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• New $2 million scholarship fund for education majors p. 5 • First MapCores scholars graduate p. 18

LIVES CSB celebrates 100 years of empowering women


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18 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 Contributors Annette Atkins Glenda Isaacs Burgeson Ellen Hunter Gans ’05 Bill Hickey Mike Killeen Elisabeth Leipholtz ’15 Kristin Sawyer Lyman ’00 Meghan Simmet ’13 Jill Yanish ’13




10 Centennial Guide 14 Looking back. Looking forward. 18 Time-travel from radios to robots 26 Ties that bind

Cover Photo First-year students attend welcome dinner and participate in the traditional candle-lighting ceremony.

DEPARTMENTS 1 Message from the President 2 Worth a thousand words 4 News 28 I’m a Bennie 29 Class Notes 37 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.


Happy 100th birthday,

College of Saint Benedict! And happy birthday to you: alumnae, students, faculty, staff, Sisters of Saint Benedict, donors, parents and friends of the college, who are the fabric of this community past, present and future. From the moment I stepped on campus nine years ago, I have searched for ways to adequately describe what it means to be a Bennie. Today, in our 100th anniversary year, I am comfortable, confident — even elated — to acknowledge that defining the Bennie sisterhood is futile. One cannot apply boundaries to something that is special because of its infinite qualities. Our founding Sisters taught us that family is not defined by DNA. Ask a Bennie — or any other member of our community — and you’ll learn that the Bennie sisterhood is a way of life. It’s a roadmap, guided by the Benedictine values instilled by the Sisters, who paired these values with a courageous and bold vision to create a community where young could learn, explore and fulfill “…Saint Ben’s women their dreams.

was born by the rich heritage, bold leadership and pioneering determination of our Benedictine foremothers.”

One hundred years later, we commence our year-long centennial celebration, “A Century of Connection,” in honor of the personal, historical and unending connections that continue to thrive among Bennies on campus and around the world. Read the article, “Ties that bind” on page 26 to learn about a round-robin letter among graduates from the class of 1942, which turned into a multi-generational, cross-cultural lineage that encompasses hundreds of graduates, faculty, staff and students. Forget six degrees of separation — you’ll likely find that you, too, have a place in this Bennie family tree! On pages 14-17, we present an excerpt from the book “Challenging Women Since 1913: The College of Saint Benedict,” by Annette Atkins, CSB/SJU professor of history. This historical perspective is abundant with tales of perseverance, leadership and forethought — a true testament to our extraordinary story and just how far we’ve come.

This edition of our magazine is the first in a series that will take you on a journey, where you’ll get to know the people, places and relationships that are significant to the past century. They are also the foundation upon which we will build our story for the next 100 years. I am excited to celebrate with you during this milestone year. This is our time to make our mark on the next century. We celebrate the past, present and future generations of Saint Ben’s women who are the great inventors and innovators — the women who make a lasting impression on our world. The connections for the next century begin today. Thank you for being a part of this momentous occasion. Cheers!

Annette’s book reminds us that the world was very different when Saint Ben’s was founded. Most Americans did not have private telephones in their homes, the automobile had just begun to be mass produced and television and computers did not exist. Women did not have the right to vote, yet Saint Ben’s was born by the rich heritage, bold leadership and pioneering determination of our Benedictine foremothers. It is these same values that continue to be woven into every facet of our community — they are the cornerstone of this institution’s success, and they remain the light which will guide us into a prosperous future.


Visit to find all of the centennial celebration information.


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So let your light shine The glow of friendship and scholarship radiates among the class of 2016, at the annual dinner for first-year students. The candle ceremony symbolizes a ‘connection of sisterhood’ among alumnae, the Sisters of Saint Benedict and the newest generation of Saint Ben’s women.

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Gene & Sheelah Windfeldt

donate “Breaking Free IV” The College of Saint Benedict recently received a significant work of art from the Gene and Sheelah Windfeldt family. Weighing three tons and standing eight feet tall, the marble statue named “Breaking Free IV” stands prominently in the Clemens Library and “symbolizes the college’s mission and the passions of every young woman that begins her journey here,” says Kim Ferlaak Motes ’89, CSB vice president of institutional advancement. “We attended an event on campus in summer 2011 and heard President MaryAnn Baenninger speak about the mission of Saint Ben’s and the transformational experience young women go through in their four years there,” Gene Windfeldt explains. “We thought, ‘this is the place for Breaking Free IV.’ We are pleased that Saint Ben’s has given the sculpture a permanent home in the entrance of Clemens Library because it is through knowledge that one can truly make a difference in their own life and in the world,” says Sheelah Windfeldt. “Breaking Free IV” was created by Marton Varo, a Hungarian sculptor who lives in California. The statue is made of marble from a quarry in Carrara, a town in the Apuan Alps in northern Tuscany — the same quarry where Michelangelo’s marble was taken to create “David,” the masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. “Breaking Free IV” stands on a granite base donated by Cold Spring Granite. Saint Ben’s is extremely grateful to the Windfeldts for this gift at the start of the centennial celebration.

Tomorrow Made Possible On March 19, a campus-wide celebration, for Tomorrow Made Possible (TMP), honored the philanthropic gifts of alumnae, parents, friends, faculty, staff and students. TMP marks the symbolic day when student’s tuition stops paying the bills 4 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

at the college and institutional support from donors make a Saint Ben’s education possible. To showcase our on-campus supporters, faculty and staff donors wore TMP t-shirts, and students joined the celebration by signing thank you notes


Patricia and Dale Larson establish $2 million endowed scholarship Patricia Jackson Larson ’62 and her husband, Dale Larson, want to support Saint Ben’s students who are inspired to teach others. Patricia Jackson Larson graduated from Saint Ben’s with an elementary education major and worked as a full-time and substitute teacher. Now, it is their desire to help fulfill the dreams of the next generation of elementary education teachers.

“As a former teacher, Pat has always valued the importance of encouraging bright young people to pursue early childhood education as a vital and rewarding career,” says Dale. “It is our hope that this scholarship will give young teachers a strong start in their careers.” Beginning in fall 2013, the Patricia Jackson Larson Education Scholarship will provide $5,000 each year for up to five scholarship recipients, renewable for four years. Over the next four

years it will grow to award up to 20 scholarships each year.

“For as long as I have known Pat, she has held Saint Ben’s in the highest esteem and the college has provided her inspiration for living a caring and productive life,” Dale adds. “She fondly talks about her time at Saint Ben’s and recalls the Benedictine traditions and the lifelong friends she made.” “The Education Department is humbled and honored by this generous scholarship,” says Janet Grochowski, education department chair and Marie and Robert Jackson professor. She adds, “John Dewey noted that ‘Education is not preparation for life, it is life itself.’ This scholarship reflects the Larson’s belief in the importance of excellent education that not only prepares future generations, but provides rich learning experiences.”

Image provided by Larsons

for donors, learning about annual giving, taking photos with friends and making their own gifts to the college. Nearly 4,000 pinwheels were on display to celebrate the gifts of each alum donor. The legacy of philanthropy at CSB is stronger than ever! Spring 2013 | 5


Truman Scholar

CSB junior earns prestigious honor

On April 10, Rachel Mullin’s dream came true. Mullin, a CSB junior is one of 62 students from 54 U.S. colleges and universities to be named a 2013 Truman Scholar. The list of scholars was announced in Washington, D.C., by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, president of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Mullin was selected from a group of 629 candidates nominated by 293 colleges and

universities. Truman Scholars were chosen by 17 independent selection panels on the basis of their academic and leadership accomplishments and their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.

“I had actually heard about the Truman as a junior in high school, when I was applying to different colleges,” Mullin said. “It was always on my radar. When I came here as a prospective student to Saint Ben’s, I sat down with Dr. Richard White, who at the time was the director of the honors program, and we talked about how you go about being a Truman Scholar here and the amazing resources they had available here.” “The Truman Scholarship is a prestigious honor for Rachel and for the College of Saint Benedict. We are very proud of Rachel, her accomplishments and her aspirations,” said President MaryAnn Baenninger.

