paulson, girl, Elise, Feb. ’13 Kristina Kelly Laliberte & David Laliberte ’00, boy, Kevin, July ’13


Melody Otto Shumacher & Noah Schumacher ’03, girl, Lucy, March ’13


Tina Schochow Greazel & Chris Greazel, boy, Max, April ’13 Gina O’Neill Wesley & Alex Wesley ’01, boy, Rhett, May ’13



Angela MacDonald Marsh & Christopher Marsh ’03, boy, Alexander, Sept. ’12


Susan Schulzetenberg Gully & Michael Gully ’00, boy, Riley, April ’13

Jessica Foster Imdieke & Benjamin Imdieke ’02, boy, Elliot, April ’13

Katie Connor Lhotke & Daniel Lhotka, boy, Grady, Feb. ’13

Sarah Pierson Zimmer & Chris Zimmer, twins, Kathryn & Luke, May ’13

Michelle Mathews McDonald & Jason McDonald, boy, Aiden, May ’13

Michelle Cottingham Prokott & Gregory Prokott, boy, Lincoln, May ’13

Maggie Kane Masica & Brent Masica ’04, girl, Kit, March ’12

Andrea Eskelson Satterstrom & Eric Satterstrom, boy, Cal, May ’13

Karen Schoenecker Geis & Brandon Geis ’04, girl, Mackenzie, Feb. ’13

Kristin Erickson Kraemer & Michael Kraemer, girl, Lauren, Dec. ’12

Roxanne Tchida Haggerty & Patrick Haggerty ’04, boy, Connor, March ’13

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IN MEMORIAM 1938 1945 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952



Amy Lehmeier & Kyle Jochman ’05, boy, Levi, April ’13


Meghan Marpe Bos & Brian Bos ’05, boy, Grayson, Aug. ’12

Holly Kunkel Hurrle & Brandon Hurrle, girl, Clara, June ’13

Sarah Kopischke Ashton & Justin Ashton, girl, Charlotte, April ’13

Kristi Curry Hill & Jeffrey Hill, twin boys, Jaxon & Cohen, Sept. ‘12

Jessica Tierney Thueringer & Chris Thueringer, girl, Alice, Jan. ’13


Tamara Yost Anderson & Eric Anderson ’05, girl, Nola, May ’13


Sara Honkomp DeVos & Curtis DeVos, girl, Julia, May ’13 Bethany Welle Bertram & Joel Bertram, triplets, Bentley, boy, Avery, girl, Brielle, girl, Oct. ’12


Molly Herzog Johnson & Leif Johnson ’07, boy, Eli, March ’13

Kathryn Lang Kirchner & Joseph Kirchner, triplets, Reid, Emma & Maggie, April ’13 Janelle Schmit Thoreson & Joseph Thoreson, boy, Matthew, May ’13

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Anna Boevers Willhite & Brett Willhite, girl, Lyra, April ’13 Sarah Lundebrek Dunlay & Pat Dunlay ’08, boy, Desmond, March ’13


Marina Sladojevic Kaasovic & Jason Kaasovic ’08, boy, Vuk, April ’13

1955 1956 1956 1959 1960

Kathryn Schwegler Bramstedt, June ’13 Mary Buche Roby, June ’13 Shirley Scholz Boeser, July ’13 Jerome Bechtold, spouse of LeMay Bechtold, May ’13 Renee Kulzer Mergen, July ’13 Dorothea McPharlin Bemrick, July ’13 Donald Howard, spouse of Alice Schmit Howard, June ’13 Margaret Johnson Olson, June ’13 Dorothy Reynolds Schonewise, July ’13 George Hanauska, spouse of Marie Huschle Hanauska, May ’13 Dorothy Ross Becker, June ’13 Pauline Schulz Veeser, April ’13 Bennett Lyftogt, spouse of Carolyn Moosbrugger Lyftogt, April ’13


John Welshons ’58, spouse of Lois Schrantz Welshons, July ’13


Robert Peterson, spouse of Jeanette Zapf Peterson, April ’13 Margery Jagg Knowlton, July ’13


