June 2009 Cover SCAN - St. Catherine University St. Catherine University
June 2009
 
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Andrea J. Lee, IHM

From the President's Office


This spring has been a season of firsts and lasts, of new beginnings and bittersweet endings. On the first day of June, in the company of several hundred colleagues, I proudly cut a braided purple-and-gold ribbon strung across the main entrance to St. Catherine University.

What a momentous day!

We gathered beside the historic iron gates, refurbished in May and reconfigured to say simply "Saint Catherine." To my left stood our new monument sign featuring the magnificent rose window from Our Lady of Victory Chapel, the symbol we have chosen for our University's new logo. Before me were the people who, in countless ways, represent the heart and soul of this institution. And then, to the rhythmic invitation and accompaniment of drums, we walked, together—the Sisters of St. Joseph, trustees, deans and vice presidents, alumnae and faculty, staff members and students—up the hill toward our future, in much the same way as the founding Sisters did 104 years ago, minus the snow and cold, of course! Later that day, hundreds of alumnae and friends gathered for a splendid liturgy and grand celebration.

"Becoming a university offers a rare opportunity to encompass a history of which we are justifiably proud and the prospect of an exciting future."
I've had many opportunities to explain why I believe this transition to St. Catherine University is wise and right. Becoming a university offers a rare opportunity to encompass a history of which we are justifiably proud and the prospect of an exciting future.We remain firmly committed to the education of women and to the values this commitment implies: collaboration, respect for diverse voices and perspectives, and challenging conventional norms while adhering to the highest academic standards. We believe, as do the men in our associate and graduate programs, that these values serve our students and the world well.

The college for women that the Sisters founded remains the heart and soul of St. Catherine University. Our new vision affirms it: "to be a leading Catholic university distinguished by its innovative spirit and premier baccalaureate college for women."

We celebrate our new vision in this issue of SCAN, as we close the final chapter of a glorious history as the College of St. Catherine and step into our future as St. Catherine University. Faculty, alumnae, students and trustees offer warm words of welcome to our newly named institution, a name that "more clearly describes the nature of St. Catherine today," in the words of Board Chair Mark Chronister.We hear from a student who calls the name change "a natural step" and from an alumna and professor who notes how St. Kate's, by any name, always feels like home. A staff member speaks movingly of his "personal and professional transformation"during the decade he has worked at St. Catherine. A popular professor lauds her years here as ones of "remarkable change and growth."

As I reflect on the process that led to this change—the deliberations, the hard questions, the challenges and collaboration, the widespread conversations among many—I find myself returning again and again to the lovely image of the rose window, the symbol that represents both our future and our past. Our logo symbolizes the best of St. Catherine—a century of strength grounded in our Catholic/CSJ tradition, a creative and collaborative learning community, and a translucent window onto a world of limitless opportunity for our students.

Welcome to St. Catherine University.

Andrea J. Lee, IHM

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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.