February 2010 cover SCAN - St. Catherine University St. Catherine University
June 2009
 
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Andrea J. Lee, IHM

From the President

Dear Friends,

No surprise — it’s snowing in Minnesota, snowing a lot! The Eastern Seaboard and south central United States are blanketed as well, and California has just endured a monsoon of unrelenting rain. For all the inconvenience it causes — travel delays, missed classes, difficult driving and snow removal budgets scraped dry — the difficult weather pales in comparison to the great suffering of Haiti’s people.

The Haitian earthquake has been very much in our minds. We appealed to faculty, staff and students and are matching their generous gifts, to be divided among Catholic Relief Services and several smaller charities where we have personal connections with St. Catherine people. I know our alumnae/i are responding generously as well.

What is most important, though, is what will happen in Haiti after the media blitz quiets down and life in the United States returns to normal. I’ve been thinking a lot about that, not only because my son is Haitian, but because it pulls me into deep reflection about the "transformational education" and "social responsibility" of which we speak in the St. Catherine mission statement.

Certainly not every graduate will work in a developing country; nor will everyone have the means to make large charitable contributions to aid in their development. If our mission means anything, however, our graduates must understand and act upon the core values that undergird education at St. Catherine University. I know they do and they will.

Our graduates — in myriad ways and places — do just that. They lead and influence in their places of employment, in their churches and communities, in their volunteer work and, most important, within their families. Some are engaged in direct public service; others actually work in developing countries; others lead as scientists, corporate and not-for-profit leaders, teachers and healthcare professionals. As volunteers, they serve on boards, commissions, committees and councils. They are raising or have raised the generation on which we will depend to save our planet.

Whether it is an undergraduate nurse or teacher; a master’s graduate in library science, social work or physical therapy; or an "academic beginner" in one of our associate degree programs, every St. Catherine student knows the profound expectations of their professors, administrators and trustees. Every student knows something of what the Sisters of St. Joseph imagined when they built this institution. On difficult days, when snow and a million other things pile high, that realization brings deep satisfaction and a burst of new energy.

This issue of SCAN offers a glimpse of some exciting initiatives included in our 2020 Vision: Strategic Plan, approved by the Board of Trustees last October: our groundbreaking STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiative viewed through the eyes of EcoSTARS, which expanded this year into two urban schools; a beautiful story on "Breaking the Veils," a critically acclaimed art exhibit showcasing the work of Muslim women; a thoughtful piece on women and philanthropy, with concrete examples of how our donors are changing lives and enhancing opportunities for St. Catherine students. And, oh, be sure not to miss the historical and contemporary portrait of Whitby/College Hall, another sign that St. Catherine University is both connected to a splendid heritage and solidly focused on its future.

Good thing — the world needs competent, creative and committed people more than ever!

Thanks for all your help in enabling St. Catherine University to become its best self. May bad weather melt into the most lovely of springs, and may this Lent be a blessed season for you. You are always in my prayers. E-mail me at ajlee@stkate.edu or stop by if you are in town. I’d love to see you and chat.

Andrea J. Lee, IHM
President

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Mission Statement

St. Catherine University educates students to lead and influence. Inspired by its visionary founding in 1905 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, more than a century later the University serves diverse students, with a baccalaureate college for women at its heart and graduate and associate programs for women and men.

At all degree levels, St. Catherine integrates liberal arts and professional education within the Catholic tradition, emphasizing intellectual inquiry and social teaching, and challenging students to transformational leadership. Committed to excellence and opportunity, St. Catherine University develops ethical, reflective and socially responsible leaders, informed by the philosophy of the women’s college and the spirit of the founders

Vision Statement

To be a leading Catholic university distinguished by its innovative spirit and premier baccalaureate College for women.