Eugene Prietzel, spouse of Rose Schoeneberger Prietzel, June ’13

1965 1979

Anne Morgan Mack, Feb. ’13 Richard Patrin ’79, spouse of Barb Toepfer Patrin, April ’13

Amanda Fuller Groethe & Carey Groethe, boy, Isaiah, May ’13


Ellie Sovada, daughter of Susan Kalthoff Sovada, April ’13


Courtney Christenson Opsahl & Luke Opsahl, boy, Finn, Sept. ’12


Kayleen Larson, daughter of Sarah Bettendorf Larson, May ’13


Emily Tretter Walters & Charles Walters ’02, boy, Ryker, April ’13

Debra Rothstein Deanovic, June ’13


Karin Reichensperger, July ’13

For complete news and notes from classmates and to post your notes, go to BenniesConnect:

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Submit your class notes and photos via BenniesConnect at or email

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Jennifer Schweich Barta ’92, new alumnae board president Every time Jennifer Schweich Barta steps on campus, it happens. She’s overcome with an emotion she finds difficult to describe. It’s the feeling of reaching back to a sacred space where values were defined and friendships cemented. It’s a warmth born out of reconnecting. As the new president of the alumnae board, Jennifer says her number one priority is to bring that experience — and that feeling of connection — to other alumnae. Jennifer graduated from Saint Ben’s with a degree in chemistry before earning a chemical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. She landed a position at General Mills as a product developer and chemical engineer. In 2009, she contacted the college to learn more about starting an employee-endowed scholarship with her coworkers at General Mills. Those interactions led to her service on the alumnae board and, later, to her bid for board president. Jennifer is the first to acknowledge that you don’t have to serve on a board to feel


As we travel toward our next 100 years, we remember that our founding Sisters set us on this course. But this next century is our turn. It’s up to you and to Bennies everywhere to become the “sisters for the next century.”

’92 connected. She encourages alums to find a way that feels right for them. “It could be something as simple as calling an old roommate, attending a happy hour or taking part in Bennie Day,” she says. “And, if those experiences leave you wanting more, there are countless events and opportunities to choose from on our alumnae website ( We’re always looking for mentors for our young grads. Or if you’re already connected, bring along someone who isn’t.” Jennifer believes these connections are more critical now than ever. “We don’t have another generation of Sisters to lean on like we’ve had in the last 100 years,” she adds. “The torch has been passed. It’s up to all of us to keep those connections strong.”

With your help, and the same big, audacious spirit that drove our foremothers, we can ensure that talented young women who couldn’t otherwise attend Saint Ben’s discover this transformative opportunity. You can make a difference by making a gift today. GIVECSB.COM

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1. Alumnae, Sisters and students with the Companions on a Journey program celebrated the end of a successful year on April 25. 2. 2013 graduates Sara Jo Mickolichek, Kirsten Peterson, Kaeley Whiting, Emily VanKeulen, Kelsey Bretschneider, Alisha Voigt, Susan Commers and Sam Kessler pose for a photo during the Saint Ben’s Senior Dinner event on April 28.


3. Class of 2012 alums Libbie Roberts, Lauren Herzog and Anna Martin enjoy time together at the Young Alumnae President’s Circle reception at the Butcher & the Boar in Minneapolis on May 30. 4. Kocourek family members Ed, Julianne, Katie ’17 and Jennifer ’92 gather for a photo during the Presidents’ Circle Dinner on May 14. 5. 2013 Presidents’ Circle Dinner guest speaker Tu Tran ’13 (middle) with her mother Thuy Ta (left) and sister Canh Thanh Tran (right) on May 14.


CARING 4 38 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine




6. Amanda Chuva ’11, Kelly Giebel ’11 and Laura Sienko ’11 steal a moment away from the game during the CSB/SJU Young Alum Night at Target Field on June 19. 7. Special guest Mary Willette Hughes ’54 read poetry from her book, “Quilt Pieces,” and spoke at a gallery reception for the Saint Ben’s exhibit, “The Quilt: The art of our community,” on March 22. 8. Exhibiting artists Ann Terwey Orth ’68, Martha Terwey Benton ’75, Josephine “Jo” Zehnle Terwey ’39, Susan Terwey ’77 pose next to their College of Saint Benedict 75th Anniversary Quilt which was part of the Saint Ben’s exhibit, “The Quilt: The art of our community,” displayed Feb. 25-April 1, 2013 in the Gorecki Gallery.