Mullin is seen here working with young students in China.

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Mullin is the fourth student from CSB to receive the honor and the first since 1998, when Amy Hertel received the honor. There have been 2,906 Truman Scholars selected since the first awards were made in 1977.

Photo: Paul Middlestaedt

CSB named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll For three consecutive years, CSB was named to President Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. CSB received additional recognition by being named to the Honor Roll with Distinction for the third straight year. Honorees are chosen based on a series of factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of service. During the 2011-12 academic year, approximately 950 CSB students contributed an estimated 15,000 hours of community service.

Jose playing percussion with Punjabi musicians in Islamabad.

“Nuns on the Bus” leader visits CSB She’s swapped quips with Stephen Colbert, traded jabs with Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and spoken before a hushed 2012 Democratic National Convention — all in a span of a year. But S. Simone Campbell would gladly trade all of that for a federal budget that would not harm people with cuts to social programs. Campbell, who spoke to a crowd of more than 400 people at CSB March 6, is the executive director of NETWORK. The organization sponsored the nine-state “Nuns on the Bus” tour during June 2012 to educate people about the economic injustices that would be caused by these cuts.

Pakistan Jose travels to

with cultural exchange program

Brian Jose, executive director of Fine Arts Programming for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, was one of only four people from the U.S. to journey to Pakistan in April as part of the Center Stage delegation, a cultural exchange program of the U.S. Department of State. Joining him was Sarah C. Long Holland from the New England Foundation for the Arts in Boston, Robert A. Richter with Connecticut College and Deirdre Valente with Lisa Booth Management in New York.

Campbell’s appearance at CSB was sponsored by the College of Saint Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture and in collaboration with the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, a joint enterprise of SJU and the University of St. Thomas also serving CSB.

Jose and the group participated in workshops, panel discussions and auditioning artists. They traveled to the communities of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Center Stage is a U.S. government program that books artists from abroad to tour the U.S. The goals of the program are to create opportunities for artists

and Americans to meet, talk, share and learn from one another; and to introduce artists to the diversity of America in its geography, its people, ideas and cultures. Other delegations traveled to Morocco and Vietnam earlier in March. As a result of these three trips, six to eight ensembles from the three countries come to the U.S. for month-long tours between June and December 2014. The groups represent a range of contemporary forms of music, dance and theater. “It’s highly likely that one or more of these artists will appear at CSB or SJU,” Jose noted.

“I feel very lucky, blessed and humbled to be part of this program,” says Jose. “When I received the call, I asked ‘Why me?’ I was told that it is because of the work we do here, particularly with our residency programs that are nationally-known and exceptionally well done. I am honored to do this for my country.”

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Friendship President MaryAnn Baenninger presenting Prioress Michaela Hedican with a broadside of the Bennie Credo

Faculty, staff and community members enjoyed a lively celebration to honor the Sisters of Saint Benedict and their many contributions to the college over the past 100 years. The annual event, held on the eve of the Feast of Saint Benedict, included singing, a game of Jeopardy and an abundance of reminiscing with friends.

Janna LaFountaine accepts her award.

LaFountaine, St. Pierre receive honors for leadership in women’s athletics Toni St. Pierre ’77 and Janna LaFountaine, CSB/SJU associate professor of exercise science and sports studies, were honored at a National Girls and Women in Sports Day ceremony Feb. 6, at the Minnesota State Capitol. St. Pierre was awarded the Special Merit Award and LaFountaine was one of 13 honorees for the Breaking Barriers award. St. Pierre was a trail blazer since her days as a high school athlete, making national news when she pursued a lawsuit in order to compete with the boys cross country running and skiing teams before Title IX was being considered. She attended Saint Ben’s before the cross country program existed, so she ran with the men’s cross country team at Saint John’s. She went on to compete in local and national marathons and triathlons. St. Pierre died of cancer Feb. 2. Family members accepted the award on her behalf.

Link Bus Driver John Doman leads the Jeopardy game

S. Katherine Kraft won a bicycle donated by St. Cloud Hospital

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St. Pierre’s family accepted the award on her behalf.

LaFountaine came to CSB in 2001 and was head tennis coach for five years, leading the Blazers to second place in the MIAC with a 9-1 record and earning Coach of the Year honors during the 2006 season. She has developed coursework on the role of gender and culture in sport, including a focus on the application of Title IX.

Blazer basketball


with record-setting winning streak

The 2013 season marked a return to prominence for the Blazer basketball team. The Blazers finished fourth in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), thanks to a strong senior line-up. “This group has quite frankly made Blazer basketball relevant again after the year we had last season, and I have to give the credit to the senior class,” says Head Coach Mike Durbin. Among the team’s five seniors were leading rebounder Morgan Dale, whose 7.3 rebounds per game ranked fourth-best in the MIAC, and Whitney Canton, who ranked second in the MIAC in free throws. The Blazers achieved a MIAC-best 10-game conference winning streak Jan. 12 to Feb. 9, beginning with a win over then No. 3-ranked St. Thomas and capped by a win over Concordia. The Blazers were the only team other than Concordia, the eventual champion, to hold first place in the MIAC after Feb. 1. After season-ending injuries for senior starters, Jamie Wollin and Hannah Hylla, the team finished with a 17-5 record, making it to the MIAC Tournament semifinal game. Predicted to finish sixth in a pre-season coaches’ poll, the Blazers exceeded expectations with a fourth-place finish.


Head Coach Mike Durbin years at CSB • wins • Win in the season opener over Colorado College, and over St. Kate’s on Feb. 2 • Achieved a 24 times in his 27 seasons as head coach • 2013 was the 2013 | 9 he finished in fourth place or higher in conferenceSpring standings



CELEBRATE 100 years WITH US. What began as a journey to build a Catholic, Benedictine, residential liberal arts college for women, has transformed into a nationally recognized institution that continues to pave the way in higher education. You are among 20,000 alumnae, 2,032 students and thousands of donors, parents and friends of the college who believe in our mission to provide the world with strong, intellectual, spiritually-grounded women. During this significant moment in history, we invite you to celebrate our past and present successes and the bright future that awaits us. The celebration begins with commencement 2013 on May 11 and continues through commencement 2014, when we will welcome the first graduating class of our second century.

For a complete schedule and the latest updates,

go to 10 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine


ALL-SCHO L REUNION June 28-30, 2013. Celebrate with Bennies from every generation. Reconnect with friends and enjoy these weekend highlights. Blazer Hall of Fame 6-9 p.m. Friday, June 28 Celebrate Blazer athletics and the achievements of our athletes over the past 40 years, as we welcome these amazing women into the Blazer Hall of Fame:

Congratulations to our extraordinary award recipients

Distinguished A lumna Award:

• Tina Kampa ’95, basketball and volleyball

• Kari Erpelding Bunkers ’83

• Laura Wendorff Meyer ’00, basketball

Decade Award:

• Missy Petersen Trenz ’98, track and cross country

• Laura Hauff ’03

• Danielle Guse Schlomann ’95, basketball

• Heather Schmitt Johnson ’00, golf

Benedictine Service Award:

• Lisa Grefe ’00, golf and soccer

• S. Lois Wedl ’53, #1 Blazer fan

• 1990 soccer team that made it to the Final Four

All-School Kick-Off Celebration 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 29 You won’t want to miss this first-ever kickoff event! Feel the energy of the weekend come alive during this opening celebration of 100 years of women’s education.

• Kenzie Kraemer ’08

S. Emmanuel R enner Award: • Barb Torborg Melsen ’78

Centennial Circle of Sisters Award: • Alumnae from the Bahamas • M  aria Hunt O’Phelan ’78 and Molly McGlynn Varley ’78 and their Bennie friends

Centennial Legacy Award: • Welle family

Gala Awards Dinner 6-8 p.m. Saturday, June 29

Centennial Presidents’ Award:

Celebrate the accomplishments of 20,000 alumnae, including the women who will be recognized with the centennial and Reunion Awards.

