Recent News from Campuses
Since you graduated from St. Thomas with an economics major and theology minor, you’ve completed four additional academic degrees – a master’s in theology from Harvard, a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Vienna and a master’s in classics and Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston University. That’s impressive. Why did you do it?
It wasn’t really planned. The first degree was a product of wanting to continue my education and see where things would end up. Then I got a fellowship from Harvard to study in Vienna for a year, and so I decided to pursue that a little further and ended up staying for personal and professional reasons longer than expected. When I started the joint Ph.D.-M.A. program at Boston University, I knew that I wanted to be in academia, and I knew that I wanted to be in philosophy. Throughout this time, the studies were never really a burden; I was just happy to wake up each morning doing what I was doing. I’m glad where I ended up.
Did your St. Thomas experience help set you on the path to this advanced study?
Yes, it most certainly did. In addition to the kind of skills and knowledge that I acquired at St. Thomas, my experience with the liberal arts and my study of economics really just ignited a classical desire to know. The nice thing about St. Thomas is that I also had an environment where I could take risks and maybe even make some mistakes and pursue this quest in an environment that was ultimately supportive.
You are a professor of philosophy at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university in Pennsylvania that enrolls some 6,000 students. Does your experience there remind you of St. Thomas? How does it feel to be teaching the liberal arts now, instead of studying them?
It very much does remind me of St. Thomas. It’s about the same size; the students come with a similar background, interest, perhaps potential capacity, etc. Perhaps the people who brought me here saw or kind of felt that there might be some similarities in my undergraduate education and the education they offer here. In terms of teaching versus studying, I would almost undermine the distinction a little bit and just say that I still feel as though I am studying the liberal arts. I’m just leading the group that’s studying them in the classroom and, on occasion, I do the same here with the faculty in various interdisciplinary seminars and reading groups.
Which aspects of your St. Thomas education do you wish to pass on to your own students?
Well there are the basic things; you just want to have them be more knowledgeable about your subject matter and learn the skills of critical thinking and writing and expressing oneself. But what you are really trying to do is get them to open up to the pleasures of both learning about themselves and the world, and to link that in some sense to a project of self-development as not just, let’s say, a basketball player or musician or an engineer, but as persons and then to take that project of self-development and link it up to something greater than themselves like the surrounding community, the world or even God. I say at the beginning of my syllabi that I’m trying to make each of my students a philosopher in the original sense of the word, which is ultimately a lover of wisdom, and so maybe that’s my goal.
As your former economics professor, I was of course interested to watch on YouTube a talk you gave at the University of Scranton that focused on self-interest, greed and corruption from ancient to modern times. Do you think your interest in this topic can be attributed to your training in economics?
What was interesting was the interplay that I would get between my training in economics, which seemed to rely on certain assumptions about what human beings pursue, and then to read philosophers who presented alternative ways of thinking about the human being. In the end, I learned that it is important to think economically about buying butter, flat-screen TVs, cars and so on, but what a long tradition of philosophy suggests is that we might want to resist applying this type of thinking to all aspects of our lives.
Your first book, Reading Nietzsche through the Ancients: An Analysis of Becoming, Perspectivism, and the Principle of Non-Contradiction, is scheduled to be published this year. Congratulations. How are you linking Nietzsche to the ancient Greek philosophers?
The purpose of the book is just trying to figure out what Nietzsche is up to and to clarify what his philosophical positions are. What the book ends up saying is that Nietzsche’s philosophy is largely a revival of views that can be found in the pre-Socratic philosophy and poetry of ancient Greece. One important upshot of this reading, I think, is that the debates that Nietzsche’s philosophy has initiated are not actually that new, but rather very, very old, and therefore it turns out that the study of the history of philosophy is always a timely and relevant affair.
