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. This year, the launch of LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence presented a new, remarkable opportunity to support our students, their futures, and the enduring legacy of this institution. We are deeply grateful to donors like you, whose investment in the campaign has already created lasting impact and enabled us to continue providing access to an education that powers lives of meaning for students.
LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence
Instilling the Legacy of Excellence for Generations to Come
Excellence has been at the core of our work to achieve the St. Catherine mission since our inception, and is the epicenter of the $130 million University campaign we launched this spring. LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence is our commitment to further powering lives of meaning and preparing intelligent, bold, strong women to lead our world and influence change. To date, our supporters have generously invested nearly $80 million toward this goal, creating a lasting impact that will be felt by students for generations to come. This campaign will instill the next level of excellence into scholarships and programs for students, training and opportunities for faculty, maintenance and preservation of our beautiful campus, and support in the annual needs of students through the Katie Fund. St. Catherine University is the largest private women’s university in the nation and is poised to become an even stronger force for women’s education. Your support and investment in our students directly inform our success in achieving this goal. Thank you for being part of our St. Kate’s community and our powerful future.
Powering Lives of Meaning Through Access to a St. Kate’s Education
Access to an affordable education is one of most pressing issues for today’s students. With both tuition and student loan debt rising, students are left to make difficult financial choices that impact them for years to come. That is why paying it forward and investing in Katies through gifts to scholarship funds can a make a big difference. Currently, St. Kate’s awards 300 named scholarships annually —a number we hope to double through LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence, starting with the inaugural awarding of the Oedbauer Family Scholarship this past year. Established by nursing alumna Rose Oedbauer Gustafson ’43 in honor of her parents and her three sisters —also St. Kate’s nursing alumnae —the Oedbauer Family Scholarship Fund continues the family’s legacy and helps a Katie claim their education. These scholarships increase student access to a St. Kate’s education while reducing their financial burden so they can complete their degrees and increase their earning power. Thanks to the generosity of Rose Oedbauer Gustafson and our many other investors, St. Kate’s median undergraduate student debt for 2019 graduates was $27,389 —less than one year’s tuition and lower than the Minnesota college nonprofit average of $28,046. Our deep gratitude to Rose and all of our donors!
Driving Academic Innovation and Excellence
Faculty expertise, development, and innovation are central to creating cutting-edge curriculum and programs that attract students and graduate them into in-demand careers. This past year, two generous gifts to St. Kate’s created new opportunities for this type of innovation while honoring two incredible women committed to women’s education. St. Catherine University trustee Brenda Grandstrand Woodson ’80, JD, made a $2 million gift to establish the Mary Alice Muellerleile English Endowed Chair, which will advance the University’s rich English curriculum and illuminate the discipline’s continued relevance. The James J. Hill Center contributed $1 million to fund the Mary T. Hill Director of Data Science for three years. This position will lead data science programs that will meet the growing demand for research and data analysts, while deepening students’ understanding of social responsibility and practice of ethical leadership. Both are lead gifts in LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence, exemplifying just how vital investment in our faculty is to ensuring that our legacy of academic excellence continues, a priority that remains at the forefront of achieving our mission.
Fostering a Vibrant Campus and Classrooms
The Sisters of St. Joseph have always understood the importance of the physical learning environment in educating the whole person. As a result, the 1920s brought two iconic spaces to St. Kate’s with the opening of Our Lady of Victory Chapel and Mendel Hall. The Chapel, central to the student experience since its opening in 1924, has provided the St. Kate’s community a place for peace and reflection, key parts of the Catholic intellectual tradition, while hosting the University’s most sacred traditions. In 1927, St. Kate’s continued its legacy of being a forerunner in women’s education with the opening of Mendel and a space dedicated to women studying the sciences, which was highly unusual for the time. The University’s first chemistry graduate in 1933 launched a longstanding St. Catherine tradition of our science alumni going on to medical and dental school, conducting research, and entering professional careers in their industries. Investing in our campus provides access to cutting-edge classrooms and technology, as well as spaces for reflection —both of which are foundational to a liberal arts education. We are especially thankful for the Sisters’ generous lead gift of the Minneapolis campus, which provides the opportunity to invest in upgrading labs and technology, purchasing new equipment, and restoring key equipment and building features.
Meeting Student Needs and Embracing New Opportunities
St. Kate’s currently provides $2.7 million in institutional endowed and annual scholarship funds. While these funds offer financial relief for Katies, many still experience financial gaps and needs throughout the year. The Katie Fund, the University’s annual giving and emergency fund, provides the additional financial support our students need to meet gaps in tuition, access to technology and resources, and more. The generous support of President’s Forum members and our other caring donors who made gifts to the Katie Fund, through general contributions or during our two special days of giving, yielded remarkable funds for our Katies in need. In November, Give to St. Kate’s Day raised $526,174 from 877 generous donors, and in February, the Give to Honor Her campaign honored 600 inspirational women while raising nearly $45,000. The Katie Fund was especially critical this year in meeting the sudden and immediate needs of students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Special thanks to all of our Katie Fund donors who support students in need and make it possible for them to complete their degrees.
Alumni Give Back Through Time and Talent
“The lessons of creating community, relationship-building, and the philosophy of serving and social justice stayed with me throughout my different adventures, while I was in school and beyond,” says Mee Cheng ’05. The dedication of Cheng and our many other alumni volunteers underscores the community-building legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and the power of volunteerism: through service to others, we grow our collective strength as a community. This past year, our generous alumni gave their time and talent in the new Katie Volunteer Program, which blends new programming with beloved favorites such as residence hall move-in day Movers and Shakers, The Reflective Woman student-alumni interviews, and community-wide day of giving Citizen Katie. The program also launched opportunities that include University focus group participation, speaker roles at University and faculty events, Katie2Katie alumni connection, and Katie Outreach Volunteers. St. Kate’s volunteers —whether alumni, employees, friends, or family —support this rich variety of essential University activities, all of which allow us to present meaningful, impactful opportunities that are unique to the interests and skills of each member of our alumni community. Thank you to these volunteers, a record-breaking 656all listed below, who gave back to St. Kate's by donating their time, energy, and connections, and fostering Forever St. Catherine.
This tribute recognizes those who made gifts, pledges, and/or volunteered during fiscal year 2020 (June 1, 2019–May 31, 2020). Donors and volunteers are listed in alphabetical order by last name.
We have made every attempt to ensure the accuracy of the donor records; however, if your name has been mistakenly omitted, misspelled, or misplaced, please accept our apologies and contact Institutional Advancement at 651-690-6836.