Presidents Update

April 9, 2013

University honors those who live our mission
at Centennial Founder's Day

Outstanding Female and Male Seniors at the College, Constance Budin and Peter Borash.

This afternoon, on the occasion of the university's Centennial year Founder's Day, Saint Mary’s honored three Christian Brothers, a faculty member, a Lasallian educator and two outstanding seniors. Founder's Day is an annual celebration of our beginnings in 1912, our refounding in 1933 by the Christian Brothers, and community members who continue to exemplify the university mission as we begin our second century.

Brother Joseph Loewenstein of Bethlehem University received an honorary Doctor of Humanities in honor of his inspiring leadership throughout his 70 years as a De La Salle Christian Brother. Brother Jean Manuel, also of Bethlehem University, received an honorary Doctor of Humanities in recognition of 58 years of service as a De La Salle Christian Brother. Bethlehem University, the first university in Palestine, was established by the Christian Brothers 40 years ago at the request of the Vatican to provide educational opportunities to the people of Palestine--Christian and Muslim. And Brother Terence McLaughlin ’44 of Christian Brothers College in Memphis received an honorary Doctor of Humanities in recognition of his 72 years as a De La Salle Christian Brother, as a champion of racial equality, as an outstanding teacher, mentor and school administrator, and as an author. The award to Brother Terence was made on the occasion of the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Teresa Speck, professor of business, received this year’s Brother H. Charles Severin, FSC Award for Excellence in Teaching, given every other year to an undergraduate faculty member who is recognized by both students and other faculty as exceptional in their teaching and engagement of students. Tony Piscitiello ’69, M’82, senior advancement director and longtime vice president of College admissions, was chosen as this year’s Distinguished Lasallian Educator, an award given by Lasallian institutions in the North American-Toronto Region of the De La Salle Christian Brothers to honor contributions and commitment to the Lasallian mission of education.

The Outstanding Male and Female Senior awards were presented to students who have demonstrated the ideals of scholarship, character, leadership and service. Above all, these men and women have shown genuine concern for meeting the needs of others. Peter Borash, son of Ron and Ann Borash of North Prairie, Minn. was named Outstanding Male Senior; and Constance Budin, daughter of Bruce and Colleen Budin of Le Center, Minn. was named Outstanding Female Senior.

Additionally, every other year the Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC Award is given to a staff member or fulltime faculty member of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs who has demonstrated sustained excellence in advancing teaching, entrepreneurship, creativity and/or innovation, while serving as a model of the Lasallian Catholic spirit. This year’s recipient, Gena Bilden, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Services, will be honored at a separate ceremony.

Congratulations to all those who were honored during our Founder's Day, 2013.

Stories of alumni showcased for Centennial

Our stated vision is that Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will transform society, one learner at a time, so that faith, zeal, service and leadership – all directed toward the common good – become society’s defining hallmarks. And as a university with 40,000 alumni, we have many among them whose lives stand as examples of this vision. So on the occasion of the Centennial year, the university has begun an ambitious project to tell these stories.

Currently hanging in seven locations on the Winona campus and in La Salle Hall on the Twin Cities campus are groups of four framed profiles of such alumni. Eventually there will be 100 profiles displayed to inform, inspire and instill a sense of pride to our prospective students and their families; to our current students, faculty and staff; and to our alumni and other visitors. Please take the time to read the remarkable stories of fellow Lasallians and members of the Saint Mary's community.

Reaccreditation process begins in earnest

Members of the Reaccreditation Steering Committee (left to right) are: Brother Robert Smith and Dr. Donna Aronson, committee co-chairs; and Gena Bilden, Tracy Lehnertz, Dr. Linka Holey, Dr. Elizabeth Seebach, Dr. Jack McClure, Tim Gossen, Dave Ansell, and Scott Cowdrey. Also in attendance but not pictured were Brother William, who attended the special track for presidents, Dr. Roger Peckover and Elizabeth Childs.

As Saint Mary's begins the complex process of reaccreditation, members of the university's Reaccreditation Steering Committee participated in a special workshop on the new reaccreditation process and criteria, and a general conference at the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Annual Meeting held in Chicago, April 6-9. This year’s conference was attended by more than 4,000 representatives of more than 800 colleges and universities. Along with the workshops, the conference held more than 150 general program sessions, roundtables, and other learning opportunities.

Living Learning Community open house
demonstrates benefits to first-year students

In the effort to create a vibrant campus and transformational residential life experience at the College, the first Living Learning Community was piloted this year for first-year students in La Salle Hall. On Saturday, students in the program hosted an open house to demonstrate how this collaboration between academics and student life helped them connect and grow during their first year at college. The program of focused study and activities in and out of the residence hall combined the themes of wellness, sustainability and spirituality.

Next year, four separate new Living Learning Communities will be designed around a course that fulfills the first-year Lasallian Core Tradition course requirement. LLCs next fall will focus on the arts, wellness, interfaith dialogue, and sports in a global context. Students will live in the Saint Edward’s Living Learning Center, with learning and social activities directed by residence life staff and faculty.

Strategic Plan 2017
Teaching & Learning:
Establish active Centers for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at both the College and the SGPP.
Perpetuate the Lasallian Catholic heritage and identity.
Residential Experience:
Create a vibrant campus and transformational residential life experience at the College.
Develop, articulate and execute a new vision for excellence in the sciences for the 21st century.
Leadership Development:
Develop, articulate and execute a new vision for excellence in leadership development for the 21st century.
Online Education:
Develop and launch a national online education initiative at the SGPP for the 21st century.
Increase the enrollment and visibility of the university at both the College and the SGPP.
Institutional Sustainability:
Optimize the financial and human resources and well-being of the university.
Grow the university's endowment and philanthropic investment to support new initiatives, student scholarships, and faculty and staff development.


Brother William


Office of the President