Thursday, June 26, 2014

Reunion Weekend draws 450

The class of 2004
Joan and Pat Costello meet up with a couple of alumni from the 50th anniversary class.

A full weekend of activities drew 450 alumni and family during Reunion Weekend June 20-22. The energy from the weekend was high, and alumni were thankful for the opportunity to connect with each other and with the university. Attendees came from across the United States as far as Alaska and California. Honored were: Outstanding Young Alumnus - Nathan Semsch '04; Alumni Appreciation - Thomas Baryl '58; and Distinguished Alumnus - Paul Meyer '64, J.D.

Thanks go to all those who worked hard to prepare campus for these events. Together we are building important connections with our alumni community that strengthen our future. Go to to view photos from the weekend.

Public invited to play in Tom Farren Memorial Golf Classic

The public is invited to play in the sixth annual Tom Farren Memorial Golf Classic Sunday, July 20. The four-person scramble will have a 9 a.m. shotgun start at Cedar Valley Golf Course. The $80 entry fee includes a Sunday brunch from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., a Saint Mary’s sweatshirt and 18 holes of golf with a cart.  The deadline to register is Monday, July 7.

This outing honors former Saint Mary’s golf coach Tom Farren and is a fundraiser for the men’s and women’s golf teams.

Send a check and shirt sizes for foursomes to Cedar Valley Golf Course, P.O. Box 1148, Winona, MN 55987. For more information, contact Nikki Fennern at or (507) 457-1638.

String camp participants to perform in public concerts

Saint Mary’s String Camp participants — on campus July 13-20 — will work on developing their skills and musicianship to master many important aspects of string playing in the contemporary era. Throughout this eight-day camp, participants will have the opportunity to work closely and intensively with the faculty to improve their skills in solo, chamber music and orchestral playing.

The public is invited to three free and public concerts by these talented young musicians (ages 12-18):

July 18 — 7:30 p.m. student solo recital
July 19 — 7:30 p.m. student chamber music recital
July 20 — noon string orchestra concert

All concerts will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the Saint Mary’s Performance Center.

The string orchestra will perform Mozart’s “Divertimento in F major, K. 138”; Coreelli’s “Concerto Grosso in D Major, opus 6 no. 4”; “Company” by Philip Glass; and “Capriol Suite” by Warlock. The student solo recital will include works by Mendelssohn, Bach, Vaughan Williams and Beethoven. The chamber music concert will include string quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Ravel.

Steamboat Days parade thanks

The Marketing and Communication Office thanks the many students (along with Bob Fisher) who volunteered for this year’s Steamboat Days parade. The Saint Mary’s float was viewed by up to 10,000 parade spectators, and the students helped create a fun, high-energy event.

News from Nairobi

By James Chege
Maryknoll Institute of African Studies
Editor: Father Michael C. Kirwen, Director

Second Three-Week Immersion Program

On Tuesday, June 17, the second and final immersion program of the academic year began. The session welcomed a host of returning students as well as six new students. Of the new students, three are U.S. citizens, including Kyle Black an Assistant Professor at Saint Mary’s. There is also a Spanish national and two Kenyans. The second immersion program features the courses African culture: an overview and Moral Teaching and Practices of African Traditional Religion. The courses are being taught by Prof. Mary Getui and Prof. Douglas Waruta respectively.

Students and field assistants mingle during the morning break.

Public Lecture on Political and Economic Situation of Kenya

As part of the first weeks activities, a public lecture was given on the present political, social and economic situation in Kenya. The guest speaker was Dr. George Outa, a renown literary scholar and lawyer. His lecture touched on democracy since the collapse of the Berlin wall in 1990s, tracing developments until the present day,  and the present Kenyan context.

Dr. George  Outa addresses students and field assistants during the public lecture.

Insecurity in Kenya and the current threat from the Somalia based terror group Al-shabaab  was one of the focal points of the presentation, raising questions on why other countries like Ethiopia, Uganda or Rwanda, who are also part of the AMISON forces deployed to Somalia, are not being targeted by the terrorists. The lecture lasted two hours with a lively and interactive question-and-answer session at the end.

Special Two-Day Course Offered for Lasallian Students

On Monday, June 23, a group of six Lasallians students began a special two-day course on African culture and African religion at MIASMU. The group has travelled from various parts of the U.S. to visit schools in Kenya with Lasallian links.

MIASMU director Father Michael Kirwen addresses the Lasallian students on the opening day.

The course was designed to prepare them for processing their experiences while visiting various schools and institutions in Kenya by opening a door both into an understanding of African cultures and religions, and a deeper understanding of their own cultural realities.  The course was taught by Prof. Mary Getui on Monday and Dr. Michael Katola on Tuesday.

NSOR helps incoming students prepare for success

Dr. Tricia Klosky assists students during NSOR.
New Student Orientation and Registration (NSOR) is the time for incoming students to register for classes, take placement exams, have ID photos taken, attend the resource fair, and learn more about academic advising, residence life and campus technology.

Also at NSOR, parents are invited to attend informational break-out sessions about athletics, tuition and billing, disability services, career services, health and safety, campus ministry, and the Student Success Center.

Remaining 2014 NSOR dates are:
Saturday, July 19
Friday, August 1
Friday, August 22  (late confirmations, transfers and students coming from a distance, no overnight accommodations for families)

For more information, contact the Office of Student Activities at Ext. 1648. Please make every effort to welcome these students and families and assist them with questions.

Students on campus for Minnesota Private College Week

Saint Mary’s is hosting a number of visitors this week during Minnesota Private College Week. Sessions are being held twice daily on 17 Minnesota college campuses statewide, running from 9:30 to 11:45 a.m. and from 2 to 4:15 p.m.

College visits are a great way to get first-hand experience of the campus, not only to see what the buildings look like, but also to get a feel for what it will be like walking to classes, the field-house, the theatre, or the library, having lunch on campus, or hanging out on the plaza with friends, etc. It’s also the perfect opportunity to talk to students, faculty and staff and ask questions about our areas of study, financial aid packages, study abroad programs, and more.

Visits are welcome to Saint Mary’s at any time; for more information about Minnesota Private College Week or to register, go to

Countdown to College to welcome 86 students

Countdown to College (C2C) students will be on campus July 5-Aug 2. The first two weeks (July 5-18), Saint Mary’s will welcome cohorts 3 and 4 on campus. A graduation ceremony will be July 18. Parents of the seniors are invited to join the celebration.

On July 19, C2C will welcome a new cohort of  incoming freshmen, and on July 20 returning sophomores will join them. These two cohorts will study on campus through Aug. 2.

This two-week program for students from under-resourced communities is offered each summer for four years, beginning just after they complete eighth grade and continuing until the summer before their senior year — helping to assure each student is prepared for a successful college experience.

The camp is free to student participants from San Miguel and Nativity middle schools and Cristo Rey and Lasallian high schools, their parents (who come the first weekend), and teachers from their schools, who co-teach with Saint Mary’s instructors, and help prepare Saint Mary’s instructors on how to effectively work with this growing population of students.

C2C is part of the First-Generation Initiative, which helps students prepare for and succeed at college.

Congratulations to Murray, Ratajczyk

Ben Murray ’96, vice president for financial affairs, married Robyn Hanson June 13 at Holy Rosary Church in Minneapolis. Michael Ratajczyk, assistant professor of business, married Stacey May 31 at Windom Park in Winona. The Saint Mary’s community congratulates these couples.

‘Campus Notes’ schedule

The newsletter will come out every other week throughout the summer to update the Saint Mary’s community on all the news and events that occur on campus through August. The next edition will be July 11.