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Historian Presidents Car ried a Vision for Saint John’s

By Nick Hayes ’69 The story may be apocryphal: I have heard it many times and in different versions. Abbot Baldwin Dworschak, OSB, whose tenure as abbot of Saint John’s Abbey spanned more than two decades (1950-71), took the long view of time. He also served as president of Saint John’s University from 1951-58, presided over the expansion of the university and the Prep School, and was instrumental in the construction of the Breuer buildings on campus. In the face of complaints about delays or postponements, Abbot Baldwin was stoic. “What difference,” he would say, “does another year or a hundred years make to a Benedictine?”

28 WINTER/SPRING 2019

We often speak of Saint John’s “sense of place.” It has that. It also has its own sense of time. This sense of time was manifest in three of the presidents of Saint John’s University who were both Benedictines and historians: Fr. Colman Barry, OSB, president from 1964-71 Fr. Michael Blecker, OSB, president from 1971-80, 1981-82 Br. Dietrich Reinhart, OSB, president from 1991-2008 They brought to Saint John’s a vision that combined a Benedictine worldview (or Weltanschauung as one of them taught me long ago in my student days) with an historian’s sense of continuity and change over time.

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Saint John's Magazine Winter/Spring 2019  

Saint John's Magazine is published in the fall and winter for alumni, parents, friends and the Saint John's University campus community.

Saint John's Magazine Winter/Spring 2019  

Saint John's Magazine is published in the fall and winter for alumni, parents, friends and the Saint John's University campus community.

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