Saint John's Magazine Winter/Spring 2013

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W I NTE R / SPR I NG 2013


Listen Up

Speaking Out on Teaching page 22 Stickwork? Huh? page 10 Benedictine Values at Work in Omaha page 14

Magazine WINTER/SPRING 2013


22 Features

Departments My Perspective View from Collegeville Johnnie Sports Advancing the MIssion Alumni Connection Milestones Inspiring Lives

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10 Prairie Art It’s eye-catching, intriguing and fanciful, and yes, it’s made of sticks—that’s the point!

14 Nebraska Hometown Johnnies who call Omaha home are strengthening this diverse community in different ways, but all are motivated by a shared belief in the common good.

22 Call on Me WINTER/SPRING 2013


These five Johnnie educators have won distinction in their field. Here’s what they have to say about navigating today’s classrooms. COVER: Seth Brown ’02, eighth grade math teacher, is surrounded by well-wishers on winning the Milken Educator Award in 2011.

Listen Up

Speaking Out on Teaching page 22 Stickwork? Huh? page 10 Benedictine Values at Work in Omaha page 14

Cover photo by: Star Tribune Minneapolis/St. Paul 2013

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

EDITOR Jean Scoon

STAFF CONTRIBUTORS Rob Culligan ’82 Brendon Duffy, SOT ’02 Jennifer Mathews Emery Michael Hemmesch ’97 Adam Herbst ’99 Ryan Klinkner ’04 John Young ’83






Lee A. Hanley ’58

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

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

© 2013 Saint John’s University


My Perspective

I’ve spent my first months at Saint John’s meeting new colleagues and getting acclimated to how things work here. Granted, I didn’t come into this position blind. I was a student here, and since graduating more than 30 years ago, I’ve been a donor, a regular reader of SJU publications, an attendee at alumni events and an Alumni Association Board member. Most important, I’ve kept up with many classmates with whom I formed lifelong friendships. Now, as president, I have the pleasure of meeting alumni from around the world including alumni from the 1970s who founded the Alumni Chapter in Hong Kong. I’ve met with alumni who celebrated their 50th reunion at Homecoming. And I’ve met with young alumni who attended events in Central Minnesota and the Twin Cities. These seemingly disparate groups share one significant experience—the Johnnie experience. They all spent time in Collegeville, and enriched their understanding of the world and themselves. The experience formed important relationships, opened doors for them, and shaped the rest of their lives. Despite my title, I am, of course, not solely responsible for carrying forth the Catholic Benedictine mission of Saint John’s. Our alumni have been and will continue to be essential to the future of our educational mission. Here are a few ways you can help to further our success: ■ We need your goodwill. You are our ambassadors to employers, parents, current and prospective students and the broader world. The pride you take in being a Johnnie is a tremendous asset for us. ■ We need your help recruiting students. When you meet high school students whom you think could


Steve Woit

Michael Hemesath ’81, President

benefit from Saint John’s, tell them about your experience and the value of the residential, liberal arts education we offer. ■ We need your support of current students. Offer career advice and internships to current students and jobs to graduates. Keep the Johnnie network alive and well! ■ We need your financial support. With a relatively small endowment compared to our peers, Saint John’s future depends upon the generosity of our alumni and friends. Your donation makes the Johnnie experience possible for current and future students. When I became president, I knew Saint John’s faced a competitive higher education environment, but I was also confident that the deep feeling alumni have for this rare institution gave us a tremendous strength to build upon. My interactions with our alumni and friends over the last six months have only strengthened that faith. I hope you’ll consider the many ways of joining me in supporting the mission of alma mater. Nothing less than our future depends on it.

View from Collegeville The 449 members of the SJU Class of 2016 began


P 4P Quiz Drew Wilfahrt ’16 is a championship sport stacker. Sport stacking originated in the 1980s in Southern California and today, more than 400,000 participants compete in sanctioned tournaments worldwide. What are competitors stacking? a. Logs b. Plastic cups c. Playing cards d. Folding chairs Answer: 4 b. Plastic cups. Wilfahrt of Watertown, S. Dak., has competed in numerous international sport stacking tournaments. He holds a South Dakota state record, having stacked and unstacked three pyramids in 2:15.

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In the summer of 2012, Forrest Hyler ’16 celebrated his 180th skydive and earned his USPA A-License. What does USPA stand for? a. U.S. Piledriver Affiliates b. United States Panda Advocacy c. Underwater Scrapbooking Party Addicts d. United States Parachute Association

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their Johnnie journey together this past fall. This class includes 17 Eagle Scouts and hails from 24 states and 10 countries. But statistics are only part of the story. Take our Pop Quiz 2016 and learn just how distinctive and accomplished this class is. Guaranteed you’ll be surprised and impressed!

Answer: 4 d. United States Parachute Association. Hyler, of St. Charles, Ill., may now jump without supervision, pack his own main parachute and perform water jumps.


Will Canfield ’16, of Fayetteville, N.C., is among the more than 35 percent of the first-year class who have had other family members attend CSB and SJU. By what term are these students commonly referred? a. Legacy b. Liability c. Lofty d. Luminary Answer: 4 a. Legacy students have had at least one member of their immediate family attend SJU or CSB. Canfield is the 14th person in the last three generations of his family to attend SJU or CSB.

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Stephen Thomas ’16 sang at a world-famous hall in New York named for what notable American industrialist and philanthropist? a. Bill Gates b. Andrew Carnegie c. Mr. Radio City d. Oprah Winfrey Answer: 4 b. In his sophomore year at

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Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria, Minn., Thomas was part of his school’s vocal jazz ensemble and was invited by jazz composer Phil Matson to perform with him and his ensemble at Carnegie Hall.

Paul Wageman ’16, of Roseville, Minn., was surprised at school with a prestigious honor in his senior year at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. What was it? a. Junior Heisman Trophy b. Mirrorball trophy from Dancing with the Stars c. KARE-11 Academic All-Star d. People’s Choice Award Answer: 4 c. Wageman was featured as the KARE-11 Academic All-Star in October 2011, receiving a giant check for $111. He was a standout both in academics and athletics, holding a 4.14 GPA while captain of the soccer and tennis teams.

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View from Collegeville

Mind, Body, Spirit

The Inauguration of President Michael Hemesath ’81 Friday evening lecture

Saturday morning Run, Walk and Bike



The Saint John’s community proudly celebrated the inauguration of Dr. Michael Hemesath ’81, the 13th president of Saint John’s University. The crisp October weather created a perfect setting for a celebration of mind, body and spirit. Attendees enjoyed a lecture by Fr. James Heft, S.M. and rose early Saturday for an invigorating Run, Walk and Bike around campus. Mass in the Abbey Church preceded the formal ceremony, where faculty, students, alumni and friends welcomed SJU’s first permanent lay president to its ranks.

“Of course, education must change and adapt over time—pedagogy changes, subjects are transformed, new knowledge is created and discovered, and new models of education are offered. Yet, through this change, the values of a Benedictine, liberal arts education not only endure, but are essential.”— President Michael Hemesath ’81 Saturday afternoon ceremony

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James Heft, S.M. (right) spoke on “Challenges and Opportunities Facing Catholic Higher Education Today.” CSB President Mary Ann Baenninger (second from left) joined a group of first-year students for the walk. The students were dressed as ancient Athenians as an exercise for their civic engagement class. Former CSB President Colman O’Connell ’49, OSB, welcomed Mike and stole the show. President Hemesath was overwhelmed by the number of attendees from his first-year residence floor. Three cheers for 1977 3rd Mary! Son Cameron is starstruck when he sees Dad’s medal. Hemesath shares a light moment with classmate Jeff Brand ’81, whose gift-opening skills came in handy.

Saturday evening dinner celebration



Photos by: Michael Becker, Evan Gruenes ’14, Mike Neenan

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Thomas Brossart ’14

View from Collegeville

Fasching ’81 Named New SJU Head Football Coach Gary Fasching was named SJU’s head football coach on Dec. 28. Fasching became the 16th head coach in the 102-year history of Johnnie football and replaces John Gagliardi, who announced his retirement Nov. 19 following 60 seasons at SJU. Fasching ended his 17th season as an assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator at SJU this fall. “I am honored and excited to be the new head football coach here at Saint John’s,” said Fasching. “I look forward to working with the administration and alumni to continue the successful program that John Gagliardi built. This is an exciting time for Saint John’s football.” “In addition to his passion for winning, his thoughtful and articulate vision of how football is part of the overall mission of Saint John’s University was impressive,” said SJU President Michael Hemesath. “Throughout the search process Coach Fasching made it clear that he is an educator who understands deeply how football is part of the holistic education that we provide at Saint John’s University where


academics, community living and extra-curricular activities are all integral to the exceptional undergraduate experience. The testimony from the many young men whose lives he has changed was powerful and moving.” Seventy-two Minnesota High School All-Star game participants have attended Saint John’s during Fasching’s tenure as the Johnnies’ recruiting coordinator. Eleven SJU defensive linemen earned a total of 15 All-America honors during his 16 seasons as the program’s defensive line coach before switching to linebacker duties in 2012. Prior to joining the Johnnies’ coaching staff, Fasching served as the head football coach at St. Cloud Cathedral High School from 1986-95, where he led the Crusaders to the State Class B title in 1992 and 1993. A three-year starter for the Johnnies at linebacker from 1978-80, he graduated from SJU in 1981 with a degree in social science. He earned his master’s degree in sports management from St. Cloud State University in 2000.

McDonough ’92 Appointed Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was named President Barack Obama’s chief of staff on Jan. 25. McDonough has been a member of the White House National Security Council since 2008, most recently serving as deputy national security adviser. Prior to serving in the presidential administration, McDonough was a foreign policy and legislative adviser to several U.S. senators. “The truth is nobody outworks Denis McDonough,” said President Obama in the news conference where he announced the appointment. “… Denis does it with class and integrity and thoughtfulness for other people’s point of views. He is the consummate public servant. He plays it straight. And that’s the kind of teamwork I want in the White House.” McDonough graduated summa cum laude from SJU with majors in history and Spanish and was a three-year starter on the Johnnie football team. He was awarded an Alumni Achievement Award in 2012. “The Saint John’s community is extremely proud of the public service of our alumnus Denis McDonough ’92,” said SJU President Michael Hemesath ’81. “… He follows an esteemed line of Johnnies in public service including, among others, Senators Eugene McCarthy and David Durenburger and Representative Mark Kennedy.”

