Fall 2007 Cover
SCAN"College of St. Catherine The College of St. Catherine

October 2008
 
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Strengthening our Catholic Identity

From the Heart of the Campus
OVER THE PAST DECADE, the College of St. Catherine has focused boldly on mission. Administrators have pursued a major strategic initiative to hold up those elements of St. Kate's that are integral to its identity. To that end, President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, has begun an ambitious project to seek funds to support three Distinguished Professorships for Mission, one each devoted to the College's essential elements: women, Catholic and liberal arts. The initiative includes funding the three professorships as well as a program endowment for each.

The ultimate goal is to increase the faculty's ownership of the mission and its concrete expression through teaching, scholarship and the co-curriculum. Unlike colleges and universities that rely only on departments for Catholic studies, liberal arts and women's studies, St. Catherine has chosen to infuse those elements throughout everything it offers.

The campaign for the endowed chairs on mission recently got a major boost, thanks to noted Twin Cities attorney Michael J. Galvin, Jr. and his wife, Frances Culligan Galvin '54.

The Galvins wanted to make a substantial contribution toward helping the President raise $1.5 million for the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Distinguished Professorship in Catholic Identity, which will focus on increasing faculty awareness of and active commitment to St. Catherine's identity as a Catholic college.

An anonymous matching gift of $750,000 paved the way for a successful campaign. Mike spearheaded the effort to raise the remainder.

Galvin, a partner in the law firm of Briggs and Morgan in St. Paul, recalls the impression that the Most Reverend Flynn made when he joined the St. Kate's Board of Trustees during Galvin's nine-year tenure, which ended last May. "We enjoyed him and the benefits of his leadership of the Diocese,"Galvin says.

Along with Sister Andrea and Vice President for External Relations Marjorie Mathison Hance, Mike Galvin called on friends of the College, alumnae and trustees. And, of course, the Galvins led by example. "Frances and I were pleased to be able to make a very significant gift,"Mike explains. "We were observing our 50th wedding anniversary, and Frances had recently celebrated her 50th anniversary as a graduate in the Class of 1954."

Three of Frances' five sisters attended the College, as did one of Mike's sisters. "It seemed appropriate to do something for St. Catherine," he concludes. "It's a remarkable institution."

The Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Distinguished Professorship in Catholic Identity likely will be named later this academic year.


Photo by Rebecca Zenefski '09

The Most Reverend Harry J. Flynn, archbishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of St.Paul and Minneapolis, received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the College of St. Catherine in May.



Becoming a University


THE COLLEGE of St. Catherine will become St. Catherine University as of June 2009. President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, announced the name September 11 before faculty, students and staff assembled at The O'Shaughnessy for the annual Opening Convocation.

"We chose as our name the one that is most simple, most clear, most elegant,"she said in a speech that drew applause and a standing ovation. "We chose the name that pays immediate and first attention to what signals our promise of excellence to everyone who hears it."

The Board of Trustees selected the new name in a unanimous voice vote on August 28. The President and her Cabinet opted to hold the announcement for two weeks because of the symbolism and power of announcing it during Opening Celebration, but also because local media were occupied by the Republican National Convention held in St. Paul during early September.

The story was released first to The Catholic Spirit, the Archdiocesan newspaper that publishes on Thursdays, and was followed by stories on Friday, September 12, in the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, as well as on Minnesota Public Radio.

In May, the Board voted unanimously to rename the College a university and directed administrators to make a recommendation for the new name. Their firm directive: "St. Catherine" had to be part of any option.

The other four options considered were St. Catherine's University, the University of St. Catherine, Saint Catherine of Alexandria University and the University of Saint Catherine of Alexandria.

Many people were consulted about the new name, including College Council, several Sisters of St. Joseph, alumnae, and faculty and staff. "We looked for a compelling rationale and a sense of rightness. A fit," Sister Andrea said. "This would be an important decision but not a highly controversial one. Our beloved St. Catherine would be in there no matter what."

LEARN MORE @ stkate.edu/future

Photo by Andy Ferron

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SPEAKING OUT

Obah's Keynote in Nigeria Celebrates Reading

Thelma Obah, director of the O'Neill Center for Academic Development, will deliver the keynote address at the 11th Biennial Conference and Silver Jubilee Celebration of the Reading Association of Nigeria (RAN) October 8 at the University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

RAN promotes critical reading literacy in Nigeria. "It's an honor to be recognized as one who helped in the association's formative years," says Obah, a RAN founder who hails from Jamaica and lived in California. She spent 20 years in Nigeria, her husband's home, before returning to the United States. "I can remind them of where we've been, and point to the future with some ideas that I bring from St. Catherine."

She applauds RAN's success – increasing the interest in, knowledge of and advocacy for the teaching and learning of reading and writing in Nigeria – and urges continued strong efforts "to help our children succeed in literacy and in life."

Photo by Rebecca Zenefski '09


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