• Mary Braus Hunt ’56

• Betty Schneider ’39 • S. Mara Faulkner ’62 • Joan Strom Riebel ‘64 • Elizabeth Hayden ’68 • Diana Lam ’69 • Mary Dombovy ’77

There is more in store for Reunion weekend! Visit for a complete schedule and to register today.

• Judy Forstner Poferl ’82 • Karin Remington ’85 • Irma Mayorga ’88 • Shari Lamecker Rogalski ’89 • Colette Peters ’93 • Glen Werner Roseboom ’93 • Krista Cleary Carroll ’00

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Centennial Travel Explore new sites, experience new cultures, make memories. Travel with alumnae, faculty and staff from Saint Ben’s and open yourself to a world of adventure. Watch for more local and national centennial gatherings being planned throughout the year. Visit for more information. Oct. 4-12, 2013: Mountains, Vineyards and Tango Explore Chile and Argentina with Eleonora Bertranou, CSB/SJU associate professor of Hispanic Studies. Cities included in the tour are Valparaiso, Santiago, Mendoza and Buenos Aires. Visit wineries, explore the rich culture of these two beautiful countries and connect with CSB/ SJU students in Chile on our study abroad program. $4,000, not including international airfare. Email for more information.

Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 2014: Centennial Cruise Join us for a seven-night Eastern Caribbean tour, departing from Fort Lauderdale with stops at Nassau, Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. A Centennial Signature Event, we will join our Bahamian sisters in Nassau for a centennial celebration party. Rates start

at $1,079 per person. Contact Sunny Wicka, at 800-700-4700 or, for more information.

March 7-15, 2014: Dubai, United Arab Emirates CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger will lead this spectacular tour, which will include sightseeing, dining and one-of-a-kind experiences in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Email for more information.

May 22-June 6, 2014: Italy and Greece Tour, Close the centennial year with a trip to Italy and Greece led by Elaine Rutherford, CSB/SJU associate professor of art. Estimated cost is $6,100. Email for more information.

FINE ARTS PR GRAMMING Join us for a spectacular 2013/2014 season, featuring these Centennial Signature Events. For a listing of the entire season and to purchase tickets, go to Voice 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, Sacred Heart Chapel

Patti LuPone

Photo: Ethan Hill

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, Escher Auditorium

Nellie McKay 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, Gorecki Family Theatre

Wailin’ Jennys 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 (Family Weekend), Escher Auditorium

Minnesota Orchestra 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, Escher Auditorium 12 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

The Nutcracker 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday Dec. 14, Escher Auditorium

Roz Chast 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, Gorecki Family Theatre

Soweto Gospel Choir 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 14, Escher Auditorium

Streb Action Mechanics 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 25, Escher Auditorium

ARENA Dances’ “Main Street” 7:30 p.m. Friday May 9, Gorecki Family Theatre

Centennial STYLE Shop our broad selection of centennial merchandise — a great way to show your CSB spirit during this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Shop at the CSB Bookstore or online at Find the latest events, news and celebration details on our exclusive centennial website.

Sisterhood Jewelry Collection Earrings


Coming soon: Share your Bennie connections with the CSB Connections app on iTunes. Take photos of your friends and quickly and easily upload them to our alum Facebook page and Centennial website. Watch www. for information on availability.

Lapel Pin Necklace

Cuff Links

Ring Ring with CSB Inlay

Fashion Pin

get connected!

To celebrate and commemorate the connection that binds all Bennies together, the College of Saint Benedict has created a signature line of jewelry that honors past, present and future. Inspired by the college’s centennial, these pieces will forever connect you to the college and to the friendships you formed here.

Facebook: SaintBensAlums Twitter:


CSB Centennial Commemorative Book

Available in June 2013! “Challenging Women Since 1913: The College of Saint Benedict,” by Annette Atkins, CSB/SJU professor of history. The is a mustread and a great gift for anyone who loves CSB.

Original Centennial Pottery

Designed and handmade by Sam Johnson, CSB/SJU assistant professor of art, each mug is an original piece of art that celebrates and honors CSB’s commitment to the arts and creativity.

Pinterest: SaintBensAlums/ Tag us on Instagram:


More centennial items added throughout the year!

Centennial Exhibit

Journey through our first 100 years with photographs and stories featured in an original exhibit available in various locations around campus. Visit for details.


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k c a b g n i k < Loo Chemistry

14 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

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In the fall of 1913,

When Saint Ben’s opened its doors in 1913, women’s roles in society were in the midst of transformation. The following excerpt from “Challenging Women Since 1913: The College of Saint Benedict,” by Annette Atkins describes the social climate leading up to that day. Atkins is a CSB/SJU professor of history and The Saint John’s University Edward P. and Loretta H. Flynn Professor serving the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. The book is available at the CSB Bookstore and online at

six young women arrived at the new Saint Benedict’s College in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Esther Mueller had a short trip from her family’s farm just outside St. Joseph. Josephine Misho, another German-American, came from Sauk Rapids, a bit further away. Helen McDonald, neither German nor local, came from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where St. Joseph Benedictines ran both a grade and high school. At 21, she was the oldest of the entering students. Her father worked as a cook in a lumber camp, so he lived away from home for months at a time. Her mother kept a boarding house. Margaret McKeon, from a “mixed” marriage — Irish-American and Moravian — came from Montgomery, south of Minneapolis. Her father was a physician. Josephine Skluzacek came from a big family of Bohemians who lived near Northfield. She had worked as a bank assistant before she went off to college. Margaret Grant —

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< Looking back

ociation s s a e a n alum 1919 CSB

Bennie Bus the youngest of the six college students — was enrolled at Saint Benedict’s Academy but allowed to take college courses. Each of these young women had made an individual decision about going to college that reflected her own aspirations and her family’s circumstances. All of them together could make these choices because of forces larger than themselves, especially developments in American Catholicism and changing ideas about the roles of women.

The College of Saint Benedict,

like most women’s colleges of the 19th and early 20th centuries grew out of a high school, started by an order of religious sisters. Saint Benedict’s Academy had been founded by the Benedictines in the 1880s to educate young women in the region, including many whom would join the community. The Sisters staffed and ran the Academy as one of their many educational and nursing “missions” in central Minnesota. The community of Sisters was predominantly, but not exclusively, German and German-American, like the people they served. The founding Sisters, all from the motherhouse in Eichstätt, Bavaria,

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settled in Stearns County in 1858. Seventeen women comprised the community by 1870 (plus four “scholars” and one servant), nearly 50 in 1880, 80 by 1900, and by 1910, just before opening the college, over 150 Sisters and another 60 “aspirants,” as the Sisters called young women who were in the early stages of joining the community, belonged to the Sisters’ monastery. In the 19th century, lay women in the U.S. began to demand and to take new opportunities, without taking religious vows. In the 1830s to 1850s when the first women’s “colleges” were appearing — Mt. Holyoke and Vassar and Wellesley and Smith, among the most important— women were taking more and more active and vocal roles in American reform movements, especially temperance and the abolition of slavery. The limits on women’s ability to speak in public and to work actively in the interests of their reforms sparked, too, a specifically women’s rights movement, even a chorus of calls for woman suffrage. The movement had many

women in the U.S. learning and speaking the language of women’s rights – and opportunities. Other factors, too, worked to open doors for women. The most recent scholarship estimates that about 750,000 men lost their lives in the American Civil War. Even more powerfully than the pre-war women’s rights movements, this demographic catastrophe that took so many men out of the marriage market, propelled many women out of home and family by removing the possibility of marriage. Not surprisingly, the number of jobs that women sought and held and the number of new opportunities they pursued increased. The number of women in women’s religious orders went up, so did the number of women in teaching generally, and in the professions, as well as in factories and in shops. The effect of this expansion for women echoed