Tom Brokaw Delivers Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture

Evan Gruenes ’14

Tom Brokaw, renowned NBC News television journalist and author, delivered the sixth annual Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture to a capacity crowd on Sept. 11 in the Saint John’s Abbey and University Church. In Brokaw’s speech, “Conscience and Courage in Public Life,” he noted that elected leaders are far more divided than when he began his career in the 1960s. Brokaw called for more Americans to follow the example of our forbears and engage in public service to heal our political divides. “We have no greater obligation than to re-enlist as citizens,” he said. Audience members came from far and wide to hear the best-selling author of The Greatest Generation. Brokaw, a South Dakota native, invited three of his childhood friends who are Johnnies to sit in the front row. During the lecture, he invited the three alumni—Jerome Donohoe ’61, Kenneth Herfkens ’61, and William Walsh ’61—to stand and be recognized. 7

View from Collegeville

CSB/SJU Fine Arts Calendar

casebolt and smith Saturday, March 16, 8 p.m. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU Simon Shaheen Saturday, April 6, 7:30 p.m. Gorecki Family Theater, CSB Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker Friday, April 12, 7:30 p.m. Gorecki Family Theater, CSB Minnesota Orchestra Sunday, April 14, 2 p.m. Escher Auditorium, CSB MOMIX – Botanica Friday, April 19, 7:30 p.m. Escher Auditorium, CSB

Red Horse Friday, April 26, 8 p.m. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU Theatreworks USA: Ramona Quimby Friday, May 3, 7 p.m. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU


Listen… with the Ear of your Heart Cashman ’73 Urges Leaders to Pause Kevin Cashman, author of bestseller Leadership from the Inside Out, has coached CEOs and top executives for more than 25 years. In his latest book, The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lean Forward, Cashman urges busy leaders to do something countercultural: pause. “In our fast-paced, achieve-morenow culture, the loss of pause potential is epidemic,” writes Cashman. “If leaders today do not step back, to stop momentum, to gain perspective, to transcend the immediacies of life, and to accelerate their leadership, we will continue to crash economically, personally and collectively.” Cashman has coached thousands of senior executives and senior teams in more than sixty countries, and is recognized as a pioneer in leadership development and executive coaching. He was recently named one of the top ten thought leaders by Leadership Excellence magazine. Thomas ’94 Pays Attention Sam Thomas spent last fall as a scholar at the Collegeville Institute paying attention to paying attention. Thomas, an associate professor of religion at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., worked on his current book project, titled Sustaining Attention: Community, Work and Wilderness. In the book, Thomas brings together his interests in Benedictine life, woodworking and the outdoors to illustrate the premise that awareness of and attentiveness to others is a pathway to prayerful living. During his time in Collegeville, he also worked in the Abbey Woodworking Shop and presented elements of his project at a lunch gathering for faculty and staff sponsored by the Benedictine Institute. Thomas has advanced degrees from both Yale University Divinity School and the University of Notre Dame. He teaches courses on Biblical studies, environmental ethics and religion and culture. His publications include books and articles on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Roger Young ’68, Admission Pioneer, Retires Roger Young has been a stalwart in the admission office since 1971. Forty-one years and more than 30,000 first-year students later, Young retired October 31. Hired as one of Saint John’s first admission staff, Young performed every function of admission at one point or another in his career at Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s. Since 1990, Young has been primarily responsible for recruiting international students to Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s. It was an interest that developed early in his career at Saint John’s. “I loved learning about other cultures and people who were different from me,” says Young. “I tried to immerse myself in a culture, and bring it back to campus with me.” Young was honored with a reception on campus as well as a surprise celebration in October in the Bahamas, where nearly 100 alumni gathered to show their appreciation. So, what now? “I’d still love to travel,” he says. He’d most like to return to Hong Kong and Bosnia and Herzegovina. After all, he says, “the more you see, the more you want to see.” You can send Roger a note of congratulations at

Paul Middlesteadt

While CSB and SJU had a handful of international students in Young’s early days, today Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s boast more than 240 international students—about 6 percent of the student body.

Extra! Extra! For the third consecutive year, Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s are ranked No. 1 nationally among baccalaureate institutions with students who participate in mid-length study abroad programs, according to the Institute of International Education. Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s had 381 students study abroad in midlength programs during the 2010-11 school year. Saint John’s ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the country in the U.S. News & World Report 2013 college rankings. SJU ranked 75th in the National Liberal Arts Colleges group and was noted for a strong commitment to teaching. Saint John’s magazine took five awards in the education category at the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association Excellence Awards, including a gold and a silver for best feature articles and a silver and two bronzes for design. 9

When Twigs Become Art


By Mike Killeen Photography by Tommy O’Laughlin ’13

omes and turrets, all slightly askew, rise 20 feet high out of the prairie at Saint John’s, looking like every child’s dream of the most extravagant backyard playhouse imaginable. No one of any age can pass by without yearning to stop, look and explore.


Jared Sherlock ’11 saw Patrick Dougherty’s Lean on Me rise from its “organized chaos” to its “stunning” finished product. When it was completed, Sherlock—an artist and illusionist based in Minneapolis— had only one question: “Are you sure Patrick isn’t a Johnnie?” He’s not, but for Sherlock, the artist captured the essence of Saint John’s with his sculpture of five small “chapelettes,” inspired by the Stella Maris Chapel on Lake Sagatagan. Located along the left side of the road into Saint John’s, not far from the kiosk by the restored prairie, Lean on Me is made from willow saplings and ironwood harvested from Saint John’s land. “I believe there is an impulse to go see art in order to have a window into someone else’s heart,” says Sherlock. “Quietly standing inside the structure, I was amazed by what I was seeing. The stickwork’s materials and custom-inspired design puts the viewer



deeply in touch with the artist, satisfying that initial impulse.” Much like using the natural resources on hand, Dougherty relies on local talent to build his sculptures. About 25 volunteers a day, including individual students and classes from CSB/SJU and Saint John’s Preparatory School, as well as the general public, helped Dougherty during three weeks last September. Dougherty purposely made the chapels look off-kilter because “nature is not quite pristine. There’s also a bit of community here, and people kind of lean into each other. So, these chapelettes are personalities—they lean into each other,” he says. “I think that Patrick’s ‘leaning on each other’ observation is the perfect theme for the project,” agrees Sherlock. “His work harmonizes with SJU and CSB’s emphasis on sustainability—especially with our arboretums, our own making of maple syrup, fine woodwork, wood-fired

inside the structure, g n i d tan s s amazed by wha t I a w y l I wa et

s se



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“I think it captures the imagination, in terms of there’s a way that we all flirt with the Garden of Eden, in which we could just go back and breathe as a creature once in a while, and not be encumbered by all our worldly possessions.” Patrick Dougherty, artist

pottery, handmade books and prairie-grass paper,” says Rachel Melis, associate professor of art and a coordinator of the project along with artist and associate art professor Br. David Paul Lange, OSB. But more than simply building artwork from a renewable source, Dougherty says it also has to do with memory. “It reminds people of the walks they take in the woods, and everything natural,” he says. “It reminds people of farm life and agrarian life, where people had to make tool handles. There was a simpler, more direct thing. “I think it captures the imagination, in terms of there’s a way that we all flirt with the Garden of Eden, in which we could just go back and breathe as a creature once in a while,


and not be encumbered by all our worldly possessions,” Dougherty continues. “We’d just be one with the sky, or one with the earth, or just one with the other animals.” People can walk among the chapelettes and get a feel for how strong the structure is. Dougherty expects the sculpture to last two years. “It’s something that you can’t not look at when you’re driving by.” says Josh Erickson ’14, who volunteered on the project. What makes Lean on Me incredible, Erickson continues, is “the medium and the sheer size of it. He made five chapelettes that are all 20 feet tall out of twigs that are a half-inch round. You look at it, and it’s just incredible.” If imitation is the finest form of flattery, then

count Jessie Sorvaag ’15 as a disciple of Dougherty. Sorvaag, who also volunteered on the project, completed a stickwork sculpture as part of an honors project with Kirsten Montray ’15 in the courtyard of Clemens Library. “I think it’s a really awesome kind of art, because it’s accessible by so many people,” Sorvaag says. “That maybe makes it seem less like art, because some people think art is more like fine art in a museum. But he put a lot of creative thought into this, so I definitely think it’s art.” Mike Killeen is CSB/SJU director of content development.

tine. The re’s al s o a bit of commu nity h ere, d n t p a e o p l e o k i n d of lea n s i n into e e s are personalities—they lean ach e tur t t e l a e othe into e cha p “N r. S ach o, t othe hes r.” e pris quite

Internationally acclaimed artist Patrick Dougherty designed and oversaw the community construction of Lean on Me at Saint John’s. Dougherty’s artistic vision combines carpentry skills with a love of nature. He has built more than 230 stickwork sculptures worldwide—from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and across the United States. He has won numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. For more on Dougherty’s work, go to

For more pictures of Lean on Me, go to


Building Community Business, Health Care and Baseball in Omaha By John Rosengren ’86


Warren Buffett and Bob Gibson, two of Omaha’s most famous sons, personify the city’s yin and yang. Buffett, a savvy white investor who has become one of the wealthiest men in the world, represents the city’s prosperity. Home of five Fortune 500 companies—the most of any U.S. city its size—downtown Omaha exudes fresh development: a new convention center, a new arena, new skyscrapers. National chain retailers and restaurants have flocked to its malls. Omaha’s diversified industries insulated Nebraska’s largest city from the recession that has plagued the rest of the nation the past five years. The 3.9 percent unemployment rate is tied for 11th lowest among 372 American cities.

But there’s another side to Warren Buffett’s Omaha: the predominantly African American North Omaha neighborhood where the black Bob Gibson grew up. While Gibson’s fastball lifted him out of the ghetto into a Hall of Fame baseball career, North Omaha remains a place of disproportionate poverty and all of the problems that perpetuate its systemic cycle: high dropout rates, high unemployment rates, too many single moms, too much black-on-black violence and too little hope. More black kids—nearly six out of every ten—live in poverty in Omaha than anywhere else in the country. The gulf between the prosperity of its majority white residents and the poverty of its black residents (who comprise 13.5 percent of the city’s 408,958) is wider in Omaha than any other metro area in the U.S., save Minneapolis, according to a 2009 article in the Omaha World-Herald.

