Thursday, May 1, 2008

Saint Mary's commencement ceremonies are May 10

On Saturday, May 10, the Winona campus of Saint Mary’s will host two commencement ceremonies to mark the end of the academic year.

The Winona campus undergraduate commencement will begin at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium; approximately 250 students will participate in the commencement ceremony. Student perspectives will be offered by this year's Outstanding Male and Female Seniors, Kevin Black and Anastacia Sontag.

Saint Mary’s will also award an honorary doctorate to Dr. Jon Kabara, a 1948 alumnus from Galena, Ill. Dr. Kabara has dedicated his life to medical research. He served as a professor at the University of Detroit and later Michigan State University for more than 30 years. In 1969, he helped establish the first affiliated school of osteopathic medicine at a major university (Michigan State). An expert in the field of dietary fats and oils, Dr. Kabara has been awarded more than 16 U.S. and foreign patents and is credited with more than 200 publications, including eight books. In 2005, Dr. Kabara and his wife, Betty, began their commitment of supporting the growth of entrepreneurship at SMU. Through a transformational gift, they established the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

Approximately 560 students will participate in the Winona campus School of Graduate and Professional Programs commencement, beginning at 4 p.m. in the gymnasium. Degrees will be conferred in the following areas: graduate certificate in Instruction, M.A. Instruction, M.A. International Business, M.A. Pastoral Administration, M.A. Pastoral Ministries, M.A. Philanthropy and Development, M.S. in Geographic Information Science, and M.Ed. Teaching and Learning. Student perspectives will be offered by Beverly Koopman, M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, and Ryan Hughes, M.S. in Geographic Information Science.

Receptions on the plaza will follow both ceremonies. In case of inclement weather, the receptions will be held in Gostomski Fieldhouse.

Prior to the ceremonies, a Baccalaureate Mass will take place in the gymnasium at 8:30 a.m.

The Saint Mary’s Nairobi campus will also host its commencement ceremony on May 10. The Twin Cities campus commencement ceremonies are June 8.

Father Steffes accepts position as executive director

Father James P. Steffes, rector of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, has been named executive director of the U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. The new appointment becomes effective August 1.

In 2002, he was named rector of the Winona seminary, where he had been director of spiritual formation since 1997.

In accepting the position, Father Steffes said “I am deeply humbled and honored to have this opportunity to support the bishops of our country in this key area of ministry as they shepherd the people of God toward salvation. I have been blessed to work in vocation and formation ministry for the past 12 years and feel God deepening a call in me to continue this now in a new and special way through this office.”

Father Steffes was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Winona in 1993, after completing seminary studies at the Gregorian University in Rome. After ordination he taught at Loyola High School in Mankato, Minn., and was parochial vicar at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Mankato, Minn.; Holy Family Parish, Crystal Lake, Minn.; and at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. He served as diocesan vocations director and director of seminarians from 1996-2002.

He has been sacramental minister at Saint Mary’s from 1996 to the present.

Graduating athletes ceremony is May 7

Faculty and staff are invited to a brief ceremony and reception for graduating athletes on Wednesday, May 7, at 10 a.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall. This event is for senior athletes who will be unable to attend the undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 10.

SMU participates in dumpster diversion

Habitat for Humanity and Volunteer Services are sponsoring the third-annual dumpster diversion. Food, clothing, furniture or other miscellaneous items are accepted.

Students should put reusable items in the hall’s lounge or under their appropriate signs. For more information, contact Katie LaPlant at Ext. 6936.

Dance Repertory Company to perform May 16-17 at SMU

The 2007-08 performance season at Saint Mary’s concludes with the Dance Repertory Company’s annual spring concert, “Dance Chronicles,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 16, and 3 p.m. Saturday, May 17, in Page Theatre, located in the SMU Performance Center.

For more than three decades, the Dance Repertory Company has delighted the Winona community with quality dance productions featuring local dancers in classical and contemporary works. This year the DRC presents a concert featuring contemporary ballet, jazz, modern, tap and hip hop.

Performed by the dancers who currently train at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, “Dance Chronicles” will showcase their effervescent spirit, vibrant energy, and technical and artistic abilities that continue to inspire audiences year after year.

The Dance Repertory Company is the youth performing troupe of the Minnesota Conser-vatory for the Arts. Company members participate in rehearsals, technique classes and stage performances.

Tickets to the performances cost $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. The Page Theatre will admit children ages 5 and older to the May 16 performance. The May 17 performance is considered a family event; children ages 2 and older are invited to attend. At this time the Page Theatre/SMU Performance Center facilities and programs are not equipped to serve the needs of infants. Tickets are available at or by calling the SMU Box Office at Ext. 1715.

Flanagan presents at conference

Dr. Kathleen M. Flanagan, Department of Theatre Arts, recently presented a paper at the national meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies held in Davenport, Iowa, on April 16-19. Her paper, part of a panel titled, “Step Dance and Meaning: Irish Dance in Irish Studies and the Academy,” dealt with the transitions and changes of governance which occurred in Irish dance during the last half of the 20th century.

Weiner gives talk at sectional math meeting

Dr. Paul Weiner, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, gave a presentation at the Mathematical Association of America, North Central Section meeting on April 26 at the College of St. Benedict. His talk was titled “Viewing the Hamming Code in its Natural Habitat.” In the talk he presented a method of visualizing a seven-dimensional hypercube.