Sisters Amalia Eich, Hyacinthe Simmer, Cecilia Kapsner

through several generations and had especially profound and public expression in the first two decades of the 20th century, the period that historians call the Progressive Era. Even a casual reading of the newspaper in Minneapolis in 1913 would have given young women much encouragement to be thinking big. A 1913 story in the Minneapolis Morning Tribune called Jane Addams “the best known and most loved woman in America.” Addams had attended Rockford Female Seminary in Illinois, hoping to be a doctor. Her own health prevented that, but after a time in Europe she and her friend Ellen Gates Starr opened a settlement house in Chicago, that worked with children, immigrants, the poor. If they had been Catholic Addams and Starr would have fit well in a convent. They were pathbreaking in that they did this work as lay women. The newspaper also reported that more and more women — especially college-educated women – “desire or are obliged to become self-supporting.” Many of them were going into teaching and, the paper reported, it was one of the easier fields for women to enter. A University of Minnesota bulletin aimed at liberal arts college graduates reported the fact of women in insurance, real estate, buyers for department stores, though, it admitted “no assurance of making a comfortable livelihood can be given to women” in those fields. But others, yes. Among other fields easily entered by women, the bulletin reported, were commercial photography; probation, or charity, or newspaper work; domestic science; interior decoration; municipal research; YWCA; and librarianship. Miss Gratia Countryman had already been head of the Minneapolis Public Library for

nearly a decade, for example. Minneapolis and St. Paul were opening their own settlement houses. Married women and single were showing up outside of the home in larger and larger numbers. A newspaper short story, “Should a Girl Continue to Work After Marriage?,” told the tale of newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Wright who discovered “the independence of both man and woman is what makes the perfect unit in marriage.” As Mrs. Wright so adroitly asserted, forcing an educated and intelligent woman to stay home against her wishes was “like trying to put an elephant in a mouse trap.” The newspaper included plenty that reinforced traditional roles for women and for men, but was, nonetheless replete with stories of women taking on new roles and jobs and ambitions. Women all over Minnesota were increasingly engaged in the women’s suffrage movement, in organizations to promote better cities and better roads, parks, better schools, labor legislation, temperance. Women formed study clubs, opened and ran local libraries; took part in their churches’ social action programs. They formed the Political Equality League, the Minneapolis League of Catholic Women, and hundreds of organizations with educational and service aims. Clearly women were hungry for education and were pushing at the boundaries that enclosed them. It wasn’t that the roles for women and men were different for Catholics than they were for others, or that Catholicism allowed

l eresa Hal T in m o o r Student wider latitude to women. Quite the contrary. Women religious sidestepped many of the limits that traditional women’s roles imposed and membership in a religious community offered Catholic women a respectable, indeed holy, role in public life. Their religious commitments exempted them from many of the societal fears and expectations that had confined unmarried women, especially educated unmarried women, namely that education would masculinize them or condemn them to the single life. Those first six students at CSB, then, entered college in the midst of big changes. They moved into rooms in the rotunda – the “Ro” as generations of students would call it and where nearly all the students for the college’s first fifty years would live. Just think of it “rotunda”! Churches have rotundas. The nation’s capitol has a rotunda; so does the state capitol in St. Paul, so does Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia. Putting young women in a building with a “roof” or even a “skylight” has a whole different feel, than putting them in a “rotunda.” Big dreams, indeed.

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The distinctions for which College of Saint Benedict is widely known can be traced to the vision and dedication of the Sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery who shaped the college. That is hardly breaking news for those familiar with CSB. A rigorous, classical education in the liberal arts was established from day one in 1913. Saint Ben’s has been grounded in the Benedictine tradition of its founders from the start, many of whose names are etched in buildings across the campus. These founders were trailblazers in the education of undergraduate women. When

Saint Ben’s opened its doors to its first six students, it was among the first women’s colleges in the Upper Midwest and the 13th in the nation. S. Magna Werth, for whom Werth East Apartments is named, was one such trailblazer. One of the first women to receive a doctorate in physics from the S. Magna Werth University of Minnesota in 1931, Werth taught science and math at Saint Ben’s for 41 years, from 1915 until 1956. Werth had a no-nonsense manner and was known for her gruff demeanor, her exacting classroom standards and her total lack of humor. In Threads From Our Tapestry by Sisters Imogene Blatz and Alard Zimmer, Werth also is remembered for her patience in the classroom, her dedication to student learning and her radio. What would happen if Werth were to time-travel to campus as Saint Ben’s begins the yearlong celebration of its centennial?

Interaction among cohort members creates a dynamic learning environment where students learn from the perspectives of other disciplines.

She would receive a warm welcome from a community that practices Benedictine values. She would meet faculty committed to the success of their students, as she was, and she would find the college confronting the challenges of the 21st century, as it has confronted challenges of its time since its founding. Werth would be gratified to know that Saint Ben’s will mark a milestone this year at commencement in its effort to meet one of those challenges — a pressing need in the U.S. for more graduates in the STEM fields, disciplines in physics, mathematics and computer science. CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger has made it a top priority to increase the number of women graduating in the STEM fields, and she would want to introduce Werth to the eight graduating CSB women who are the first cohort in the college’s MapCores program. Funded by a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, the mathematics, physics, computer science research scholars (MapCores) program is designed to increase the number of women graduating in these fields.

ABCDABCCABCC Spring 2013 | 19


Hands-on learning and collaboration are key to the MapCores program. Students test learned theories by building Lego robots that run through a maze.

To attract and retain promising students, the program provides $20,000 annual scholarships renewable through four years. It is more than a scholarship program, however. It is a science program for women. MapCores is structured to help students gain the confidence to persist in a rigorous curriculum, recognize and overcome some of the cultural stereotypes that may hinder academic progress and develop self-esteem as junior members of the scientific community. Baenninger also would introduce Werth to the MapCores faculty from mathematics, physics and computer science who serve as mentors, beginning with a science-focused, honors first-year seminar (FYS) they teach jointly. This integrated approach to scientific disciplines is essential to the MapCores structure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The core of the program is the interaction among the cohort,â&#x20AC;? says Lynn Ziegler, professor of computer science. That interaction creates a dynamic learning environment where students bring the strengths of their individual academic discipline while learning from the perspectives of other disciplines. The cross-disciplinary interaction also prepares the women for careers in scientific fields, Baenninger says. Another benefit of the focused FYS is it establishes a supportive learning community within and among cohorts, a key objective of the MapCores program. Students experience consistent mentoring and opportunities where discussions exceed the boundaries of 20 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine


The impressive resumes of the MapCores students are one indication of how the program is paving new pathways for women in the sciences. However, perhaps the best assurance of the program’s impact is the rise in participation of women in the supported disciplines. From 2008 (pre-MapCores) to 2012 (with four active MapCores cohorts), the percentage of women has increased in each area of study. The most dramatic increase is in the area of computer science, where the number of women majors has more than quadrupled.

ABCDABCCABCC scientific methodologies. For example, the program strives to raise awareness of issues facing women in science. “In FYS, students read about current researchers in order to understand the situations they may face upon graduation as well as to learn how those before them navigated through non-supportive environments,” explains Kris Nairn, associate professor of mathematics. The result, Nairn says, is a newfound sense of confidence and empowerment to successfully traverse their future career paths. While the FYS helps the women see themselves as scientists, the curriculum helps them begin to think like scientists in a problem-solving seminar their sophomore year, says Ziegler. Problems are designed to be fun and encourage collaboration within the cohort. If Werth were to visit the seminar, she might be impressed by the Lego robots the students designed to run through a maze. Werth also would approve of the summer research experiences the MapCores students

The cohort design of MapCores has also improved retention. “Younger students know they have more senior female mentors to call upon with questions,” says Nairn. “MapCores students are also more visible in the community as teaching assistants, and they are encouraging other women to participate in activities such as applying for REUs (Research Experience for Undergraduates) after sophomore year,” adds Nairn. “Being accepted into these programs builds confidence and creates junior members of the scientific community.” To complete Werth’s campus tour, Baenninger would take our time traveler to visit “Lighting the Torch: College of Saint Benedict 1913-1961,” an exhibit at Saint Benedict’s Monastery’s Haehn Museum on view until Dec. 22. There, Werth would see a radio she built, along with the handwritten, detailed log she kept in 1922 of frequencies and the programming she heard from stations in New York, Tennessee, Kentucky and across the Midwest. Time does not stand still. While the Benedictine liberal arts educational foundation is timeless, Werth would appreciate that today’s MapCores students will blaze trails of their own.