Johnnies—and the Benedictine values they bring with them—are well represented in this diverse city. The three we profile here are busy applying them to strengthening the community, each in his own way. 15

Mike McCarthy ’73 Chairman McCarthy Group If you had told Mike McCarthy when he arrived in Collegeville during the late ’60s that he would eventually invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the Omaha economy, the farm kid from Iowa, second of ten children in a devout Catholic family, would have shaken his head. He was going to be a priest. But his studies as an English major and interactions with monks such as Alberic Culhane, OSB, Hilary Thimmesh, OSB, and Louis Blenkner, OSB, convinced him otherwise. “Saint John’s helps all of its students become aware of their skills, interests and talents, and of where they might be most productive and happy,” McCarthy says. “It became clear to me that my calling was probably not to the priesthood but to some other community engagement.” He returned to Iowa after graduation, married and started a construction company. In 1986, he and his wife, Nancy, moved to Omaha so their four children could be educated in Catholic schools, and Mike started an investment firm (McCarthy Group is the holding company; McCarthy Capital is the operating company). Over the past 25 years, that firm has been hugely successful,

with a large return to Omaha on its investments. For instance, McCarthy Group invested in 1987 in Election Systems & Software, a company run out of an Omaha garage. That company has grown into the largest electionservices provider in the nation, counting over 60 percent of America’s vote last November. And McCarthy Group joined the employees of HDR, a local architectural and engineering company, in building a $155 million business in 1996 to a nearly $2 billion enterprise that has become the world leader in hospital design. In the process, McCarthy’s firm helped HDR employees gain control of the business from a foreign owner. The company’s mission is “to preserve, create and share wealth and success with our partners, each other and our community.” That means McCarthy, who obviously wants to show a profit, is in it for more than the money. He wants to see the community benefit from his investment. “We have no interest in the simple trading of assets where no value is added,” he says. “We look for companies that we’re proud to own. Those are companies that would share the values and the ethics that we think are the foundation for good business and provide good value to customers and clients. They treat their employees with respect, pay them a fair wage and they generate profits that can be used to expand the business and support the risk-takers who provide the capital to make it possible.” He sits on five boards, including two of the city’s Fortune 500 companies, Union Pacific Corporation and Peter Kiewit Sons; has chaired the United Way campaign; headed the Chamber of Commerce; steered the Omaha Community Foundation and the Joslyn Art Museum; and donated his own money to philanthropic causes.

“We have no interest in the simple trading of assets where no value is added.”


McCarthy’s time on Saint John’s campus helped shape his mission and practices. “I’m heavily influenced by the Benedictines, whom I respect mightily for their example and training,” he says. “To be surrounded by those aspiring to holiness is a great influence.” Being smart helps. “He can outthink most people,” says his younger brother Jack McCarthy ’78, an orthopedic surgeon in Omaha who invested with McCarthy Group from the beginning. “He ties to that a pretty good set of street smarts and a reputation that he will deliver if he says he will. He’s impeccably honest and nobody in Omaha challenges his integrity.” What’s been good for Omaha business in terms of McCarthy Group’s investments has in turn been good for its residents. “Our social work has involved building businesses which grow and employ more people and provide resources to educate children and support those who have greater needs,” Mike says. “My personal feeling is that if we aren’t building our communities, we’re contributing to their decline, so it’s important to me to be a builder rather than an observer.”

Kevin Nokels ’85 Chief Administrative Officer, Academic and Clinical Integration, Alegent Creighton Health A biology major from Long Prairie, Minn., Kevin Nokels spent most of his time at Saint John’s University in the science building, but his freshman colloquium with Paul Siebenand, OSB, made an early and lasting impression that has immediate applications for him

today. In their study of the media’s influence on society, Siebenand emphasized the values of listening to others and respecting opposing perspectives without judging. Nokels has transformed those values into skills that are essential to him today: His task is to integrate the Creighton University Medical Center and its clinical education programs with

Alegent Creighton Health, a not-for-profit, faith-based integrated health care organization that assumed operations for the university’s medical center this past fall. Building relationships—the core of community—has been the underlying theme of Nokels’ work in his current role and his previous one. In his most recent position with Alegent Creighton Health Midlands Hospital in Papillion, Nokels focused on community outreach, partnering with the city to develop wellness activities such as a fun run, half marathon and triathlon, and implementing a health academy that educated high school students in the hospital. Such initiatives strengthened the bond between the hospital and community. Since September 1, he has


“You don’t just say, ‘You take all of our policies and procedures.’ It’s a whole lot of listening, finding common ground, learning from each other and sharing of best practices.”

been responsible for the dayto-day operations of Creighton University Medical Center, where he has concentrated on building internal relationships to create one community from two—no small task, since there had been very little communication between the two staffs prior to the transition date. “You don’t just say, ‘You take all of our policies and procedures,’” he says. “It’s a whole lot of listening, finding common ground, learning from each other and sharing of best practices.” It helps that the two organizations, Alegent and Creighton, are rooted in Catholic traditions—Sisters of Mercy and Jesuit, respectively—and that their values line up with Nokels’, which were shaped by the Benedictines. “Their values are consistent with my own: integrity, respect, compassion, stewardship,” he says. The internal relationship-building will spread outward to better serve some of Omaha’s neediest in the east side of the city where Creighton is situated. That also squares with Nokels’ values. “Looking out for others who may not have the resources is also what attracted me to nonprofit health care,” says Nokels, who spent five years working at St. Cloud Hospital before moving to Omaha in 1992 with his wife, Dawn. There he has found satisfaction in raising a family (their children are now 16 and 20 years old), providing health care and contributing what he can to the community. That also includes advocacy for those who work in his hospitals, which can be dangerous places. After a patient assaulted one of the hospital staff, Nokels worked with state senators to introduce and pass legislation that made such attacks against health care workers a felony. “At Saint John’s, there was the sense that you had to give back to the community,” he says. “That has stayed with me.”

Marty McCaslin ’84 North Omaha Baseball Initiative Founder To Marty McCaslin, when he arrived on campus from Omaha, the letters IOGD on the Quad tower spelled SJU: “In omnibus glorificetur Deus—‘that in all things God may be glorified.’ That stuck with me because it was my first


exposure to the Benedictines, but it was consistent with what I’d seen through the Jesuits and my family history.” Jesuit schools he attended and his own family, where his father, a physician “who probably did more pro bono work than work he got paid for,” always stressed the value of service. The Benedictines added a twist with the notion that a community is comprised of many types of people. “You have to have someone who raises the cross,” McCaslin says, “someone who takes care of the money, someone who takes care of educating.” Even someone to teach the kids how to play baseball— so that they might make their own contribution to the community. That’s been McCaslin’s contribution to Omaha the past five years. By day, he oversees the finance, information technology, marketing and administration teams as director of operations at Continuum Worldwide Corporation, an information security company. That’s where he landed after majoring in English at Saint John’s, earning a master’s in English at Creighton University, where he taught for five years, and working for two decades for Mutual of Omaha. At heart, McCaslin’s a baseball guy, having also inherited that love from his father in a family of 12 kids with enough boys to field its own team. Though he played varsity basketball at Saint John’s, these days he is a switch-hitting centerfielder in a 35-over league and sharing his love of the game with the underprivileged youth of North Omaha, where he grew up, a minority white kid rooting for Bob Gibson in the ’67 and ’68 World Series. Five years ago, McCaslin started the North Omaha Baseball Initiative (NOBI), which assimilated players into the Memorial Little League, where his two boys played. The NOBI gave kids who wouldn’t have otherwise done so the chance to play baseball. The first year, the NOBI placed 26 kids ages 5-12 in the Memorial Little League. This past year, the NOBI, in conjunction with Omaha Public Schools and seven other district Little Leagues throughout Omaha, drew about 300 kids into the program. Many of the players receive either full or partial scholarships, and a significant number continue playing baseball past the Little League maximum

At heart, McCaslin’s a baseball guy, having also inherited that love from his father in a family of 12 kids with enough boys to field its own team. age of 12. The Omaha public schools athletic director has embraced the program not just as a feeder for middle and high school teams but with the understanding that playing a sport gives students the incentive to stay in school, an especially important factor in the lives of Omaha’s black youth, with its nearly 40 percent dropout rate. Others have taken note, offering support—“Seems as soon as we ask for $5,000 from a foundation, we get a check”—and replicating the program in Chicago. The

payoff for Marty is seeing the program grow, the kids having fun and black parents sitting in the bleachers next to white parents. “Our mission is to get as many kids playing in a safe, positive, family environment that allows us to integrate kids and parents into cultures that aren’t normally associating with each other,” he says. “It sounds trite, but getting these kids exposed to other kids, exposed to adult male role models who are spending time with their kids, coaching these kids, showing them attention, showing them teamwork—these are simple things, but what they weren’t getting in their own backgrounds.” John Rosengren ’86 is the award-winning author of Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes (



In Sight

An owl looks out on a wintry campus from Benet Hall. Photo by Michael Crouser ’85

If you would like a reprint of this photo, please email with your name and address, and we’ll send you a complimentary 8 x 10 photo.


Head of the Class By Erin Peterson

It’s never been tougher to be a teacher. Tight budgets, high-stakes testing, ballooning classroom sizes and demanding parents are putting increasing pressure on teachers to do more than ever before. But the best teachers look beyond the surface of these issues to dig deeper, to think bigger and to find new ways of approaching difficult issues. To find out how the top teachers and educators think about the work they do, we asked five SJU alumni in education—recognized as some of the best in the field—to discuss their ideas about improving schools, strengthening teaching and boosting student performance. They offered up some of the challenging problems they’ve been thinking about, and shared the way that SJU has influenced them along the way. Edited excerpts of longer conversations appear below.


Paul Theobald ’78

Paul Theobald ’78 is dean of the school of education at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. In 2005, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Education at the University of Illinois–Champaign.

Information and ideas from around the world are more accessible than ever. Do we need to retain local ideas and culture in education? I’ve been a proponent of place-based education for a long time, and the idea that where you are and how you interact with your neighbors and the environment matters. Your sense of community is closely related to your place on the earth, because it’s something you share with others. One dimension of place-based curriculum and instruction includes reading authors who are native to a particular place. In the Midwest, for example, students ought to spend some time reading Minnesota authors and Iowa authors. In the Bronx, they might read Richard Wright. Neither group of students should be prevented from reading local authors simply because they don’t show up in the standards for English. Some authors in some places aren’t easy to read. Students might encounter an author whose work is dripping with early 20th-century stereotypes about certain groups. But that doesn’t mean you don’t read those books. Instead, it means that you critically analyze them. Where are these things coming from? Why might somebody living and writing at that point in time exhibit these kinds of stereotypes? Literature can give great insight into these social dynamics, and it’s part of a teacher’s job to encourage students not just to read something, but help provide insight. Part of the reason community is so important to me stems from my experiences at Saint John’s. When I was there, there was actual, substantive inquiry into the contribution of community to various cultures. It wasn’t a superficial idea that communities were good because people were nice to one another; we looked at societies where the idea of community is held as a value, compared


to societies in which community is seen as an obstacle to an individual—a dynamic I found all too prevalent when I left Saint John’s. As I’ve gone through life, I’ve seen these differences all around me, and I understand it so much more deeply now. But even while I was at Saint John’s, I came to understand that there is so much more to life than seeing it as a prolonged economic endeavor; to the contrary, there is a social and political dimension to life that is ultimately much more fulfilling.