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One day, she’ll learn some of life’s most important lessons on this campus. But not without your help. When you gift a portion of your life insurance policy, retirement plan assets, real estate or other investment to Saint Ben’s, your legacy lives on by ensuring the next generation of Bennies will share in the same rich experiences we’ve been giving our students for 100 years. Contact Bill Hickey, director of gift planning, at or 320-363-5480, for more information.


Have you considered your philanthropic priorities? BY | ASHLEY VER BURG ’10 The Young Alumnae President’s Circle reception has to be my favorite event of the spring for its lively conversation with inspiring young women pursuing their passions. It’s a reminder of how truly remarkable Bennies are and why the world needs more. During this year’s reception at the Butcher & the Boar in Minneapolis, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Kim Motes ’89 welcomed the 50 Bennie alumnae in attendance with the words, “Thank you for making Saint Ben’s your highest philanthropic priority.” Kim’s words struck a chord with me — I had never thought of Saint Ben’s as my “highest philanthropic priority.” In fact, it never registered that I should have philanthropic priorities. I help when and where I can, and giving to Saint Ben’s has always made sense. With so many important causes out there, it’s a good idea to have at least a mental list, and I know why Saint Ben’s tops mine. Giving supports an institution I love. It repays a kindness that was done for me. And, quite honestly, it’s in my best interest. (I don’t think that makes it any less philanthropic, do you?) I graduated in 2010, having experienced alumnae generosity firsthand — as did over 90 percent of my classmates who received scholarships and aid from alumnae dollars just like I did. For many of us, this is what made a Saint Ben’s education attainable and is why we are part of the incredible alumnae network today — a network that has yielded jobs, clients, mentors, guidance and friends. As an alumna, I continue to gain more value from my Saint Ben’s education than the price I paid. That’s one reason why giving back is so important to me. Alum participation rates play a significant role in institutional rankings, and a higher-ranked Saint Ben’s means an increased value for my diploma. I’m a big believer in the impressed reaction that the Saint Ben’s name triggers. After all, Bennies are out forging the path to increased prestige every day, around the world. We’re a tier 1, top 100 liberal arts college. We’re a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Along with Saint John’s, we send more students abroad than any other baccalaureate institution in the United States. We are “wow” worthy.

AshleyVer Burg’10

If my contribution and participation can give the Saint Ben’s name even more “wow” through a higher ranking, that only makes sense. This diploma is a door opener for each of us — in graduate school applications, job interviews, networking and grant pursuits. And just imagine the doors that diploma will open for future generations of Bennies! This is so important and something we all can understand.

If you’re a researcher or educator, you know how critical funding is to educational institutions. If you’re in accounting, you know numbers matter. If you work in the non-profit sector, you know the incredible need for philanthropy to support our country’s 501(c)3s. If you’re in business like me, you know the importance of the bottom line and what it can mean for an organization’s future. If you’re a public servant, analyst or lobbyist for that matter, you know the amplifying power of demonstrated support for a cause. If you’re in health care, you know how one, small gesture of generosity and compassion can change lives. We all know how important this is. Join me, consider your philanthropic priorities, and add a little “wow” by giving today.

YOUNG ALUMNAE PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE Ashley Ver Burg is among more than 153 young alums who make up the Young Alumnae President’s Circle, a group of graduates from the last 15 years who choose to lead the way with their generosity. Ashley and other young alum donors not only provide scholarship support for current and future Bennies, they are continuing a legacy of philanthropy and community that began with our founding Sisters. Add a little “wow” to your life. It starts with just $5 a month. Go to to get started today.

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Saint Benedict's Magazine Fall 2013  
Saint Benedict's Magazine Fall 2013  

Saint Benedict’s Magazine is published three times a year by the Office of Institutional Advancement.