Liberal Arts Never Go Out of Style By | Mike Killeen Think about careers that exist today that didn’t exist in 1913, when the College of Saint Benedict opened its doors. Careers in fields like computer science, digital communication and aerospace, to name a few areas. But the constant at CSB, be it in 1913 or 2013, is a focus on a residential liberal arts education. It’s a theme that strikes close to home for Rita Knuesel ’75, CSB/ SJU provost. “When I’m talking to parents and prospective students, parents will invariably ask, ‘How can I prepare my daughter or son for their future role in the world?’ I remind them that there are three things that I know for sure — that the world is global, competitive and ever-changing,” Knuesel says. “In other words, these women who are now students at Saint Ben’s will enter fields that we have yet to create in name,” she says. “The residential liberal arts tradition prepares these women to walk through the doors of opportunity.” How does the liberal arts education prepare students at CSB? “It’s the power of critical thinking. It’s the power of communication skills, both in a written and a verbal capacity,” Knuesel says. “It’s the power of quantitative and qualitative reasoning, and the power to work with diverse and ever-changing settings. “It’s a very important rationale for the liberal arts, and that’s why I think families and students are so interested in a liberal arts education, because we prepare students for a lifetime.” And that hasn’t changed at CSB, be it in 1913 or 2013.

Spring 2013 | 21


have pursued, like Robyn Hall, a junior who tested artificial heart valves last summer at the University of Maryland, or senior Michelle Hromatka, who studied unmanned aerial vehicles at Auburn University. Physics senior Allison Reinsvold spent her summer with the Aeronautics Academy at NASA Ames Research Center working in a wind tunnel on a new radar profile for the Navy.

A Into the future

First MapCores graduates face the world with ambitious plans


“If people gave computer science or math a chance, they’d like it. MapCores is trying to introduce people to this.” Senior capstone project: implementing search algorithms in programmable robots Extracurricular interest: orchestra

A Laura Nierengarten computer science major

After graduation: software engineer at Thomson Reuters

“Saint Ben’s really wants to make sure its women succeed in whatever they want. They’re willing to invest in us by giving us this scholarship. They’re expecting us to go out and do something with it, which I will.” Summer research experience: game theory, which she has presented at numerous conferences Extracurricular interests: music ensembles, prison ministry, Journey Group, Health and Wellness Community and Optimist Club After graduation: Ph.D. program in mathematics at the University of Kentucky

22 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

C Marie Meyer math major

D Michelle Hromatka computer science major

Research: studied unmanned aerial vehicles at Auburn University Extracurricular interests: CSB Club Lacrosse team, piano After graduation: Ph.D. program in computing at the University of Utah

“MapCores has really helped with getting us all to creatively solve different problems and then adding our own research element to it.” MapCores projects: programming robots, simulating brain detection of color, modeling disease epidemics and analyzing possibilities of mass extinction Extracurricular interests: Delta Phi Theta, Health and Wellness Living Community, Journey Groups, Journey Leadership Team, Math Society and Accounting Club

B Katelin Weiers mathematics & accounting double-major

After graduation: actuarial assistant at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

Spring 2013 | 23


“We do all these interconnected assignments sophomore and junior year. I did an assignment with a math (and accounting) major, and we did a project on how the brain perceives color. They’re unrelated things, but it’s about taking the different backgrounds and combining them into one project.”

A Into the future

First MapCores graduates face the world with ambitious plans


“On these campuses, we’re all made very aware of gender and gender differences. The support of women in the areas of math and science definitely drew me in because it was something the other schools didn’t have.” Research program: application of data mining

A Becca Simon computer science major

Extracurricular interests: programming contest team, Students for Life and a nationwide mathematical modeling contest; also served as study abroad ambassador for the Galway, Ireland, program. After graduation: software developer at Epic

“I am grateful that I live in a time when a woman is encouraged to pursue a scientific discipline.” Summer research experience: in mathematics and biology at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Extracurricular interests: Study abroad ambassador for Australia program, music ensembles, math society treasurer, Journey Group, health and wellness community and Community Leadership Organization After graduation: graduate program in kinesiology at Purdue University

24 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

C Jessica Solfest math major


Summer research programs: one-dimensional combinatorial dynamics at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn. and number theory at San Diego State University

B Whitney Radil math major

After graduation: Ph.D. program in mathematics at Notre Dame University

“The professors themselves are also really encouraging, and they push you to take classes outside of the sciences. I’ve really appreciated the extra advising and mentorship.” Extracurricular interests: Campus Ministry and taught catechism at St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Joseph Research experience: research of space physics with CSB/SJU Professor Jim Crumley, using the CSB/SJU all-sky camera; also participated in the Aeronautics Academy at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. and presented her research findings at the NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

D Allison Reinsvold physics major

After graduation: Ph.D. program in physics at Notre Dame University

Spring 2013 | 25


“Before this program, I was the kind of person who would deny having intelligence. The program gave me more confidence to say, ‘Yes, I’m smart. Yes, I can succeed.’”

Ties that Bind By | Ellen Hunter Gans ’05

Something profound happens when a young woman arrives at Saint Ben’s. You might not be able to see it. It’s subtle at first, and then builds like a sunrise. She’s become forever, fundamentally, inextricably part of a sacred sisterhood. It’s fitting that Saint Ben’s was founded by a community of Sisters who believed in living, learning and growing together. Bennies know that family isn’t always defined by DNA. It’s marked by shared experiences and common values. It’s why two people can just know what the other is thinking and recall the exact time and place on campus they were when…well, let’s just say some stories are best left between Bennies.

Sustaining the connection Think of the ways in which you stay in touch with your Bennie classmates. Email? Phone? Text message? Facebook? How about maintaining a regular handwritten letter correspondence for more than 60 years? That’s how 14 women from the class of 1942 chose to nourish their Bennie connections. They graduated in the midst of World War II, only a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In that time, uncertainty and fear and pride coexisted like a patchwork quilt. War and work and scarcity scattered the women around the country. With spouses overseas and families far away, these women cherished the strong bond they’d built with each other at Saint Ben’s.

And so, a “round-robin” letter was born. In fact, it was a package of letters that traveled the country, carrying stories of war and marriages and careers and babies. Lots of babies. (These are the mothers of the baby boom generation.) When one woman received the package, she removed the letter she wrote last, penned a new one and sent the package along to the next woman in the group.

She invited her friend Jo Terwey ’39 to join the round-robin letter. Jo raised four Bennie daughters: Ann ’68, Martha ’75, Susan ’77 and Louise ’78. She also has three Bennie granddaughters: Kathryn ’96, Molly Jo ’99 and Heidi ’99. Letter writer Mary Louise Merickel Reilly ’42 also had four daughters who graduated from CSB: Debby ’69, Peggy ’77, Polly ’77 and Mary Jo ’81.

“Now that was happiness,” said letter writer Patricia Coyne Kast ’42. “Just to see the large manila envelope — to recall our days together, to share the joys of motherhood, to compare notes on our careers.”

Still with us? There’s more. Mary Louise’s mother, Rose Nangl Reilly, graduated from Saint Benedict’s Academy in 1901 — 12 years before CSB was founded. Rose is the great-grandmother of Maria Opitz ’01, whose mother Maureen Opitz works in donor relations at Saint Ben’s and whose father is a CSB/SJU professor of English.

It’s worth repeating: the treasured practice endured for more than six decades. “[It’s] like having a dozen sisters with whom you can discuss anything,” said letter-writer Peggy Mollner Race ’42. The beauty of this story isn’t simply the enduring connections sustained by the letter. It goes far beyond that. This round-robin circle is just the beginning. As their relationships grew deeper over the years through the letters, so too did their connection to Saint Ben’s. Together, they were creating the next generation of Bennies; the women who would follow in their footsteps. Kathleen Yanes Waynes ’42 was one of the first African-American students at CSB.