Irish dance recital to be held May 2

On Friday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m., several Saint Mary’s students will join members of the Flanagan School of Irish Dance in a spring recital at the Valéncia Arts Center. The ceili class from SMU will demonstrate one of the many dances they learned this semester. In addition, SMU students Mary Kate Morrison, Colleen Norwell, Sarah Pflughoeft, and Sami Traxler will perform step and figure dances with other Flanagan Dancers. The group is under the direction of Dr. Kathleen Flanagan, T.C.R.G., member of the SMU Theatre Arts Department. The event is free and open to the public.

Jazz events

Dr. John Paulson and the 12-piece R & B band “Incognito,” will perform 8:30 p.m. today, May 2, at Strikers Lounge in Stewartville, Minn. Dr. Paulson also plays soprano sax in a concert 7 p.m. May 5 at Rochester Community & Technical College Hill Theatre.

SMU is major sponsor of Capital for a Day events

Winona’s Capital for a Day celebration will contain a full day of free family-friendly festivities from sunrise to sunset on Friday, May 16. The public is invited to celebrate what makes Winona so special, reflect on its Native American history, as well as discuss the city’s future.

SMU is one of the major sponsors of the event and will also serve as the rain location for eveing activities.

For more information and updates on the Capital for a Day activities, contact Deb Nahrgang, Ext. 6966, or visit or

SMU announces ’08-09 Page Series season

Compania Flamenco (top) and the Acrobats of China are just two acts scheduled for the 2008-09 Page Series season.

From flying acrobats to pigs with pancakes and from flamenco dance flamboyance to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Saint Mary’s 2008-09 Page Series promises something for everyone.

The Page Series, celebrating its 22nd year, continues its longstanding tradition of bringing world-class professional performing artists to Winona. This year’s artists come from Russia, Ireland, Africa, Spain — and straight from the pages of storybooks.

Oct. 8 — 7:30 p.m., Compañia Flamenco José Porcel; $22, $18 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush

Oct. 28 — 7:30 p.m., The Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa; $22, $18 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush

Nov. 5 — 6:30 p.m., Omaha Theater Company: Horrible Harry; $10, $5 seniors or students
* Daytime school matinee 10 a.m. Nov. 5

Dec. 19 — 7:30 p.m., George Winston; $25, $20 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush; pre-show dinner available: $20 adult/$12 children

Jan. 13 — 6:30 p.m., Red Grammer; $10, $5 seniors or students; * Daytime school matinee 10 a.m. Jan. 13

Jan. 27 — 7:30 p.m., Russian National Ballet: Sleeping Beauty; $25, $20 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush; pre-show dinner available: $20 adult/$12 children

Feb. 3 — 7:30 p.m., Acrobats of China; $22, $18 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush

Feb 6 — 6:30 p.m., Theatreworks USA: Give a Pig a Pancake and other Story Books; $10, $5 seniors or students; * Daytime school matinee 10 a.m. Feb. 6

March 5, 7:30 p.m. — David Munnelly Band; $20, $17 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush

March 12 — 6:30 p.m., Einstein Alive!; $10, $5 seniors or students; * Daytime school matinees 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. March 12

Tickets for the 2008-2009 Season

Season tickets go on sale May 27. New season subscribers can save 10 percent when they buy three or more tickets for different events by Aug. 1. Returning ’07-08 season subscribers can save 25 percent. Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 18 for the first half of the season.

New this year will be “student rush tickets.” Any student can purchase a “rush” ticket 20 minutes before the beginning of an event for $10. Students must provide a valid picture ID; there’s a limit of one ticket per student and no reserved seats.

More information will soon be online at

Gilmore Creek Summer Theatre tickets on sale May 12

The Gilmore Creek Summer Theatre will host three shows, “Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Mouse Expedition” and “The Foreigner” this summer at SMU’s Page Theatre or Valéncia Arts Center. For more information, call Ext. 1715 or go to

Employee changes

• Dr. Michael O'Friel, Counseling DOA, May 31
• Angie Sahr, Assistant Director, Residence Life, May 31
• Eric Schmidt, Director Campus Ministry, May 31
• Kristin Stoneberg, Athletic Trainer, May 31
• Charlene Tjaden, Student Development, May 31
• Michael Trewick, Men's Basketball Coach, May 31
• Carmen Aslesen, Admin. Asst., Library, May 23
• Dr. Eileen Daily, Faculty, May 14
• Dr. Peter Gittins, Faculty, May 14
• Dr. Richard Kowles, Faculty, May 14
• Dr. Milan Lukic, Faculty, May 14
• Brother Jerome Rademacher, Faculty, May 14
• Carol Shields, Faculty, May 14
• Dr. Joseph Shields, Faculty, May 14
• Dr. Pat Sommerville, Faculty, May 14
• Dr. Mike Sommerville, Faculty, May 14
• Anne Morgan, Director of Gift Planning, May 2
• Alexandra Thomas-Puffe, TC - Web Marketing Specialist, April 25

Reminder: No more ‘Campus Notes’

This is the last issue of ‘Campus Notes’ for the school year. Though there isn’t a newsletter throughout the summer, this campus is active year round. Please continue to keep the Office of Communication and Marketing informed of events throughout the summer. Call Deb Nahrgang, Ext. 6966, with story ideas or communication needs.