The hooding ceremony at Baccalaureate Mass is unique to St. Kate's.

Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between...

By Pauline Oo

Ceremony and ritual are highly valued at St. Kate's. What better way to build and sustain a strong community? Each May, numerous displays of acknowledgement and appreciation — from formal award ceremonies to the carnival-like Dew Drop Bop — are visible across the University. No other month is as vibrant (read: busy).

Here's a small sample:

Spring Commencement
The hooding ceremony at Baccalaureate Mass is a study of synchronization and anticipation. First, the College for Women graduates must form a circle in the center of the Chapel; then each is required to hood the student in front of her — only after she has a bachelor's hood around her own neck and shoulders.

This academic tradition is rare for undergraduate students. Typically, only doctoral candidates partake in a hooding ceremony. More than 750 students received their degrees at May Commencement.

This spring marked the 100th anniversary of St. Kate's first Commencement. In June 1913, Marguerite McCusker and Gertrude Malloy became the first college graduates.

Legacy families
Nearly 100 people — families of DupliKates, TripliKates and QuadrupliKates — attended a luncheon and talk on May 5. History instructor Kim Heikkila spoke about the Gibbs family, four generations of women who were transformed by their years at St. Kate's.

According to University records, alumnae have identified over 13,000 other Katies among their family members including mothers, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, siblings, sons and fathers. Among these people:

  • 4,685 count a sister who is a Katie — four families each had six daughters, all of whom attended St. Kate's.
  • Over 500 have a sister-in-law who is a Katie.
  • 20 male alumni have daughters who also graduated from St. Kate's.
  • 258 alums are married to each other — with the largest percentage coming from programs on the Minneapolis campus.
To see photos from the legacy event, visit the St. Kate's Flickr page.

Excellence in academics
All-University Student Leadership Awards were handed out at the annual Honors and Awards ceremony. The top student award — the Mary E. McCahill Memorial Award for outstanding leadership, academic excellence, loyalty and service to the University — went to student Senate President Renee Crepeau SP'13. (Read more about Renee and her sister, Laura.)

The April 30 event also recognized the recipients of various scholarships and departmental awards, as well as honor society inductees, including 15 students into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa.

Milestone huzza
“How long have you been at St. Kate’s?” is a common question among students, faculty and staff. Recently, nine community members were recognized for being employed by the University for more than a quarter century.

Allys Swanson, associate professor of nutrition and exercise science, topped the list at 45 years. Professor of Education Kenneth Vos is a close second with 40 years — but he heads the list of spring retirees.

Vos was among 11 faculty and staff who retired and who were feted at a ceremony May 15. Collectively, they have served the University for 237 years. To see photos from the retirement reception, go to flickr.com/photos/stkates.

Quote Worthy

“Amazing, we are graduating today, and we are prepared in our disciplines to be strong, influential women. We have the capacity and obligation to impact the lives of others. Our time of doubt and hesitation is over.”

— Theresa O'Connor SP13, baccalaureate student Commencement speaker


A nice ride

The Nice Ride bike-sharing program has included St. Catherine University in its St. Paul expansion plans. All you need to rent one of the 15 green bicycles — lined up outside Mendel Hall on Randolph Avenue — is an adventurous spirit along with a credit card to fund the subscription cost ($6 for 24 hours) and rental fee ($4.50 for 90 minutes). The bikes can be returned to any other stations in the Nice Ride system.