26 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

Genetic connections are prevalent at CSB, to be sure, but they’re just one part of the Bennie lineage. As a student, Maria Opitz wrote an article about S. Vivia Nangl (circa 1897), who was a colleague to S. Mariella Gable, English faculty member and namesake of Gable Hall and the Sister Mariella Gable award. The award is given to emerging authors, including Tracy K. Smith. Smith isn’t a Bennie, but she is now a part of the Bennie connection Maria Optiz will carry with her for life.

Pat Vos Krueger ’70 Peggy Merickel McLaughlin ’76

Deborah Merickel ’69

Martha Terwey Benton ’75

Mary Botz Vos ’42, letter writer

Susan Terwey ’77

had one daughter who graduated from CSB

Mary Louise Reilly Merickel ’42 letter writer

Josephine Zehnle Terwey ’39 letter writer

had four daughters who attended CSB

had four daughters graduate from CSB

Polly Merickel ’76

Mary Jo Merickel Gross ’81

Rose Nangl Reilly

is the mother of Mary Louise Reilly Merickel ’42

Louise Terwey ’78

Kathleen Yanes Waynes ’42, letter writer and one of the first African-American students at CSB

Ann Terwey Orth ’68

Rosemary Rajkowski Eickelman ’42 letter writer

had a brother Frank, who married Donna Coyne Rajowski ’46, sister of Pat Coyne Kast ’42

Ellen Rajkowski ’69

Mary Rajkowski Kiefer ’74

Donna Coyne Rajkowski ’46 had three daughters who attended CSB

Betty J Schneider ’39

Pat Coyne Kast ’42, letter writer

(close friend of Kathleen Yanes Waynes ’42) founded a Chicago non-profit that would host many CSB student volunteers over the years

had a sister who graduated from CSB

Kathy Rajkowski Kampa ’75

You’re part

f this

Are you imagining and mapping out your own network of connections? Wonderful! That’s the idea. We invite you to think about your own life: who have you met because you are a Bennie? Perhaps it’s a neighbor, colleague, best friend or spouse. Perhaps you’ll start with your roommates, or the women with whom you studied abroad or your favorite professor. One thing is for sure: your Bennie network is limitless.

Visit to share the stories of your Saint Ben’s sisterhood. It’s an extraordinary thing that we share, and it’s worth celebrating.

Once you’re a Bennie, the connections are unbreakable.

I’m a bennie I’M A BENNIE


Anne Fogarty Oberman People who know Anne Fogarty Oberman ’82 may know that she is a third generation Bennie. Her mother graduated from CSB in 1940, and her grandmother graduated from Saint Benedict’s Academy around 1913, when the college was founded. (In addition, eight other close relatives have attended CSB and SJU and her son Ryan is currently a sophomore at SJU.) A little-known fact, however, is that her grandmother’s aunt, S. Adelgundus, was one of the founding Sisters of the college. (Oh, and Anne has also worked as the controller at Saint Ben’s since 2005.) Anne’s family tree is a living example of our “century of connections.” We asked Anne to share a closer look at her life and legacy as a Bennie.

MAJOR: Business administration, English minor First year residence hall: Corona K5 Favorite course/teacher: Management Theory with Jane Kathman

Favorite Bennie memory: Move-in day. It was always so exciting to move into the dorms, meet new friends, greet old friends and look forward to new classes.

Best College Food: Special K Bars 28 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

Little-known talent: I have played piano since I was in the first grade. My favorite music is Chopin.

Latest great adventure: Trip to Washington, D.C., with my husband and children.

My hero: My mother. She lost her husband early in life, was a teacher and raised five children. She emphasized higher education, so all of her children have earned at least a graduate-level education.

Life motto: Everything in moderation. You can have fun, eat what you want — just not all at once!

Most treasured possession: My CSB education. That is the one thing you can never lose — no one can ever take away from you.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known then: As long as you make good choices and stay focused, life just keeps getting better.

Advice for young women about to graduate: Go after your dreams. Nothing holds you back as long as you believe in yourself.

100th birthday message to Saint Ben’s: Happy 100TH! You look better than ever!

Class notes CLASS NOTES

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

1997  M. Colleen Willenbring received her

Ph.D. from Marquette University and is an assistant professor of English at Eastern University in Philadelphia.

 atricia Pung received the El Camino Real P Historical Award by the Franciscan Friars of Santa Barbara and the Board of Trustees of the Mission Archive Library for her years of service in preserving the history of the California Missions. She has been a volunteer librarian at the Mission Archive Library since 1971 and has catalogued more than 12,000 titles.

1983  Lisa Griebel was named president of the

Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association at its annual Trial Techniques Seminar in August ’12. Griebel is with the firm of Terhaar, Archibald Pfefferle & Griebel, LLP.

1992  Paula Knapp Cooper and husband Kevin

Cooper moved to Korea with their sons. Kevin assumed command of a medical logistics battalion in June, and Paula has a part-time job as chaplain’s assistant for the Camp Walker Catholic Community.

WY, since graduation, working as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service. She moved to Reno, NV, in Jan. ’13 to start graduate school in the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Department at University of Nevada.

1998  Jennifer Schaefer is the regional security

manager for McDonald’s Corporation on the U.S. Security Team Central Division: Ohio, Michigan and Great Southern. She will reside in Columbus, OH.

Alumnae MILESTONES 1955

2005  Sarah Hegg has been living in Jackson,

1999  Jennifer Barrie Hjelle has been named

ALS Association Chapter Executive Director, Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota Chapter, which serves individuals living with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and their families, with care services, community education and global research to advance treatments and a cure.


Brooke Kreitinger received a Ph.D. in German studies from Georgetown University in 2012.

2004  Shannon Verly Wiger is the business


 atherine London is an associate C attorney at Fredrikson & Byron Health Law Department.


Katie Muggli received a MA degree in liberal studies from Hamline University in 2012.


Lisa Wagner is a head librarian at the Milaca Community Library.

 Elaine Coughlin received a master’s degree in nursing from DePaul University in 2012.

 llison Wenino Wienke received a A MA degree in occupational therapy from St. Catherine University in 2012 She works at Regions Hospital as an occupational therapist.


Michelle Pickle received a master’s degree in occupational therapy from St. Catherine University in 2012.

development manager at Leonard Street & Deinard in St. Cloud, MN

 Hoa Nguyen received a MA degree in leadership and management from Concordia University, St. Paul, in 2012.

Where inspiration and intellect are in perfect harmony Bennies lead purposeful, thoughtful and creative lives, making a difference in our world each and every day. They are taught to think critically and to find their voice — their music within. Your support is instrumental to help Bennies not only rehearse, but to perform a life composed of meaning and excellence. A CENTURY OF CONNECTION

Support a Bennie today.


Spring 2013 | 29

Class notes CLASS NOTES


Haley Rekucki ’01 to Josh Stender, Sept. ’12


Tara Lundberg to Alex Curwick ’11, June ’12

From this day forward 1993

Beth Wegscheid to Matthew Gaetz, April ’12

2001 Haley Rekucki to Josh Stender, Sept. ’12 2003 Mara Jarvi to Chris Koolmo, Feb. ’13 Jill Ryan to Jonathan Czeck, Aug. ’12 2004 

Heidi Anderson to Tyler Symons, Nov. ’12

Hoa Nguyen to Justin White, Nov. ’12


Maria Stark to Jim Plaetz ’07, Dec. ’12

 Theresa Naumann to Mitchel Eversman ’08, Dec. ’12

Emily Pearson to James Bly, Dec. ’12


Kathryn Heim to Erik Mestnik, Sept. ’12

 Ashley Hendricks to Lucas Kaplan, June ’12 Brooke Miller to Jacob Carrow ’11, Sept. ’12 Rachel Brenner to Aaron Brown ’09, July ’12