Matt Stergios ’78 How can teachers push students to achieve more? In my 30 years of teaching, I’ve seen plenty of kids who have enormous ability, but for some reason, that ability just doesn’t materialize like I thought it might for them. As a teacher, you have to keep your eyes open to

understand what’s going on. For example, some students just say “I don’t understand history.” Sometimes, they feel like they’ve been labeled in a certain way. I believe it’s my job to say, “Get rid of the labels when you walk into my classroom. Let’s put aside other people’s expectations and see what you can do. You might be surprised.” Certainly, kids have different ability levels. I work with kids in my [advanced placement] class who aren’t solid academically, but if they give me the effort, I will give them opportunities to succeed. When you make the effort to do something that’s hard because you’re interested in it, I think that’s valuable. It often pays off. I’ll have kids who come to [dozens] of review sessions with me, and they get a 4 or a 5 on the AP test. They come in the next year with a feeling of accomplishment. They’re ready to take on bigger challenges.

Matt Stergios ’78 teaches history at Loyola Sacred Heart High School in Missoula, Mont., and coaches the speech-and-debate team, which has won the state championship 30 consecutive times, the longest high school winning streak in the U.S. for any sport or activity. Pictured above with Stergios is his 2011 team, including Matt Hardy (far left), now a first-year student at Saint John’s.


Dan Sitzman ’91 is a curriculum specialist at Omaha North High Magnet School in Nebraska. In 2003, he was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. Saint John’s gave me that drive to do more. I studied 20 minutes a night in high school. I realized when I got an F on my first test in college that if I tried that 20-minute approach at Saint John’s, I wouldn’t be there for very long. I raised my expectations for myself. I appreciated the positive, high-energy atmosphere that came from the monks and the professors—and even my roommate, Pat Welle ’78, who could study eight or 10 hours a day. I appreciated the extra time professors would take to offer review sessions with students, to provide office hours, to create a positive atmosphere. It was a place where academics were taken seriously. They all influenced me. They helped me see what I could do.

Dan Sitzman ’91 Can technology improve teaching? One of the biggest things that excites me is clicker technology. If you remember Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, you may remember that contestants would ask to poll the audience instantly, and audience members had little keypads they could use. That’s clicker technology, and we use it in the classroom now, either as a dedicated keypad or using the students’ cell phones. You can use it to ask questions to see if students understand a

concept you’re explaining, to give a little pre-test or even just find out if students are paying attention. It’s really exciting to have students punch in their response and see immediately what they are thinking and then adjust the instruction based on that. Sometimes, you think you’ve explained something really well, but if it doesn’t come across to students in the right way, you can go back and revisit it. As I look back on my Saint John’s education, one of the things I appreciate the most is the small, liberal arts atmosphere. It meant that I learned to write and speak and communicate. It meant that whenever I had a question, I knew a professor would help. It meant that I could get involved in research. And it taught me that there were many ways of solving problems. Not everyone sees the value in this approach to education. Years ago, when I was in Washington to receive the Presidential Award, the director of NASA spoke to our group and told us that we were the people who needed to send students to college to get engineering and science degrees, not liberal arts degrees. But I disagree with that. The fact is that we can’t have everyone very narrowly focused, without linking between disciplines. Liberal arts makes people more well rounded. It gives us a foundation to do bigger things.


Joe Meyer teaches eighth and ninth grade English at Eagle Ridge Junior High in Burnsville, Minn. In 2011, he was named the Burnsville District Teacher of the Year and was a top 10 finalist for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Meyer enjoys this picture because it makes an amusing case for the importance of knowing how to use English. (Commas, anyone?)

Joe Meyer ’87 Does standardized testing shortchange our students? Our society is focused on accountability, and to make kids accountable, we typically use lots of standardized testing. Unfortunately, because we focus so much of our energy on testing things that are objective and easily measured, we sometimes lose sight of things that are more difficult to measure. For example, how do you see if a student has a voice in their writing? How do you learn if students can adequately represent their ideas in writing? How do you test for curiosity? Those were things I learned at Saint John’s. I remember English professor Eila Perlmutter telling me, “You never know anything until you’ve written it down.” I hated it when she said it, because it meant we had to do a lot of writing, but her point was that you don’t understand something until you’ve thought about it enough that when you put it into writing, it actually means something. And that’s something I tell my students today.


There were others at Saint John’s who shared with me their passion for reading the work of great authors and great thinkers, not just so we could write an essay or take a test, but so we could discuss their ideas, and see how their ideas might shape us as individuals. It was part of the Benedictine value system to become the person that you can be, and to share our talents with others. That experience was really powerful. Saint John’s isn’t just about academics, it’s about creating a whole person, and being part of a community. In the same way, I hope that in my class, people understand that I care not just about their grades, but who they are as people. I might want my kids to learn the kinds of things that are on a test, like what an adjective is, or how to read for meaning. But there’s so much more than that. I don’t know if we want to be known as a society that just teaches to tests, so we can report percentages that are run in the Star Tribune. What I really want my students to learn is to appreciate learning and know how to learn. I want them to see that there’s a great big world of learning out there, and that they can go off and discover it.

Seth Brown ’02

Erin Peterson is a writer based in the Twin Cities.

Minnesota Department of Education

Is it time to do away with age-based grade levels? The main reason we have students grouped by age is that it was easy. But the problem is that not all students at the same age learn at the same rate. In the current system, it’s hard [for top students] to move faster because the teacher is helping others, and it’s devastating to the emotions of students who get held back. If we had schools that didn’t have grade levels based on age, students would be able to work at different paces, with older or more advanced students helping younger or struggling students. It might take some students longer to get through, say, middle school, but it wouldn’t be as devastating if the [delineations] weren’t based on age. Could something like this change soon? In public education, probably not, but some private and charter schools have already done so. In my own classroom, I try to make sure that students always feel supported, and part of a group.

People of all ages want to feel a part of something larger than themselves. The students get to work in groups a lot and we discuss what it means to be a part of a group. We talk about how the group is there to support each other and learn from one another, therefore creating a sense of community within the small groups and the classroom. The students realize that they have their small groups, the whole class and myself to rely on for support. That was something I felt at CSB/SJU. I always felt like I had support for anything I needed. Whether it was my floor monk, professors, classmates or teammates, there was a true sense of community. We are all in the journey of life and learning together at CSB/SJU. I realized that the journey was larger than me and that CSB/SJU was there to help me go beyond myself. There is a bond there that I felt the first time I stepped onto campus to visit, and that bond still continues today.

Seth Brown ’02 teaches eighth grade mathematics at Wayzata West Middle School. In 2011, he received the Milken Educator Award, a national award given to outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers and education professionals. He’s pictured here with Read-It, the mascot for the Minnesota Department of Education’s Lifelong Literacy campaign, who travels the state encouraging everyone to read.


Tommy O’Laughlin ’13

Johnnie Sports

Banners Raised in Sexton Arena to Honor Joe Hutton Award Recipients Five former Saint John’s basketball players who received the Joe Hutton award, which is given annually to the MIAC’s Most Valuable Player, were honored during halftime of the Johnnie-Tommie game Feb. 9: (From left to right) Troy Bigalke ’01 (2000 and 2001), Travis Weiss ’94 (1994), Phil Johnson ’87 (1986), Paul Bernabei ’69 (1969) and Frank Wachlarowicz ’79 (1978 and 1979). Wachlarowicz is still Minnesota’s all-time leading collegiate scorer with 2,357 career points. Banners featuring each of the five were raised to the rafters of Sexton Arena.

TROY MIAC MVP ’00 & ’01




FRANK MIAC MVP ’78 & ’79 Two-Time All-American

Mauer Baseball Card Features Photo by Hemmelgarn ’12 A picture of catcher Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins taken by sports photographer Brace Hemmelgarn ’12 graces the Mauer card in the recently released 2013 Topps Series I baseball set. Topps used Hemmelgarn’s photos for five Series I cards: Two of Joe Mauer, two of pitcher David Price and a short-print card of Twins’ outfielder Josh Willingham. His photos have appeared on minor-league cards before, but this is the first time they’ve been used on the majorleague set. Hemmelgarn works as one of three team photographers for the Twins. In addition, he does sports photography for USA Today Sports Images. He’s covered the Gophers, Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves and Packers. He also does freelance photography for St. Cloud State and Saint John’s sports. Hemmelgarn did sports photography and assisted with sports graphic design as his student work assignment at SJU.


Scorecard FOOTBALL (5-5, 3-5 MIAC) Head coach John Gagliardi announced his retirement following 60 seasons at Saint John’s on Nov. 19. College football’s all-time wins leader, Gagliardi ended his storied career with a 489-138-11 (.775) collegiate record and a 465-132-10 (.774) record at SJU, including a 362-99-9 (.780) record in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) games. Six Johnnies earned All-MIAC honors in 2012, including four on the first team: offensive lineman Kevin Battis ’14, cornerback Bobby Fischer ’13, defensive lineman Connor Grill ’13 and kicker Jimmie Mattson ’13. Offensive lineman Jack Hedlund ’14 and running back Stephen Johnson ’13 were named to the second team. Fischer (first team) and Mattson (second team) were also both named to the All-West Region team for the second consecutive season, while Fischer collected his second straight Beyond Sports Network (BSN) AllAmerica honor. SOCCER (9-6-4, 6-2-2 MIAC) earned a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Academic Award for the fourth consecutive season. Midfielder Michael Coborn ’14 was named to the 2012 All-MIAC soccer first team for the third consecutive season, and forward Ian Scudder ’15 earned his first All-MIAC firstteam honor. Defenders Joe Balder ’14 and Joe Laue ’14, forward David Wee ’15 and midfielder Alex Niederloh ’16 were named to the second team. Coborn earned his second NSCAA All-North Region honor with a first-team distinction. Under head coach John Haws ’99, the team finished fourth in the league standings and earned an MIAC Playoff berth. The Johnnies are expected to return all 120 points (39g/42a) recorded this fall and all three goalkeepers next season. CROSS COUNTRY finished fourth out of 11 teams at the MIAC Championship and fourth out of 26 teams at the NCAA Central Regional this fall. Matt Scherber ’13 and John Subialka ’14 claimed ninth and 10th at the conference meet respectively to earn All-MIAC honors (top 15). Subialka (16th) and Thomas Feichtinger ’16 (18th) earned All-Region honors (top 35) two weeks later.

