CSB Winter 2018 Informed Newsletter

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2 Searching for Efficiency A Note From the President

4 CSB Ranked #1 in Efficiency 8 Endowment: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

10 CSB Seniors Blend Liberal Arts, Nursing and ROTC – And Come Out on Top

Message From the President

SEARCHING FOR EFFICIENCY It’s no secret these are challenging times in higher education: Institutions are facing increased resource constraints. There is a growing list of compelling demands on existing resources. And, there is a heightened accountability to the public regarding how those resources are used and stewarded. We confront all of these challenges at the College of Saint Benedict, just like every other institution. Alongside these demands, we are called to compassionately live our mission and meet the needs of our students. Given these realities, the key to both our short- and long-term viability is our financial position. Our endowment (find out more about our endowment and the steps we take to get the most out of it on page 8) is certainly small, relative to our peer institutions. At just over $72 million, our endowment-per-student is $32,799. Our group of peer institutions,


Mary Dana Hinton CSB President

however, averages $110,080 per student. In fact, we have the fifth smallest endowment in the top 100 liberal arts colleges. Practically speaking, that leaves CSB much more tuition-dependent than we’d like. Therefore, growing the endowment is a top fundraising priority for Saint Ben’s. And yet…In the midst of this challenging financial time, we invest in our future. We steward the resources we have. With campuswide careful leadership and a planning ethos, we do more than get by. We excel. We’ve had two critically important reminders of this recently. Last year, our ability to excel despite our financial constraints was recognized in our place on the New York Times’ list of colleges doing the most for the American Dream. The College Access Index, as the Times explains, “is based on how many

low- and middle-income students colleges graduate and how much those students pay.” Our rank – number 41 – puts Saint Ben’s ahead of flagship public colleges and universities and private schools with endowments that dwarf ours.

Saint Ben’s earned the top rank, improving on our number-two ranking from the last time these rankings were computed in 2015. You can read more throughout this issue about this validating new announcement and

“ In the midst of this challenging financial time, we invest in our future. We steward the resources we have. With campus-wide careful leadership and a planning ethos, we do more than get by. We excel.” In November, we received another compelling reminder. U.S. News & World Report ranked the College of Saint Benedict number one among national liberal arts colleges for operating efficiency. They determine “efficiency” by considering both the ranking on their respected annual Best Colleges list and the amount spent per student – the results we get and what we spend to get them.

our passionate commitment to being efficient with the resources we have, even as we purposefully fundraise to increase our financial strength. Thank you for your part in granting us those resources.

Mary Dana Hinton


Program Spotlight


As one of the Benedictine values, stewardship is at our core. Since a cadre of intrepid Benedictine sisters arrived on a frozen prairie more than 100 years ago, we’ve held fast to the idea that success comes not from excess, but rather from thoughtful resourcefulness. To us, stewardship translates to sustainability and longevity. It’s a big part of the reason we’ve been leaders in women’s education for more than a century, and it’s central to our current operations and future plans. And we’re not the only ones who’ve noticed. U.S. News & World Report recently released their rankings of the most efficient colleges across the nation. They considered a school’s per-student spending in conjunction with its ranking on their lauded Best Colleges list. The College of Saint Benedict landed the number one spot among liberal arts colleges. Number one. That means, as a Saint Ben’s donor, your dollar is stretched further here than at any other college.


“ It’s the careful allocation of resources to meet students’ needs,” says Sue Palmer, CSB chief financial officer,“but it’s also thoughtfully investing resources to achieve desired outcomes.” Those dollars are simultaneously stretched in a number of different directions, by a number of different means. Our faculty and staff continually commit themselves to finding ways of enabling an extraordinary student experience in spite of our fiscal prudence. “It’s the careful allocation of resources to meet students’ needs,” says Sue Palmer, CSB chief financial officer, “but it’s also thoughtfully investing resources to achieve desired outcomes.” So being number one in operating efficiency comes down to not just conserving energy and repurposing buildings – it also showcases things like prudent debt management and thoughtful programming.