Amber Hepler to Brian Scott, Aug. ’12

 Sarah Stergios to Matt Lindeman ’09, Sept. ’12

Alison Wenino to Jack Wienke, Jan. ’13


Lauren Neal to Eric Broxterman, July ’11

30 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

Kimberly Schendel to Michael Ellias ’11, May ’12 2011

Heidi Donnelly to Carson Jones, Sept. ’12

Megan Kelsey to Bryan Rodriguez ’13, Jan. ’13

2012  Alison Maguire to

Kaitlin Andreasen to Nick O’Shea, Dec. ’12

Ashley Quam to Jacob Reiter ’11, Aug. ’12


K  imberly Schendel to Michael Ellias ’11, May ’12 Nick Matthees ’10, Dec. ’12

Tara Lundberg to Alex Curwick ’11, June ’12

BUNDLES OF JOY 1990  Karla Lauerman Cummins & Brendan Cummins, girl, Margeaux, July ’12

1996  Heidi Sabow Kadletz & David Kadletz, girl, Muriel, Aug. ’12

1998  Stephanie Tripp Gholam & Rabih Gholam, girl, Grace, Jan. ’13

 Nicole Kalan Nelson & Brad Nelson, boy, Isaac, Dec. ’11 Heidi Mies Kelly & Matthew Kelly, boy, Nickolas, Feb. ’12 Karen Neidermeier-Gill & Dale Gill, girl, Hope, Dec. ’12


Stacy Schmitz-Jansky & Benjamin Jansky ’97, boy, Jaden, Dec. ’12 Susan Wall Ylitalo & Nels Ylitalo ’01, boy, Zachary, April ’11 Kari Hanson Capra & Chad Capra ’01, boy, Ryan, Sept. ’12

Stephanie Tripp Gholam & Rabih Gholam, girl, Grace, Jan. ’13

Kirstin Petrosky Franzen & Jason Franzen, girl, Laura, Feb. ’13

1999  Sarah Mechtenberg & Javier Antezana, boy, Max, Feb. ’13

 Shannon Klecker Vardas & Joseph Vardas, girl, Anya, March ’13 Sara McElmury Freid & Paul Freid ’99, girl, Mildred, June ’12 Moriya McGovern Rufer & Sam Rufer ’99, boy, Bastian, Oct. ’12

2000  Denise Ross Christie & Jeremy Christie ’00, boy, Theodore, March ’13

 Jessica Odenthal Hammerberg & Eric Hammerberg ’00, girl, Charlotte, Dec. ’12

Erin Miller Inveen & Michael Inveen, boy, Cooper, March ’12

 ara Ryan Brown & Ryan Brown ’00, S boy, William, Aug. ’12

 Kristi Meier Sabrowsky & Cory Sabrowsky ’99, boy, Cannon, Nov. ’12 Katie Peters Johnson & Laurence Johnson ’99, boy, Benjamin, Dec. ’12


J essica Odenthal Hammerberg & Eric Hammerberg ’00, girl, Charlotte, Dec. ’12

2001  Nicole Tuma Macalena &

Jeff Macalena ’01, girl, Sophie, Aug. ’12

 Leah Lindner Morris & Michael Morris, girl, Charlotte, Aug. ’12 Annemarie Butler Rendulich & TJ Rendulich ’01, boy, Tommy, Dec. ’12 Sarah Holker Magnuson & Eric Magnuson, girl, Eliana, Nov. ’12 Beth Pribyl Johnson & Aaron Johnson ’01, boy, Oliver, Jan. ’13

2002  Anna Collins Tauer & Ryan Tauer ’02, twin boys, Gabriel & Rudolph, April ’12

Jamie Frost Kingston & Vince Kingston, boy, Jack, Aug. ’12 Christina Prom Geissler & John Geissler ’99, boy, Noah, Dec. ’12


Leah Haehn Sanner & Nicholas Sanner ’02, girl, Norah, March ’13

 Laura Payne Sellheim & Michael Sellheim, girl, Isla, Nov. ’12 Radhika Lal Snyder & Seth Snyder ’00, girl, Zara, Sept. ’12

Erika Hauger Bakke & Tanner Bakke, boy, Jorn, Jan. ’13 Theresa Kelly Haugen & Kasey Haugen, boy, Nolan, Feb. ’13

2005  Amanda Anderson Duffy & Christopher Duffy ’04, boy, Rogan, March ’13

Darcie Waldvogel Boogaard & Timothy Boogaard, boy, Liam, Jan. ’13

 Sara Kersbergen Ruiz & Gabriel Ruiz Mendoza, girl, Abigail, June ’12

Jenna Joelson McNulty & Will McNulty ’03, boy, Mason, Sept. ’12

2004  Sara Pedersen Sagedahl &

 Samantha Deters Erickson & Zach Erickson ’05, boy, Riley, Sept. ’12

Catherine Brownell Wykoff & Bud Wykoff, twin girls, Kaitlin & Sarah, Oct. ’12

 Kelly Gruber Schmidtbauer & Chad Schmidtbauer, girl, Anna, Dec. ’12

Adam Sagedahl ’00, boy, Evan, June ’12

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

 eckie Stang Kyarsgaard & B James Kyarsgaard, boy, Joey, Jan. ’13

Spring 2013 | 31

Class notes CLASS NOTES

FACEBOOK FRIENDS Join the Centennial celebration on Facebook. Like our page and find the latest news, events and photos. A CENTURY OF CONNECTION


Jennifer Hitzeman Thamert & Gerald Thamert ’04, boy, Andrew, Feb. ’11 2005 Jennifer Hitzeman Thamert &

2006  Rebecca Kastner Holden & James

 Katherine Ferber Knutson & Matthew Knutson, boy, Jan. ’13

Jessica Rasmusson Bruns & Jon Bruns ’05, girl, Havana, Dec. ’12

Colleen Niznik Federer & Joe Federer ’05, boy, Corbin, May ’12

Leah Wurm Scirto & Mark Scirto ’07, girl, Anna, Jan. ’13

Lisa Bernardy Brown & Andy Brown, girl, Lucy, March ’12

Melissa Cambronne Broich & John Broich ’06, girl, Rachel, Feb. ’13

Gerald Thamert ’04, boy, Andrew, Feb. ’11

Holden ’06, girl, Evelyn, Nov. ’12


YOUR PLACE TO STAY. Extended summer stay available on the beautiful College of Saint Benedict campus. Amenities: On-campus dining available Access to work-out facilities Apartments with full bathrooms, washer/dryer, and kitchen facilities

Contact: 320-363-5791 E-mail:

32 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine

Get connected


Colleen Niznik Federer & Joe Federer ’05, boy, Corbin, May ’12 2007  Elizabeth Sauer Bauck & Bryan Bauck

Kellie McQuade Perry & Todd Perry ’07, girl, Remie, June ’12

 Bridget Donnelly Hanson & Eric Hanson ’06, boy, Caleb, Feb. ’13

Kristina Kelly Ostrom & Jeffrey Ostrom ’07, girl, Hannah, Jan. ’13

’07, girl, Claire, March ’13

Maggie McClellan Varpness &  Matt Varpness ’07, girl, Mackenzie, Dec. ’11 Katherine Lauer Pomerleau & Robert Pomerleau ’07, girl, Abigail, Jan. ’12 Brooke Wheeler Hardie & Jason Hardie ’06, boy, Liam, Nov. ’12


 risti Curry Hill & Jeffrey Hill, twin boys, K Jaxon & Cohen, Sept. ’12

 Jenna Forner Salinas & Miguel Salinas, boy, Isaac, Oct. ’12 Nikki Kasper Pitts & Jacob Pitts, boy, Gunnar, Jan. ’13 Rebecca Strassburg Huss & Ryan Huss, girl, Abigail, Feb. ’13

In Memoriam 1936 1939 1943

Pauline Bieniek Mans, Dec. ’12 Bernadine Drahmann Stuecheli, May ’12 Rita Kroska, Jan. ’12