GOLF claimed second place at the MIAC Championship as four Johnnies earned All-MIAC honors (top 10): Dennis Granath ’13 (third), Casey Vangsness ’14 (t-fourth), Derek Brinker ’15 (t-eighth) and Drew Lynch ’15 (10th). The Johnnies ended the fall season ranked third nationally thanks to their win at the prestigious 18-team Golfweek Division III Invitational Oct. 14-16 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Fla. CLUB SPORTS RUGBY is ranked second in the country by the National Small College Rugby Organization and heads into the April 2013 Final Four with an 8-0 record, with wins against the Tommies in the Minnesota playoffs and UW-River Falls in the finals. LACROSSE came up short against the University of Dayton at the national tournament and will look to revenge the loss in 2013. The team finished sixth in the country for DII in the final 2012 poll. WATER POLO finished fifth in both the regular season and in the final standings of water polo’s Heartland Conference. The overall 2012 season record marked 6 wins and 5 losses. CSB/SJU ROWING competed in three regattas this season: Death Row in Duluth, Head of the Des Moines and the Quad Cities Trinity Classic Regatta. The team rows against teams in Division I, II and III. 29

Advancing the Mission

Slaggie ’61 Makes Major Gift for Monastery Renovation The renovation of the Saint John’s Abbey residential facilities has received a big boost from Steve Slaggie ’61 and his wife, Barbara. The Slaggies recently made a second gift of $500,000 to the abbey for upgrades to the monastic living spaces in the Quadrangle and the Breuer residence located behind the abbey church. The abbey seeks to raise $8 million for the renovation of the Breuer Residence, the main monastic residence for the monks, which includes repair and replacement of the original plumbing, electrical, mechanical, air-handling and fire-safety systems as well as replacement of all bathroom fixtures. In addition, the Breuer Residence will receive energy-efficient windows and a new and enlarged elevator to better accommodate the needs of elderly monks. “We are deeply grateful to Steve and Barbara Slaggie for their continued generosity to Saint John’s Abbey,” comments Abbot John Klassen, OSB. “These improvements, once fully funded, will result in a much-needed upgrade of the energy efficiency of the buildings and a reduction of maintenance costs. Just as important, it makes the monastery more comfortable for our monks and more inviting to novices.”

HMML Awarded Grant for Virtual HMML The resources of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) will soon be available online, thanks to a generous grant from the Institute for Museum & Library Services (IMLS) for vHMML or virtual HMML. vHMML will help provide access to HMML’s photographic archive of more than 125,000 manuscripts. In addition, it will feature online tutorials in paleography and manuscript studies. Its most innovative feature will be the Scriptorium, an online collaborative workspace allowing scholars to study, edit and publish texts found only in manuscripts. It will also feature a lexicon of manuscript-related terminology in several languages, a library of key reference works, and the Folio Collection, an annotated album of illustrative manuscript images.

School of Theology Seminary Receives Youth Programs Grant •

Saint John’s School of Theology•Seminary has received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to assist in the coordination of the Theological Programs for High School Youth initiative. The primary aim of the grant is to provide ongoing support for youth theology programs by establishing and sustaining a network composed of youth theology program leaders. A secondary aim is to capture and share key insights from youth theology programs with wider audiences. Since 2000, the School of Theology•Seminary’s Youth in Theology and Ministry program (YTM) has hosted 388 high school students for its summer program. Research shows that 20 percent of its participants go on to major or minor in theology. More than 90 percent consider vocations in church-related ministry, including religious life or ordination.


Play Ball! Johnnie Baseball Day Diamond Dash and Blessing Ceremony April 13, 2013 Johnnie Baseball parents and alumni have planned a special day to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the new Saint John’s baseball field. Phase one includes a new artificial-turf field, dugouts, fencing, bullpens and batting cages. “I’m deeply grateful to the alumni who have stepped forth to make the new field a reality,” says Jerry Haugen ’76, head baseball coach. “The new field is incredible. This will be the finest and most beautiful smallcollege baseball stadium in the country.” The day will include a blessing of the new field before a doubleheader against St. Mary’s. Everyone is welcome to participate in a day full of festivities:

8:30 a.m. 10 a.m. 11 a.m. 12:20 p.m. 1 p.m.

Diamond Dash registration Diamond Dash 5K walk/run (through the arboretum) Pregame social and cookout Baseball field blessing ceremony First pitch—SJU vs. St. Mary’s Fundraising for the second phase of the baseball stadium—which will include a 500-seat grandstand, lights, concession stand and restrooms—is under way. Construction will begin once sufficient funds have been raised.

Take A Seat Support Johnnie baseball—and leave an indelible mark on the new baseball stadium—by naming one of the 170 home plate box seats.

John E. Alumnus ’79 Third Baseman


Minneapolis, Minn.

A gift of $5,000 ($1,000/year for five years) entitles Johnnie baseball alumni, parents of current and former players, or any friend of SJU to permanently place their name (or the name of a teammate, classmate, or loved one) on one of the highly visible stadium seats. For more information contact John Welsh, Saint John’s Institutional Advancement, 612-386-4090 or


Alumni Connection

Spotlight on


Looking for Johnnies in Colorado? Check in with the Colorado Alumni Chapter

President Don Rasure ’64, “I decided to start this chapter because I knew there were several guys from my era that had been friends over the years, and whenever I would see one of them, we would immediately talk about Saint John’s. With my involvement with the chapter, I really enjoy helping others reconnect and recall the strong bond that existed during college years.”

Chapter Volunteer Todd Bass ’92, “I like being involved with the chapter to help us all reconnect and enjoy the unique bond that Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s provides even when you’re a thousand miles away from Minnesota.”

Alumni and friends enjoyed a day of skiing at Beaver Creek in January followed by a social hour, all organized by Nels Hinderlie ’98, front row, third from right.

Recent Events • Ski Day at Beaver Creek • Fort Collins Alumni Luncheon and Denver Reception, with President Hemesath • Community Picnic & Student Send-off

Did You Know? • 414 alumni live in Colorado—270 within 30 miles of downtown Denver. • The annual Community Picnic & Student Send-off is one of the most successful in the country, with close to 90 attendees. • There are 35 students from Colorado at CSB/SJU. The chapter has worked closely with admission to help recruit students.

Connect with the Colorado Chapter • Email Don or Todd. • Check out the Colorado Chapter page on • To refer a prospective student, write Matt Beirne ’94 at

For more on alumni chapters worldwide, go to Nearly 90 alumni, parents and students (and at least one dog) gathered in Denver in August for the annual Community Picnic & Student Send-off.


Johnnies in the Media Henry Gallagher ’61, was interviewed on American Public Media’s The Story on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Gallagher wrote James Meredith and the Ole Miss Riot about his experience as one of the military police officers assigned to protect Meredith, the first African-American student admitted to the University of Mississippi in 1962.

Michael Crouser ’85 was featured on MN Original, a video series about Minnesota artists on Twin John Gans ’79, National Outdoor Cities Public Television. Crouser, an Leadership School executive director, award-winning photographer, creates was named a White House Champion dramatic black and white images of Change for his commitment to that have ranged from dog parks youth, wilderness and leadership. One to bullfighters to some of our most of 11 selected from more than 1,500 beautiful photography of Saint John’s. nominees, Gans was recognized on The White House Blog and has received an invitation to the White House.

Brad Matuska ’95, owner of Mississippi Topsoils, was featured on KARE 11 in the Twin Cities on the science of using manure for gardening. Since 1998, Mississippi Topsoils has been making premium soil products with all-natural ingredients. Jim Diley ’05, Brian Hoffman ’05, Ryan Petz ’05 and Brian Grande founded Fulton Beer in Southwest Minneapolis in 2009. The foursome was featured in Bloomberg Businessweek as an example of a successful startup. They opened a brewery in 2011 and, this past year, added an onsite taproom.

Eric LeCompte ’99, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, was interviewed on BBC World News about the impact of hedge funds. LeCompte was in New York serving on a panel of experts at a United Nations General Assembly special session. Joe Mailander ’08 and Justin Lansing are the Okee Dokee Brothers, a Minneapolisbased bluegrass duo. The Okee Dokee Brothers’ latest album, Can You Canoe?, recently won a Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album. Their award-winning album has led to various media coverage including feature stories in both U.S. News & World Report and the Washington Post. 33

Alumni Connection

Mother Nature favored Collegeville with a stunning display of fall colors and sunshine for Homecoming & Reunion weekend last September. Campus was the perfect backdrop for reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones—or for picking up your fire chief ’s hat if Saint John’s is still in your future. From Friday night’s Homecoming Banquet to Saturday’s football game and Celebration on the Tundra, it was a weekend to remember and treasure.

Mark your calendars now for Homecoming & Reunion 2013, Sept. 27-28.

Homecoming & 34

Photos by: Carina Ezell ’16, Adam Konczewski, Paul Middlestaedt

Reunion 2012 35

Alumni Connection

Thavis ’73 Gives Inside Look at the Vatican in New Book John Thavis ’73, recently retired Rome Bureau Chief of the Catholic News Service, writes on the inner workings of the Holy See in The Vatican Diaries, A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church, released Feb. 21. The book draws on Thavis’s close to 30 years of experience covering Vatican City from an insider’s perspective. It is described by Viking, the publisher, as a “detailed, perceptive and often humorous insider’s view based on thirty years of first-hand reporting.” The book’s release is particularly timely due to Pope Benedict’s retirement and the election of a new pontiff. Thomas J. Reese, S.J., widely recognized expert on the U.S. Catholic Church and former editor of America calls The Vatican Diaries a “mustread for anyone interested in the Vatican’s role in the Catholic Church and the world.” In 2007, Thavis received the Saint Francis de Sales Award from the Catholic Press Association, the highest honor given by the Catholic press. He received an alumni achievement award from Saint John’s University in 2008.

Dedication of Haws Field Slated for Aug. 30 Haws Field, the new home of Johnnie Soccer, is close to completion and will be dedicated at the 2013 season opener against Minnesota-Morris. The state-ofthe-art facility will feature: • Natural turf (sand-peat topsoil blend) • Team dugouts and benches • Bleacher relocation • Press box • Irrigation system • Retaining wall Come cheer on the Johnnies, and enjoy late summer on the most beautiful soccer field in Minnesota.

3:30 p.m. Dedication ceremony 4:30 p.m. Game vs University of Minnesota, Morris 6:30 p.m. Postgame reception/cookout


Discover Summer at Saint John’s Alumni, Family & Friends Weekend June 21-23 Swim, peddle, paddle, hike—or just relax on the beach.