Anne Fogarty Oberman ’82, Mary Dana Hinton and Susan Palmer


Program Spotlight


The key element underlying every curricular and co-curricular decision is intentionality. “From ensuring that class sizes are small-but-filled to tapping into our alum network in order to strengthen experiential learning and career service opportunities, we’re always thinking about how to best meet our students’ most meaningful needs,” says Barb May, academic dean. Our skill at maximizing limited resources has an added benefit: Here, we certainly don’t waste funds – but we also don’t waste anyone’s time. We’re fortunate to live in a world where bright young women have a choice when it comes to their education. We consider it an honor that so many of those promising women – from increasingly diverse backgrounds – choose to spend four years at Saint Ben’s. That’s why every class, every co-curricular activity, every experiential learning opportunity and every study abroad program is here for a reason: it has been thoughtfully considered and deemed worthy of your investment. You could call it



intentionality. You could perhaps call it hypervigilance. We’ll take that as a compliment, because it means we’re good stewards of our resources, and we’re good stewards of the trust that students, their families and our community place in us.

“ ...we’re always thinking about how to best meet our students’ most meaningful needs,” Terry Dolan has a unique perspective on what fiscal stewardship means, particularly when it comes to our donor community. As the father of a Bennie (Hannah Dolan Schilling ’13), chair of the College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees – and chief financial officer of U.S. Bancorp – Terry is wellversed in the importance of fiscal accountability. “When you demonstrate strong stewardship, it creates a sense of trust,” he says. “As such, donors are assured that their giving is being effectively invested in our students and their success.”

Prospective students (and their parents) are seeking institutions of higher education that provide an opportunity to learn, grow and achieve their full potential. An important part of their selection of the College of Saint Benedict is based on its national academic excellence, residential and experiential learning opportunities and a community that is supportive and has a sense of belonging. It is essential that we are able to provide these educational opportunities in an affordable and accessible manner. In order to meet prospective students’ expectations, we will need to continue to invest in our academic programs, innovate through technology and provide experiential learning while effectively managing the cost of higher education. As such, it is important to balance investment and efficiency to ensure that we achieve these expectations. Terry Dolan Chair, College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees


Fund Spotlight


At Saint Ben’s, we do the transformative work of educating women who will think critically, lead courageously and advocate passionately now and into the future. We take this role seriously, and that means being here for the long term. Our permanent endowment fund forms our financial foundation and is fundamental to our durability. We’re committed to an independently evaluated investment strategy designed for stable, sustainable growth. Our endowment is a fraction of our peer colleges’ endowments. And yet, we’re able to maintain our high standards – and continually raise the bar – thanks to our unparalleled operating efficiency.


Here’s how it works: Our endowment is part of a pooled Long-Term Investment Fund worth more than $72 million as of June 30, 2017. We manage these funds to achieve three primary objectives: Sustainable growth, which means outperforming a benchmark set by the Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee;


$2.03M 307 INDIVIDUAL ENDOWMENTS That provide more than $1.5M in ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIPS

Stability, defined as an average annual real total return at least equal to the endowment’s spending rate; and Strong performance. And when we say “strong,” we mean Saint Ben’s strong. We’ve tasked ourselves with outperforming the average return of a peer group of colleges and universities with similar-size endowments and similar financial circumstances.

36 INDIVIDUAL ENDOWMENTS that provide more than $500,000 in annual support of:




’07 ’08 ’09 ’10


35,359,230 36,903,646 30,256,713 34,967,761





’13 ’14 ’15 ’16 ’17

These goals are ambitious but, with the right support, achievable. The goals are also exceptional given the current academic landscape. Colleges and universities across the country are closing their doors because the finances stopped adding up. We’re still here, and we’re looking forward. We’re embracing our increasingly important position as a national and international leader in women’s education.