R. Patrick Traynor, spouse of Betty Antony Traynor, April ’12

1947 S. Ruth Nierengarten, March ’13 1948 Rosemary Bechtold Warnert, Oct. ’10 1949 S. Rebecca Schmidt, March ’13 1950 Ruth Schellinger Peters, Oct. ’12 1954 Marjorie Olsen Lebrun, March ’13 1958  John Cafferty, spouse of Therese Ruether Cafferty, Dec. ’12


S. Lucille Lawrence, Dec. ’12

 James Rupp, spouse of Diane Eizenhoefer Rupp, March ’13

1961  Michael Healey, spouse of Judith Koll Healey, Dec. ’12

Patricia Keller Johnston, Feb. ’13

Millard Hughes, spouse of Mary Lamberty Hughes, Jan. ’13

1963 Barbara Recame Heiderscheidt, Dec. ’12 1964  Akira Iriyama, spouse of Noriko Kagayama Iriyama, Aug. ’12

1965  Peter Gareri ’62, spouse

of Helen Blomme Gareri, March ’13

1969  William Bierden, spouse of

Marilyn Clancy Bierden, Feb. ’13

1971 Linda Bishop Bohn, Dec. ’12 1974  Michael Hughes, spouse of

Janet Mengelkoch Hughes, Dec. ’12

1976 Kari Miller, Feb. ’13 1977 Antoinette St. Pierre, Feb. ’13 1983 Addy Campbell, March ’13 1987 Molly Ann Kennealy-Crumley, Dec. ’12 1991  Quinn Kirsch, son of Kelly Quinn Kirsch

Submit your class notes and photos via BenniesConnect at or email

Not yet registered? Here’s how to get started: 1. Go to www.csbalum. Click “Register Now.” 2. Enter your current last name and click “Find.” 3. Select your name and click “Next.” 4. Enter your 9-digit ID, printed above your name on the mailing panel of this magazine. 5. Change your password before exiting BenniesConnect to complete your registration.

Register from your smart phone.

and Kyle Kirsch ’91, Jan. ’13

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

Spring 2013 | 33





1. New alums Heather Peyton, Laura Kennedy, Liz Elling and Melissa Ludwig attended the 2013 Bennie Senior Gathering at CSB in January 2013 to celebrate the beginning of their journey as alumnae. 2. Saint Ben’s alumnae celebrating the inauguration of Beth Dinndorf ’73 as president of Columbia College. 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, Harriet Helfter Terry ’73. 3. The 10 women participating in CSB’s Eco-Spirituality Dogsledding Retreat pause in the woods for a photo. Back row: Carol Mueller-Leavitt ’86, Kristin Sawyer Lyman ’00, Liz Vogel ’99, Kathrine Walters ’05, Sarah Halverson Jansen ’02. Middle: Marcy Hotz Roca ’92, Molly Weyrens, Margie Engerski Weihoff ’84, Suzette Sutherland ’84. Front: Shauna Key Reynolds.

4. CSB golf team in Scottsdale, AZ with Kathy Kurvers Henderson ’85, Theresa Loehrer Wurst ’69 and Theresa’s husband, Paul Wurst.


Caring 4 34 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine



5 5. Stephanie Rothstein ’09, Natalie Dimberg Kruger ’09 and Kathleen Murphy ’08 catch up with strings instructor Lucia Magney during the CSB/SJU Mingling & Music reception, Feb. 15, 2013. 6. S isters Cathy White ’75, Jane White Schneeweis ’76, Peggy White Blake ’80 and Mary White Frey ’80 attended a 1970s Centennial gathering in St. Paul in February 2013. The event was hosted by 1976 Reunion Ambassadors Sue Lynch Vento, Margi Welle Sitzer and Jane White Schneeweis. 7. Deemed “Nun Super Fans” for the evening, S. Grace Donovan and S. Dolores Super ’53 cheered on the Blazer basketball team on Feb. 16 from their courtside couch seating. 8. President MaryAnn Baenninger and Vice President Kim Ferlaak Motes ’89 had a great time connecting with Los Angeles-based young alums in January 2013. From left: Louise McCarthy ’96, Ashley Zartner ’10, Mayra Aguilera ’10, Kim Motes ’89, MaryAnn Baenninger, Tiffany De Leon ’10, Jacqueline Murillo ’10, Natalia Calderon ’08, Hang Zhang ’11.

7 8 Spring 2013 | 35

A Signature Centennial event

Featuring Patti LuPone Saturday, Sept. 14 | 7:30 p.m. | Escher Auditorium | College of Saint Benedict Tony and Olivier Awards winner PATTI LuPONE in her new concert COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDAâ&#x20AC;Ś. played that role performs songs from musicals which she could have played, should have played, did play and will play. The list of shows includes Hair, Bye, Bye Birdie, Funny Girl, West Side Story and Peter Pan and, of course, from her Tony Award winning performances in Evita and Gypsy.

Conceived and directed by Scott Wittman Musical arrangements by Dick Gallagher

Purchase tickets at or 320-363-5777.


Photo: Rahav Segev


Life-changing times inspire

legacy of giving By | Bill Hickey

Dana Badgerow was at a crossroads in her life, and it was her connection to Saint Ben’s that provided her meaning and purpose when she needed it most. When Badgerow joined the Saint Ben’s Board of Trustees in 2000, she was a successful executive at the international technology giant, Honeywell. She had risen through the ranks to vice president of global operations. After Honeywell merged with Allied Signal, “it became increasingly difficult to find my place and values in the new company,” explains Badgerow. So she resigned from her position in 2001. Badgerow was unemployed and “without an anchor,” she says, after losing the stability and consistency of a career that she loved and knew well. To complicate the situation, she was told she was over-qualified for nearly every position she pursued. “For the first time in my life I felt as if I had no professional purpose,” says Badgerow. “It was extremely frustrating and humbling.” It was during this low point in her career that Badgerow’s connection with Saint Ben’s began to thrive. She found her work as a trustee to be especially rewarding. She was able to use her skills and experience to help the college focus on new initiatives, including women’s leadership development. She was comforted by the support she received from her fellow trustees and the entire Saint Ben’s community. Neither Catholic nor a Saint Ben’s alumna, Badgerow says her connection to the college is profound. “Besides looking for my help and guidance as a trustee, the community at Saint Ben’s really cared about me,” she explains. “It has been a lifeline at a critical time in my career, and it provides me inspiration every day.”

CREATE A LEGACY Planned gifts secure future resources to strengthen and sustain the mission of Saint Ben’s. They also help you meet current philanthropic goals and extend your generosity into the future. Gifts of will bequests, life insurance, real estate and charitable gift annuities are a few of the gift options available to you. Contact Bill Hickey, director of gift planning, at or 320-363-5480, for more information.

Dana Badgerow Eventually, Badgerow’s education (she holds a law degree and an MBA) and experience were rewarded with new career opportunities. After Honeywell, she served as the secretary of administration for the State of Minnesota and was lauded by then Gov. Tim Pawlenty for her leadership, effectiveness and service to the state. Currently, Badgerow is the chief executive officer at the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota. Now in her second term as a trustee, Badgerow continues to help lead Saint Ben’s forward. She is a member of the Centennial Campaign Steering Committee and the chair of the subcommittee focused on athletic and student activities. Badgerow wants to ensure that the values of Saint Ben’s continue and that future generations of women have access to a Saint Ben’s education. Accordingly, besides her continuing volunteer support, she has made an estate commitment to the college as well as a cash commitment to the Centennial Campaign, which will provide student scholarships. “For all that Saint Ben’s has done for me and continues to do for our students, I am happy to leave a legacy for the Saint Ben’s women of tomorrow through my estate gift.” Spring 2013 | 37

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Institutional Advancement 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374 CHANGE Service Requested

We’re celebrating an entire century in just ne year. There’s no time to waste. Get connected now at

• 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 campus • Be part of something memorable

A century of connection begins with commencement 2013 on May 11 and continues through commencement 2014. Don’t miss a moment of this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

Be part of our Century of Connection at

See page 10 to learn how you can join the celebration throughout the year.


Saint Benedict's Magazine Spring 2013  

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

Saint Benedict's Magazine Spring 2013  

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