Board of Trustees votes to change the College's name, but the mission and vision of St. Catherine's will endure.
A YEAR from now, in June 2009, the College of St. Catherine officially will be a university. That decision was announced May 6, after a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees.
Several new names are under consideration, all of which include the name "St. Catherine." College administrators will propose the new name to the Board and present a full implementation plan for the name change in August.
The decision is the culmination of a process that began last August when President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, established the University-College Task Team. Evaluating a name change was part of implementing the strategic plan, approved by the Board in 2005, which called on the College to expand and strengthen its graduate programs.
Following extensive research and consultation with representative groups throughout campus - students, alumnae, faculty, staff, the Sisters of St. Joseph and the College Council, among others — the task team concluded that changing the College's name to University will strategically advance the institution by:
"The name change will enhance the College's standing as the largest, most comprehensive college for women in the United States," said Sister Andrea the day after the announcement to the campus community, alumnae and the Twin Cities news media. "This is an historic and important step in laying groundwork for the future while strengthening our century-old tradition as a world leader in educating women to lead and influence."
The College of St. Catherine is the only college among the 17 institutions in the Minnesota Private College Council to offer degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels. The College offers 11 graduate programs, including the recently announced Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
Vice Chair of the Board Mark Chronister said he is pleased with how the name change has been tied to strategic directions. "It was important to the Board that this initiative signals where St. Catherine's is going while preserving the most cherished aspects of our mission: Catholic, women, liberal arts."
The 17-member task team was co-chaired by Vice President for External Relations Marjorie Mathison Hance '70 and Special Assistant to the President for Special Initiatives Julie Belle White-Newman. It included five alumnae in addition to Mathison Hance.
"As an alumna, I was pleased to see the Board's passion for this choice, reflected in the unanimous vote," says Board Chair Pam Wheelock '81, CFO of Minnesota Sports and Entertainment.
"The task team was diligent and thorough in its research, and while both the President and I acknowledge the strong feelings that surround a name change, we are convinced that university status enhances and extends our mission."
For more: stkate.edu/future