And we don’t take anything for granted. Since we operate with such a small endowment relative to our peers, every 47,592,830 contribution to this fund makes a big impact. A gift that would be lost in the 55,025,988 shuffle at a school whose endowment measures in the hundreds of millions (or 56,909,552 even billions) makes a demonstrable impact at Saint Ben’s. But, in order 59,487,071 to sustain long-term, it’s imperative that we can 71,286,079

rely on endowment support as a source of foundational income. A stronger endowment would enable us to diversify our investments to achieve stronger, more stable returns. We’re not going anywhere, and we’re committed to continually raising the bar. Our top ranking in operating efficiency is proof of our commitment to long-term growth and sustainability. The donors contributing to our endowment fund are thinking long-term, too. That’s because a gift to the endowment fund is designed for continual growth and permanent payoff. What can you do to help grow the endowment at Saint Ben’s? Let’s start that conversation. Contact Gigi Fourré Schumacher ’74 at gschumach001@csbsju.edu or 320-363-5480.


Student Spotlight

COMING OUT ON TOP It’s the nature of a high-quality liberal arts education: CSB students graduate with far more than academic preparation. They enter the next phase equipped with skills and experiences that transcend individual areas of study and set the stage for courageous leadership, critical thinking and passionate advocacy. Becca Dykhoff and Mary Esker are consummate examples of this preparation – and we’re not the only ones who think so. This spring, Dykhoff and Esker will be among approximately 170 ROTC nursing cadets nationwide who will receive their commission in the Army and report to active duty at hospitals around the world. All 170 cadets are ranked based on a number of factors, including grade-point average, physical training scores, leadership abilities, participation in study abroad programs, language skills, performance at an advanced training camp, and more. Dykhoff received the first-place ranking, with


Becca Dykhoff ’18 and Mary Esker ’18

Esker close by in third. To have CSB’s two nursing cadets at the very top of a national list is exciting. Dykhoff describes it as “humbling.” And yet, it’s perhaps not all that surprising. After all, the well-rounded criteria informing the rankings reflect the core character of what we do as a liberal arts institution: we champion the whole person. We prize character, integrity and effort. We think globally. These rankings are valuable. They reflect an extraordinary amount of hard work on the part of Dykhoff and Esker, and the rankings also mean both women will We champion the whole person. likely have their choice of We prize character, integrity and effort. where to start their We think globally. military careers. But as validating as their rankings are, they merely scratch the surface of the value Dykhoff and Esker have derived from their experience as ROTC cadets at Saint Ben’s.

“It takes a lot to jump in [to ROTC] at first and it’s a little overwhelming, but once you get into it and you start making connections – at least from my personal experience – it has probably been the best thing for me about college,” says Dykhoff. And it’s those connections that will keep delivering value for both women. CSB/SJU Provost Richard Ice is fond of noting that liberal arts is about “connecting dots,” not simply “collecting dots.” “Becca Dykhoff and Mary Esker are inspirations and fine examples of our Benedictine liberal arts education,” says Ice. “They are able to make connections and apply what they have learned across situations. We are all very proud of their accomplishments.” Neither Dykhoff nor Esker are certain about where their paths will lead after their four-year military commitments end. One thing is for certain: They’re ready for anything.


ANNUAL GIVING 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374 Please direct questions to 800-648-3468, ext. 3 or mutsch@csbsju.edu


Mary Ann O’Reilley ’81

“I am grateful for a good education, which led to my career as a medical laboratory scientist. I have tried to save for my own future, but my investments may also be a way for me to give back to CSB. It would be great if I could help other young women afford a good college education and the opportunities it brings. So I’ve named CSB as a beneficiary on my accounts – if I have enough to live on and have money left, CSB can benefit as a beneficiary. It’s a simple way to plan to give back. Have you named or updated your beneficiaries lately?”

Contact Gigi Fourré Schumacher ’74 at gschumach001@csbsju.edu or 320-363-5480 and start a conversation that can lead to your own plan.