Donor Tribute 2018–2019

Thank you for your generosity.

Every day at St. Catherine University, we have the unique opportunity to do work that touches lives and impacts our community and world. It is an amazing endeavor, and one that we are blessed to do with the support of donors like you who are deeply committed to our mission of educating women to lead and influence.

Individual donors

Private foundations, organizations, and donor advised funds

Corporations, corporate foundations, and matching gifts

Scholarships and planned gifts

Volunteers

Brighter Futures for Student Parents and Their Children

The number of undergraduate students who are also parents is growing nationally, and these students currently represent 20 percent of St. Catherine University’s total undergraduate student population. Because of our generous donors, St. Kate’s Access and Success program has supported students raising children — regardless of degree level, marital status, age or economic status — from navigating childcare, to finances, to transportation and safety. But we also know that younger mothers ages 18–24 are at even greater risk of not completing their degrees. To address this, Access and Success launched “Keys to Success” in 2009, an early-intervention program to identify young moms among our student population and provide them with a high level of sustained support so they can graduate and pursue careers with better financial stability — increasing the economic mobility of their entire families.

Thank you, donors, for allowing us to continue to serve our student parents and ensure they can unlock a better future.

Living Our Catholic Identity

This past fall we welcomed Sharon M. Howell, CSJ to the St. Catherine University community as the director of the Center for Spirituality and Social Justice, the Archbishop Harry Flynn Endowed Chair in Catholic Identity, and director of the Myser Initiative. In her new role, Sister Sharon will promote the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph, engage the campus community in our Catholic identity, and share her passion for working as a student affairs professional and church administrator within St. Kate’s. Through the Myser Initiative, she will continue the great work of integrating the Church's intellectual tradition with Catholic Social Teaching through workshops, retreats, an annual lecture series, and more to create opportunities for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader community to learn, connect, and reflect on Catholic identity.

As a community, we celebrated the Feast of St. Catherine, honoring our patron saint of students, philosophers, and scholars and the University’s namesake. In the spring, we celebrated the return of an annual celebration — the Feast of St. Joseph — in honor of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Elevating Critical Issues on a Global Stage

Collaborative undergraduate research at St. Kate’s is a powerful opportunity for students to become active, hands- on researchers and enrich their academic experience in remarkable ways. Every year, our generous donors make it possible for 12–15 faculty-student research teams to collaborate on academic research in more than 25 disciplines including the arts, sociology, psychology, math, sciences, English, public health, ASL interpreting, and social work — to name a few. To date, 100 percent of these teams have been accepted to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Impressively, some are called to present at the World Congress on Undergraduate Research as well. Iceline King ’21 was one such student in 2019 with her research about Afro-Pessimism in public memorials, examining memorials in the Deep South with respect to representation of Black people’s experiences.

“Conducting research solidified my passion for observing and understanding people, while giving me skills to recognize trends in systemic behavior. When I graduate, I would like to work in an industry that focuses on understanding and improving the human condition through research.” – Iceline King ’21, Sociology Charles and Ellora Allis Educational Foundation Scholarship recipient

Empowering Women as Changemakers

Zaynab Abdi ’20 lives out the University’s mission of educating women to lead and influence every day. Growing up in war-torn Yemen, she witnessed injustice and inequality from a very young age and is now committed to using her voice to create positive change in the world. Zaynab has deep appreciation for the value of education — especially for women. She arrived in the U.S. as a refugee at the age of 17 and did not speak English. Yet, during her time at Wellstone International School in Minneapolis, she became student council president, captain of the soccer team, and graduated valedictorian of her class with a 4.0 GPA. Now entering her senior year at St. Kate’s, Zaynab continues to be a collaborative leader and excels academically. She was elected by Campus Compact as a 2019 – 2020 Newman Civic Fellow, which recognizes and supports students who are changemakers and public problem solvers among the coalition’s 1,000 member institutions. As an advocate and aspiring human rights lawyer, she works nationally with Green Card Voices to educate communities about the refugee experience, locally with the Minnesota Peace Project to mobilize for change, and globally with the Malala Fund, having spoken on its behalf for girls’ education at the United Nations General Assembly in 2016.

“There are a lot of girls, a lot of people who are refugees that can do even better than me. They just need the chance to study like me — to have the freedom of education.” – Zaynab Abdi ’20, Political Science, International Relations, and Philosophy; Recipient of the Billie-Rita Rhodes Spellman Memorial Endowed Scholarship and the Charles and Ellora Allis Educational Foundation Scholarship

Diversifying Research and Innovation Through the Liberal Arts

Recognizing St. Catherine University for its strong liberal arts foundation and innovative leadership in applying the health sciences to critical societal issues, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute on Aging (NIA) awarded $1.5 million over five years to the University to develop programs that diversify the workforce that supports our aging population — the largest grant St. Kate’s has received to date from the NIH. The funds will be used to implement Katies for Aging Research and Equity (KARE), an innovative and integrated research education program that will prepare the next generation of minority women to be leaders in aging research. Students will collaborate with scientists and clinicians at St. Kate’s, as well as at the Mayo Clinic and the HealthPartners Neuroscience Center.

“This grant will provide our students with the support, education, and skills needed to conduct research that contributes to a better understanding of the complex health factors associated with aging. It advances our undergraduate research programming along with our mission to educate diverse women to lead and influence.” – Lisa Dutton, Dean of Health Sciences