Activities and open houses will abound…

Choose your place to stay

• If cycling is your thing, enter the annual Red Ride for a refreshing 25-, 50- or 100-mile peddle through Central Minnesota. (To register, go to • Enjoy a barbecue and sing “Happy Birthday” to Fr. Timo Backous ’76 as we celebrate Timo’s 60th birthday on Saturday evening. • Be appreciated at Br. Willie’s Pub. The Saint John’s Alumni Association will host a volunteer appreciation social at this Collegeville hotspot.

• Affordable on-campus rooms and suites • Tent camping for free on Watab Island (Wow, some things in life are free, after all.) • Bring your RV to Flynntown

…or create your own event Want to connect with biology or English majors… revive those dodge ball or Ultimate frisbie connections? Call or write Adam Herbst ’99, director of alumni relations. He’ll help you put together your own entertainment:, 320-363-3819 or 800-635-7303.

Join Johnnies and families from all eras as we come together for the first

SJU Alumni, Family & Friends Weekend For more information and to register, go to 37


MARRIAGES ’87 Janine to Mark Haeg, July ’12 ’99 Rosemarie Moises to Francis McLaughlin, Nov. ’12 ’01 Melissa Petersen to Tory Oelfke, June ’12 ’03 Erin Jerabek to Patrick Garay-Heelan, May ’12 ’03 Michelle (Minke ’02) to Cam McCambridge, May ’12 ’04 Karen (Schoenecker ’04) to Brandon Geis, Aug. ’11 ’04 Calli Omdahl to Matthew Kunkel, Oct. ’12 ’04 Jillian (Rigg ’09) to Patrick McKenzie, May ’12 ’04 Kristina (Sherman ’06) to Jeff Polzin, June ’12 ’05 Brooke (Johnson ’09) to Brock Vestrum, June ’12 ’06 Emma Campbell to Paul Bachand, Aug. ’12 ’06 Sarah (Litchy ’06) to Paul Jeske, Aug. ’12 ’06 Margot (Bieging ’09) to Blake Kraemer, July ’12 ’06 Nicole Murphy to Ben Manthey, June ’12 ’06 Anesa Pasicto to Samir Omerefendic, May ’12

’07 Betsy Ramundt to Sam Christianson, July ’12 ’07 Rachel Bannister to Zachary Fiedler, Oct. ’12 ’07 Jessica (Taragos ’07) to Edward (Jon) Pasek, Oct. ’12 ’07 Bri (Sharkey ’07) to Matt Smith, Sept. ’12 ’08 Laura Lundorff to Paul Eich, Aug. ’12 ’08 Jamie (Johnson ’08) to Nate Johnson, Apr. ’12 ’08 Katie (Hebeisen ’08) to Nick Louden, May ’12 ’08 Jenny (Vuong ’08) to Allen Ng, Nov. ’12 ’08 Jackie (Behr ’08) to Rick Peck, Sept. ’12 ’08 Erin (Eicholtz ’09) to Brett Saladin, Oct. ’12 ’08 Amanda (Broman ’08) to Jason Weigel, Aug. ’12 ’09 Erin (Morley ’09) to Travis Christensen, July ’12 ’09 Katie (Kjos ’09) to Mike Clare, Aug. ’12 ’09 Brittany (Boll ’09) to Nick Elsen, Aug. ’12 ’09 Brittany (Buysse ’09) to Grant Eustice, Aug. ’12 ’09 Emily (Renner ’09) to Andrew Heitner, Sept. ’12 ’09 Laura (Bredeck ’09) to Chris Johnson, June ’12

’09 Krysta (Proulx ’09) to Tylor Klein, July ’12 ’09 Alison (Pagliaccetti ’09) to Kevin Kubat, Aug. ’12 ’09 Jaime (Streine ’09) to Jack Lenczewski, Oct. ’12 ’09 Becky (Tischbirek ’08) to Peter Mullin, May ’12 ’09 Erin (Buss ’08) to David Rynda, Oct. ’10 ’09 Abby (Milton ’09) to Ryan Turbes, June ’12 ’10 Hallie (Jackson ’10) to Kirby Johnson, May ’12 ’10 Kari (Hackenmueller ’10) to Joe McRaith, Mar. ’12 ’10 Megan (Schmitz) to Scott Sand, Aug. ’12 ’10 Erin (Moore ’10) to Matteson Smith, Oct. ’12 ’11 Claire (Hahn ’11) to Patrick Campbell, Aug. ’12 ’11 Xin (Piao ’12) to Ned Colosky, June ’12 ’11 Kayla (Poissant ’11) to Alex Gassner, July ’12 ’11 Marissa Kinmounth to Ben Jagger, Nov. ’12 ’11 Kaila (Eberhardt ’11) to Brett Kramer, Sept. ’12 ’11 Julie (Karkela ’11) to Alex McCallum, July ’12 ’11 Erica (Manternach ’11) to Colman Silbernagel, July ’12 ’12 Michelle (Walther ’12) to Patrick Mader, June ’12 ’12 Anna (Novak ’13) to John Madison, Aug. ’12

BIRTHS ’89 Laura & Tim Lebens, girl, Gracelyn “Grace”, Aug. ’12 ’89 Lisa (Klaphake ’91) & Scott Zipp, boy, Thomas, Aug. ’12 ’93 Clara & Jeremy Perrin, girl, Emma, June ’12 ’93 Krista & Doug Spanier, boy, Macallin, May ’12 ’94 Stephanie & Eric Bitterman, boy, Joseph, Sept. ’12


’94 Jessie (Konrad ’94) & John Bueckers, boy, Anthony, Aug. ’12 ’95 Teresa & Robert Donnett, girl, Grace, Aug. ’12 ’95 Sandy (Trierweiler ’94) & Keith Jerpseth, boy, Jack, Mar. ’12 ’95 Julie & Dan Jost, boy, Miles, Sept. ’12 ’96 Melissa & Chad Barthelemy, boy, Patrick, Aug. ’12 ’96 Jamie & Chad Kayser, boy, Owen, Sept. ’12 ’96 Joy & Jonathan Ruis, boy, Oliver, Jan. ’12 ’97 Stacy & Paul Coufal, boy, Paul, May ’12 ’97 Trina (Shealy ’00) & Erik Orton, boy, Archer, Sept. ’12 ’98 Rachel & John Rossman, girl, Emery, Oct. ’12 ’99 Shannon (Speidel ’99) & Randy Braaten, girl, Dru, June ’12 ’99 Katrina (Lusty ’00) & Dan Buetow, girl, Brynn, Apr. ’12 ’99 Jennifer & John Haws, boy, Stetson, June ’12 ’99 Rebecca (Reibestein ’00) & Dave Johnson, boy, Devin, June ’12 ’99 Brenda (Garding ’99) & Steve Maus, girl, Abigail, Sept. ’12 ’99 Carolyn (Parsons ’99) & Tom Sullivan, boy, Liam, Oct. ’11 ’99 Jen (Eisenzimmer ’99) & Hans Weyandt, boy, Theodore, July ’12 ’99 Missy & Jamie Zuel, twin girl and boy, Lydia and Oliver, Nov. ’12 ’00 Marie (Seiler ’00) & Ben Lentz, boy, Everett, Mar. ’12 ’00 Heidi (Leadens ’99) & Joe Linhoff, boy, Grady, Mar. ’12 ’00 Laura (Farmer ’01) & Todd Nielsen, boy, Henry, July ’12 ’00 Jennifer & Kevin Peterson, girl, Gretta, June ’12 ’00 Carolyn & Jaime Ramirez, boy, Alejandro, Aug. ’12 ’00 Anne (Carlin ’00) & Jeremy Skramsted, girl, Hannah, Sept. ’12 ’01 Angie (Sinner ’01) & Joe Begnaud, girl, Evelyn, July ’12

’01 Angela (Busse ’01) & Arthur Boylan, girl, Nora, May ’12 ’01 Amy (Bowen ’00) & Michael Halverson, boy, John, Nov. ’12 ’01 Janet & Marc Jerzak, girl, Myla, Oct. ’12 ’01 Laura (Wendorff ’00) & Nick Meyer, boy, Benjamin, June ’12 ’01 Carrie & Josh Otto, boy, Joseph, Nov. ’12 ’01 Katie (Corbett ’02) & Adam Phenow, twin girls, Paige and Haley, Aug. ’12 ’01 Veronica & Matthew Spaniol, boy, Luke, Apr. ’12 ’02 Katie (Stumvoll ’02) & Jonathan Aligada, girl, Reyna, Feb. ’12 ’02 Sarah (Madge ’03) & Mike Carey, girl, Katherine, Mar. ’12 ’02 Amanda (deChambeau ’02) & Jacob Eckerman, boy, George, Aug. ’12 ’02 Christina (Adams ’03) & Rod Guetter, girl, Grace, July ’12 ’02 Karla and Darek Olson, girl, Citlali Alba, Oct. ’12 ’02 Heather (Hinnenkamp ’01) & Chris Stanley, girl, Ruby, Sept. ’12 ’02 Stacy & Ryan Tamm, boy, Dylan, Sept. ’12 ’02 Jaime (Peterson ’02) & Ryan Tooley, girl, Mai, Aug. ’11 ’03 Megan (Sand ’06) & Charlie Carr, boy, Lucas, Sept. ’12 ’03 Kelly (Koenig ’05) & Nate Hiestand, girl, Paige, Nov. ’12 ’03 Katie (Wilcox ’05) & Brady Jahnke, girl, Isabelle, May ’12 ’03 Katie & Travis Miller, girl, Rylee, June ’12 ’03 Natalie (Willis ’02) & Jim Mulrooney, girl, Annemarie, Mar. ’12 ’03 Anna (Kokesch ’03) & Eric Reeve, girl, Elizabeth, Sept. ’12

Luke Feierabend ’02

Eighth grade global studies teacher at Monticello Middle School, Monticello, Minn., and adjunct instructor in the CSB/SJU education department Luke Feierabend has always had a passion for global studies. But he’s never been afraid to try teaching tools that go well beyond the maps, globes and textbooks that teachers typically use. From smartphone surveys to website teaching tools, Feierabend says using technology wisely is critical to stay relevant to today’s kids. “Today’s generation of students are bound to their technology away from class,” he says. “We can’t ignore it.” Indeed, he says that using technology in the classroom gives him the chance to help students who are on the cusp of adulthood make smarter online decisions at a time when they often don’t realize the consequences of their digital trail. “At Saint John’s, we learned about the idea of the education of the entire self,” he says. “And that’s a philosophy that I believe is important. It’s not just about the education of minds. It’s also about the education of character.”



