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SCAN"College of St. CatherineThe College of St. Catherine

January 2008

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From the President of the College


Andrea J. Lee, IHMDuring our Centennial, people often asked why we were not a university when learning about the breadth of our academic programs or about our 5,000-plus enrollment. We are, after all, Minnesota's only private college offering degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels.

Pink FlowerWe are, after all, the largest and most comprehensive college for women in the nation. We are, after all, an increasingly complex institution at the center of which stands a wonderful college of the liberal arts for women. We are, after all, already a university in the eyes of the Carnegie Commission. We are, after all, already ranked No. 13 (in the top 10 percent) among some 168 master's universities in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report.

That is why, when the Board of Trustees adopted a strategic plan in 2005 that seeks to significantly expand and strengthen our graduate programs, it was time to ask, "Should St. Catherine's change its name from 'College' to 'University'?" I invited a

“After careful deliberation, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the name to University.”
broadly representative task team, led by alumna and Vice President for External Relations Marjorie Mathison Hance '70 and Special Assistant to the President and Professor Julie Belle White-Newman, to examine the question, conduct appropriate research, consult widely and present a recommendation for the Board's consideration. The task team completed its work with diligence and skill.

I am grateful to the task team's leaders and members, which included alumnae Colleen Curran '75, Margaret Gadient '69, Joanne Jirik Mullen '83, Carolyn Puccio '65, CSJ, and Mary Wagner '69. The task team made a nearly unanimous recommendation to change the name of the College to University.

Nearly everyone strongly supported making the change, including the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, from their earliest days in Minnesota, women of extraordinary courage, innovation and vision. After careful deliberation, the Board unanimously approved the task team recommendation at its May 5 meeting. The new name will be decided over the summer and will include St. Catherine as part of the name.

The name change will bring with it a new academic administrative structure with the capacity to improve faculty interaction, marketing of programs, service to students, and advancement of new academic technologies and digital learning.

What will not change is our commitment to remain faithful to our mission. Our women-only baccalaureate program will remain the centerpiece of the University. The University will reinforce the liberal arts as the underpinning of the St. Catherine's educational experience; make our Catholic identity explicit throughout the curriculum; and provide a woman-centered learning environment for all students.

Evidence suggests that a name change will enhance prestige; more accurately reflect the College of St. Catherine as it is today; promote growth in graduate and digital learning; and provide a vehicle to develop strategic partnerships. "University" will, in the view of the Board, best position St. Catherine's to attain world pre-eminence. These are, indeed, exciting times. Check out our special website often for updates: stkate.edu/future. I wish you a long and restful summer. Thank you for all you are and do for St. Catherine's.

Andrea J. Lee, IHM


Mission Statement
The College of St. Catherine educates women to lead and influence. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1905, the College integrates liberal arts and professional education within the Catholic traditions of intellectual inquiry and social teaching. Committed to excellence and opportunity, the College engages students from diverse backgrounds in a learning environment uniquely suited to women. Education at the College of St. Catherine prepares graduates to demonstrate ethical leadership grounded in social responsibility.

Vision Statement
To be the world's pre-eminent Catholic college educating women to lead and influence.