Jeff Radel ’02

Fifth grade teacher at Meadowbrook Elementary School, Hopkins, Minn. Jeff Radel always appreciated the tight-knit community at Saint John’s, and as a teacher, it’s an experience he tries to foster both in his classroom and beyond. To get kids to work together even after the last bell rings, he often assigns group projects with collaborative technology like Google Docs. “It’s so much better than the old days, where you just sent groups of kids to each corner of the room with markers,” he says. “They’re contributing after they go home, but they still get to see what other students are doing and thinking. It’s incredibly powerful.” It helps, he says, that his students are at the perfect age for learning. “They’re open to anything,” he says. “For [older] students, you sometimes have to crack the whip to get them to learn. But at this age, you’re more likely to have to pull back on the reins.”


’03 Laura & Frank Ziegler, boy, Sean, July ’12 ’04 Kate (Rasmussen ’03) & Bryan Blessing, girl, Evelyn, Aug. ’12 ’04 Jana & Eric Hennen, twin girls, Anna and Laura, Sept. ’12 ’04 Amanda (Macht ’04) & Jacob Jantzer, boy, Maxwell, Apr. ’12 ’04 Jaclyn (Bodeen ’04) & Ryan Klinkner, boy, Evan, May ’12 ’05 Jackie (Pelgrin ’05) & Joe Henry, girl, Willa, July ’12 ’05 Tricia (Gregory ’05) & Shaun Meling, boy, Grayson, June ’12 ’05 Amy & Joshua Meyer, girl, Arianna, June ’12 ’05 Sarah (Ryan ’05) & Justin Olsen, boy, Owen, Apr. ’12 ’06 Ewa & Adam Blaszkiewicz, boy, Robert, May ’12 ’06 Amanda (Smith ’07) & Paul Devereaux, boy, Atticus, Aug. ’12 ’06 Shanna (Henderson ’06) & Scott Dykhoff, boy, Nathan, May ’12 ’06 Sarah (Domine ’06) & Ryan Engdahl, boy, Bennett, May ’12 ’06 Jocelyn & Chris Herby, girl, Brooke, July ’12 ’06 Laura (Doboszenski ’08) & Tim Lahti, boy, Isaac, Apr. ’12 ’07 Melissa (Schneider ’07) & Jeff Doll, boy, Nolan, July ’12 ’07 Sally (Swanstrom ’98) & Peter Raih, boy, Jack, Nov. ’11 ’07 Shaina (Crotteau ’08) & Richard Raile, girl, Felicity, Oct. ’11 ’08 Nora (Kain ’07) & Tyler Tholl, girl, Corene, Oct. ’12 ’09 Chelsey (Knabe ’08) & Trent Novotny, boy, Cooper, Feb. ’12 ’09 Stephanie (Gassert ’07) & Scott Paul, boy, Archie, July ’12 ’09 Erin (Buss ’08) & David Rynda, girl,Claire, Nov. ’11

’09 Cassandra & Jesse Zajac, girl, Emm, Oct. ’12 ’10 Kelen & Adam Sohre, boy, Gavin, Aug. ’12 ’11 Courtney (Christenson ’11) & Luke Opsahl, boy, Finn, Sept. ’12 ’12 Taylor & Tyler Safranek, girl, Charli, Sept. ’12

DEATHS ’34 Richard Griffin ’34, Aug. ’10 ’35 Dorothy Burkard, spouse of deceased Robert ’35, May ’12 ’35 Rev. Norbert Verhagen ’35, May ’12 ’37 Marcellus Schieffer ’37, May ’09 ’38 Ruth Peters, mother of Ferdinand ’77 and spouse of deceased Ferdinand ’38, Oct. ’12 ’39 William Baribeau ’39, June ’11 ’40 Rita Rosenberger, spouse of deceased Richard ’40, July ’12 ’41 Gerald Gelbmann ’41, June ’12 ’41 Marjorie McGuigan, spouse of Robert ’41, Oct. ’12 ’42 Betty Lou Perron, spouse of Lloyd ’42, Oct. ’12 ’42 Renee Willenbring, spouse of deceased Joe ’42, mother of Bede ’70 and Tom ’78, Sept. ’12 ’43 Julius Frevel ’43, father of deceased, John ’64, Sept. ’12 ’43 John Mayne ’43, Aug. ’12 ’43 Bettie Mertz, spouse of deceased Bob ’43, May ’12 ’45 Paul “Gus” Huberty ’45, Sept. ’12 ’46 Elizabeth Ebner, spouse of Robert ’46, Jan. ’12 ’47 Dr. Richard Cook ’47, Aug. ’12 ’47 Msgr. James Habiger ’47, Oct. ’12 ’47 Bertie Solinger, spouse of deceased Ray ’47, Oct. ’12 ’47 Wallace Wellenstein ’47, brother of deceased Melvin ’45, May ’12 ’48 Anna Freundl, spouse of Jack ’48, Sept. ’11 ’48 Helen Gilles, spouse of Bill ’48, mother of Joe ’78, Mar. ’12

’48 Frederic Koshiol ’48, father of Christopher ’96 and Paula ’04, June ’12 ’48 Ted Przybylski ’48, Oct. ’12 ’49 Veronica Buchl, spouse of Art ’49, Sept. ’12 ’49 Richard Endres ’49, father of Patrick ’84 and brother of deceased Raymond ’49, Aug. ’12 ’49 Jeanne Endres, spouse of deceased Richard ’49 and mother of Patrick ’84, July ’12 ’49 Rev. Peter Grady ’49, Nov. ’12 ’49 John Janey, son of deceased Ralph ’49, June ’12 ’50 Charlotte Fitzpatrick, spouse of deceased Edward ’50, July ’12 ’50 Nancy Gresbrink, spouse of Bob ’50, Nov. ’12 ’50 Rev. Charles W. Henry, OSB ’50, brother of Bob ’51 and deceased siblings Edward ’43 and John ’39, June ’12 ’50 Delphin Kohler ’50, brother of deceased Dr. Hugh Kohler ’38, June ’12 ’50 Robert Nicklaus ’50, father of Mark ’84, Oct. ’12 ’50 Jacob Polta ’50, father of John ’79 and Joe ’85, Aug. ’12 ’50 Sigmund Schary ’50, Aug. ’12 ’51 Rev. Robert Krystosek ’51, July ’12 ’51 Mark Mund ’51, Oct. ’12 ’51 Joseph Shannon ’51, June ’12 ’51 Rev. Elmer Torborg ’51, brother of Lee ’51, Ralph ’55 and deceased Rev. Lawrence ’48, Oct. ’12 ’51 June Wenker, spouse of Maurice “Max” ’51, Oct. ’12 ’51 Lee Zylla, spouse of Jim ’51, Oct. ’12 ’52 Donald Couchigan ’52, June ’12 ’52 Emanuel Vinopal ’52, June ’12 ’53 Jerome Degenaar ’53, father of Chuck ’79, May ’12 ’53 Maurna Donovan, spouse of deceased Jerry ’53, mother of George ’84, James ’88, Oct. ’12 ’53 John Garry ’53, June ’12

’53 Allan Kolles ’53, June ’12 ’53 Rev. John Kulas, OSB ’53, brother of Paul ’61 and deceased brother Everett ’43, Oct. ’12 ’53 JoAnne LaLonde, spouse of Dick ’53, June ’12 ’53 Mary Lou Notermann, spouse of deceaed Dick ’53, mother of John ’79, June ’12 ’53 Rev. Raymond Pedrizetti, OSB ’53, Sept. ’12 ’54 Louis Ernst ’54, June ’12 ’55 George Lowe ’55, brother of Richard ’64, Sept. ’12 ’55 Charles Spain ’55, Sept. ’12 ’56 Rev. Patrick Bernardy ’56, Nov. ’12 ’56 Don Guggemos, Sr. ’56, Sept. ’12 ’56 Bernard O’Konek ’56, July ’12 ’56 Herbert Windschitl ’56, father of Francis ’83 and Brian ’84, Oct. ’12 ’57 Louis Dahlheimer ’57, Oct. ’12 ’57 Patricia Franz, spouse of John ’57, July ’12 ’57 Robert McElroy ’57, Sept. ’12 ’57 Peggy Schrantz, spouse of Roger ’57 and mother of Chris ’85, Aug. ’12 ’57 Nancy Vaughan, spouse of deceased Dale ’57, and mother of Bob ’81, Joe ’86 and Mike ’93, Nov. ’12 ’57 Janet Wenninger, spouse of Jim ’57, May ’12 ’58 Arnie Eisele, brother of Al ’58, Oct. ’12 ’58 Tom Foster ’58, father of Sean ’85, Aug. ’12 ’58 Dr. Richard Kastner ’58, father of Michael ’87, Aug. ’12 ’58 Richard A. Peterson ’58, June ’11 ’59 Bernard Lieser, father of Rev. Gregory Lieser ’59 and Rev. Vincent Lieser ’63, July ’12

Ryan Weinandt ’04

Second grade teacher at Cokato Elementary School, Cokato, Minn. Ryan Weinandt knows that his job is about much more than teaching kids the basic concepts of reading, writing, and math—it’s about inspiring them to learn. And he understands that for many kids, he’s not just a teacher, he’s a role model. That’s why he works so hard to get to know his students. “To do your job well, you have to understand their lives—what motivates them, what challenges them,” he says. “Once they know that you understand them and care about them, they’ll work hard to meet your highest expectations.” It’s an approach he learned from one of his favorite professors at Saint John’s, education professor Art Spring. “Every day when you walked into his classroom, you felt like he wanted you there. He expected a lot, and we wanted to do well for him. When you share your joy in learning, it rubs off on others.”



Steve Kittok ’08

Service Learning Academy teacher at American YouthWorks in Austin, Texas As a teacher for students who are starting high school again after dropping out, Steve Kittok has learned to appreciate the small victories in his work. “Sometimes, it feels rewarding when students show up every day, or learn to read one more word than yesterday,” he says. “In the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing. But to them, it’s everything.” Kittok says it’s easy to dismiss and dehumanize students who have had problems in their past. But for many of them, the YouthWorks program feels like their last hope for a normal and even successful life. While his work can be challenging, he says it aligns with the values he learned at Saint John’s. “We were instilled with the idea that you should want to make a difference, and serve underserved populations,” he says. “That’s been a motivating factor for me.”


’59 John “Tony” Poss ’59, Sept. ’12 ’59 Anthony Simon ’59, Aug. ’12 ’60 Richard Rick ’60, May ’12 ’60 James Schmied ’60, Dec. ’11 ’60 Leo Siegmund ’60, brother of Michael ’62, Dec. 11 ’61 Charles Kustelski ’61, May ’12 ’61 John Larson ’61, June ’12 ’61 James Leahy, Jr. ’61, brother of Tim ’64, June ’12 ’62 Margaret O’Gara, spouse of Mike Vertin ’62, Aug. ’12 ’63 Thomas Jelinek ’63, brother of deceased, Frank ’61, Aug. ’12 ’63 Donald Mielke ’63, Nov. ’12 ’64 Emily Arvig, spouse of Tom ’64, May ’12 ’64 Blain Arvig, son of Tom ’64, May ’12 ’65 Robert Griffin, Jr. ’65, June ’12 ’65 Thomas Spies ’65, June ’12 ’66 Carol Baland, spouse of Tim ’66, mother of Tim ’93 and Torger ’02, July ’12 ’67 Fred Cremer ’67, Sept. ’12 ’67 Norbert Greving ’67, Sept. ’07 ’67 Gregory Muller ’67, Aug. ’11 ’67 Frances Scherer, mother of Mike ’67, Greg ’68, Dennis ’70 and John ’77, July ’12 ’67 Richard Stoffel ’67, Nov. ’12 ’67 Mike Williams ’67, brother of Bernard ’77, Mark ’78 and Dan ’80, Nov. ’12 ’68 David Horky ’68, Aug. 12 ’68 Elizabeth Young, mother of Roger ’68, June ’12 ’68 Judi Young, spouse of Roger ’68, June ’12 ’69 Jeffrey Godfrey ’69, Oct. ’12 ’69 Tom Rogers ’69, brother of Jim ’62 and John ’63, Oct. ’12 ’69 Paul Schumacher ’69, father of Josh ’04, Sept. ’12

’69 Robert Studer, father of Gene ’69 and Mark ’72; brother of Tom ’53 and Denny ’56, Aug. ’12 ’70 Ann Alberts, spouse of Dan ’70, Aug. ’12 ’70 Mike Ford ’70, father of Joseph ’01, June ’12 ’70 John Pavkovich, brother of Steve ’70, and deceased Joe ’77, Aug. ’12 ’71 Deacon Thomas Bates ’71, father of Aaron ’05, July ’12 ’71 Lynn Dalsin, spouse of Bill ’71, Aug. ’12 ’73 David Bauch ’73, Sept. ’12 ’73 Carolyn Held, spouse of Pat ’73, Oct. ’12 ’73 Mark Wisniewski ’73, July ’12 ’74 Vivian Farnesi, mother of David ’74, Apr. ’12 ’74 Alexander Karnavas ’74, Jan. ’12 ’74 Albert Kelly, father of Paul ’74, Nov. ’12 ’75 Susan Noth, spouse of Bill ’75, June ’12 ’75 Arvid Nybroten ’75, Nov. ’12 ’75 Larry Panek, father of David ’75 and Mark ’79, July ’12 ’76 Mary Ann Feeley SOT ’76, Feb. ’12 ’78 Ken Beach, Jr., brother of Br. Dennis Beach, OSB ’78, Aug. ’12 ’78 Dr. Jerome C. Speltz, father of Louis ’78 and Joe ’82, Oct. ’12 ’79 Nicole Kunkel, spouse of Stephen ’79, Nov. ’12 ’80 Jerry Droege ’80, Aug. ’12 ’80 Agatha Franta, mother of Mark ’80, Peter ’81, Bart ’83 and Aaron ’85, Nov. ’12 ’80 Lloyd Yanisch, father of Jim ’80, Ed ’83, Dan ’84, Jun ’12 ’81 Frank “Don” Neary, father of Brad ’81, Sept. ’12 ’83 Margaret Sherlock, mother of Russ ’83, July ’12 ’85 Marie Laing, mother of Jim ’85, Jan. ’12 ’85 Wade Taylor ’85, Nov. ’12 ’87 Ward Blaschko ’87, brother of Brad ’93, Nov. ’12 ’87 Jonathan Cran ’87, July ’12

’87 James Lehr, father of Steven ’87, Jun ’12 ’89 Sandee Loven, mother of Kyle ’89, Oct. ’12 ’90 Tom Patella, brother of Rev. Michael Patella, OSB ’90, Jun ’12 ’90 Louis Pfeifer, father of Ed ’90, July ’12 ’91 Andy Stang, father of Rev. Mark Stang ’91, Oct. ’12 ’92 Tony Roemer ’92, Aug. ’12 ’93 Robert Hartz ’93, Jan. ’11 ’93 John Quinlivan, father of Curran ’93, brother of Dennis ’52 and deceased brothers Roger ’52, Richard ’48, Sept. ’12 ’96 Rosanne Keller SOT ’96, Feb. ’12 ’02 David Bauer ’02, son of Mike ’75, Sept. ’12 ’03 Christopher Stephenson ’03, Aug. ’12 ’11 Richard Joseph, father of Kamau ’11, July ’12

Ashley Farrington ’11 First grade teacher at Sunset Hill Elementary School, Wayzata, Minn.

Alumni and Friends Cemetery

Remember. Celebrate. Believe.

When Bahamas native Ashley Farrington arrived at Saint John’s, he was incredibly grateful to the people who eased his transition, from his roommate, Ben Trnka ’11, to education professor Mike Borka. “They helped me get accustomed not just to the school, but to the way of life in Minnesota,” he recalls. Now, Farrington is the one who helps others with tough transitions. He guides his young students to make the passage from half-day kindergarten to full-day first grade, a challenging but important shift that gives kids the foundation for the next dozen years of their lives. More than anything else, he loves seeing the giant steps his students take during their nine months with him. “First grade is when they really begin to learn how to read,” he says. “It can take months and months before things start to click, but when you can see that light bulb go off in their head, it’s so much fun.” 320-363-3434 or


Inspiring Lives

Steven Fling ’82 (L) with Mike ’82 and Bonnie Franta

Was This a Mistake?

Then a familiar voice brought me out of the Steven Fling ’82 fog of memory. Paul Gelbmann, a classmate Wearing a name tag that read Steven Fling– who recognized Class of ’82,, I sat alone outside Mary Hall. I’d traveled me despite my gray and receding hairline, called my name, across country for a 30-year SJU class reunion, excited to quickly bringing me into a group of our classmates. I see my “best” college friends. recognized them immediately and was suddenly wrapped in The air was crisp and the maple outside old Engel Hall warm memory and conversation, despite the fact that we all was in full autumn color, as one expects when attending hadn’t really hung out together much in college. Homecoming. I looked up and remembered devious During the weekend’s events, I was drawn back to moments from freshman year while “studying” in that many others I’d known only tangentially. I found myself hall with Tim Rongitsch, Conn McCartan, Mike Franta, immersed in joyful conversation of dear memory reflecting Bob Alpers—I imagined we’d laugh about that when they communal values. That we really cared about each other arrived. was clear. Dan Mulvaney, Bill Cashman, Steve Klos, Mike Suddenly, I felt anxiously Krumholz, Greg Marszalek, Al I found myself immersed in joyful Lanners, Dave Rogotzke, Larry alone having not told my closest conversation of dear memory classmates I’d be attending. Rather, Dingmann, Kelly Frank and so I’d thought they’d just show up, like reflecting communal values. many others from ’82 welcomed me. With growing uncertainty, I me with open arms. Humbled, I panicked—what if they didn’t show? Was this a mistake to felt deep pangs of regret that I hadn’t spent more time with travel 2,000 miles and not firm up plans with them? these guys during those college days but rather had carved Forty years earlier my father, Paul Fling ’52, had out space then for only a few “best” buddies. brought me to his 20-year reunion. There, standing Years and geography have separated me from SJU, proudly next to him on that hillside amid the pines and my path since has crisscrossed the globe. Yet this overlooking the football field, I’d soaked in the joy of my 30-year reunion affirmed my grounding in those SJU father’s experience in seeing old classmates like Alberic days. It reminded me of the principled decency of SJU Culhane ’52, OSB. It had been easy, welcoming and and CSB peers and the shared ideals of those with whom heartfelt. In that moment long ago, I’d decided to attend I’d communed in those years. Outside Mary Hall, in that SJU, and in the years since have often spoken of the moment of feeling alone and isolated, I was paradoxically uniqueness of SJU, invariably mentioning that when you joined to people I really didn’t appreciate well when I was at arrive there, someone will always know you and care about SJU, but now know I do. you—that it is easy, welcoming and heartfelt. SJU has that Writing this on Thanksgiving eve, I give thanks—to my sense of continuity and belonging…that Sense of Place! classmates of ’82, to my father’s class of ’52 and to all SJU That moment in ’72 changed my life. classes. We’ve created a shared experience guided mystically Sitting alone outside Mary Hall, I also recalled having by God—and that is definitely not a mistake. asked myself, as my father had driven I-94 with me to SJU Steven Fling ’82, Ph.D., is project director for the Neutralizing in the autumn of 1978, “Was this a mistake going to SJU Antibody Consortium (NAC) at the International AIDS without considering anywhere else?” Now I felt similarly Vaccine Initiative in San Diego, Calif., a consortium of anonymous and vulnerable, wondering where my closest scientists working collaboratively to develop a vaccine for HIV. classmates from those days were.

Reflections on Reunion 2012


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

A Priceless Gift P

aul Krump ’82 and Anne Schmidt-Krump ’82 know that their experiences at Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s opened many doors for them. “The Catholic, liberal arts setting nurtured me and helped me to grow both in mind and spirit,” says Paul. When they began planning their estate, they wanted to help students. “Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s have played an important role in my family, and we want to help make a similar experience possible for someone who might not be able to afford it,” says Paul. Paul and Anne designated a life insurance policy to fund an endowed scholarship that will benefit Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s students for years to come. “If we can help make a four-year degree available to a young student who values it, it is worth it,” says Anne. “It is worth it to the individual, their family and the community at large—it is priceless.”

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

Connect. Win an iPad. JohnniesConnect

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JohnniesConnect is a directory of 50,000+ alumni in an easy-to-use format. This free service is available exclusively to alumni. Register or update your information in JohnniesConnect by May 1, 2013, and you’ll be entered to win an iPad*. 1. Go to and click JohnniesConnect in the right column. 2. Click First Time Users. 3. The first time you use JohnniesConnect, you’ll need your 9-digit constituent ID. (Your ID is above your name on the magazine mailing label, or you can call/ write 800-635-7303, 4. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll create your own password. Need help logging in? Email with questions.

ts ’70, s to Dan Alber on ti la tu ra g on C y winner! last year’s luck

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