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Highlights of the event include the announcement of inductees to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honors fraternity; the selection of students to the Guild of St. Ansgar, named in honor of the first Christian missionary to Scandinavia; and the announcement of 15 female juniors to the Guild of St. Lucia, in honor of Gustavus’ Swedish heritage. Both guilds recognize academic, extra-curricular, and leadership achievements.
In addition, eight seniors and five juniors will be honored as this year’s Albert G. Swanson and Gerhard T. Alexis Scholars. The Swanson and Alexis awards are given annually to the seniors and juniors who have achieved the highest cumulative grade point average through the 2012-13 academic year.
The Honors Day Convocation speaker will be Associate Professor of Political Science and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Alisa Rosenthal, who last spring was named the 2012 recipient of the Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching, the faculty’s highest accolade for teaching excellence.
Scheduled events for the day are as follows:
- 9:30 a.m. / Coffee reception / Johns Courtyard
- 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. / Books in Bloom Exhibition / Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library
- 10:30 a.m. / Honors Convocation / Christ Chapel
- 1 p.m. / Communication Studies Honors Reception / Torrey Atrium, Beck Academic Hall
- 1-6 p.m. / Senior Studio Art Majors’ Exhibition / Hillstrom Museum of Art
- 1:30 p.m. / Senior Honors Recital 2013 / Jussi Björling Recital Hall
- 1:30-3 p.m. / Political Science Research Symposium / Old Main, second floor
- 7:30 p.m. / Gustavus and Vasa Wind Orchestras Spring Concert / Jussi Björling Recital Hall
For more information about Honors Day events, contact the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media Contact: Media Relations Manager Matt Thomas
Last summer I witnessed the arrival of the Dolly Fiterman art collection on campus. Now retired, Fiterman was an influential dealer, collector and benefactor in the Twin Cities art scene. Each work from her collection had been carefully protected with bubble wrap and cardboard for its journey. As student assistants unwrapped the art, they revealed works by famous modern artists and intriguing pieces by new names, too. As an instructor of modern and contemporary art, I recognized a great opportunity in this generous donation: to lead an exhibition seminar for graduate students in art history using the works in the Fiterman collection.
An exhibition seminar differs from a regular graduate seminar in that, in addition to working on individual research projects, students produce a coherent exhibition with that research. Unlike typical graduate courses, having an exhibition focus in a course provides opportunities for student research to find a real-world audience beyond the classroom – the exhibition visitors who see the artworks, read the wall labels, and peruse the catalogue.
In 2007 I led a similar seminar on national identity and the historical design of printing types. The students’ research for that course resulted in a 2008 exhibition held at Minnesota Center for Book Arts titled “Face the Nation: How National Identity Shaped Modern Typeface Design, 1900-1960.” Their research is still accessible at the exhibition’s website (www.stthomas.edu/facethenation). I knew from that experience that another exhibition seminar would be a rewarding experience for students and teacher alike.
The objective of a seminar built around the Fiterman collection was for students to undertake original research and share what they found, both in the scholarly format of a journal article and in the functional format of wall labels and exhibition catalogue entries. Putting this in practice would lead us to ask this fundamental question: How does one undertake and present research about modern art effectively, engaging with complex ideas yet producing a report that is of practical use and limited length, and is coherent for a given audience? This is a question of great importance for the two traditional subdomains of the art history discipline: the academy and the museum. Neither is served by the notion that intellectual and pragmatic approaches to talking about art are strangers to each other. We would need to develop strategies and skills for integrating these approaches.
From Handling Artwork to Writing Museum Labels
For students to experience the full spectrum of research challenges, I required that each investigate both well-known and lesser-known, or even unknown, artists. For well-established artists, a bulk of existing scholarship should be consulted and synthesized in order to advance knowledge on the topic. On the other hand, for little-known artists, the challenge is not too many sources to consult but too few.
Whether there was a wealth or dearth of available information about a particular artist, students had the extraordinary experience of having direct access to the artworks themselves. Once the artists were assigned, preliminary research conducted and best practices for the physical handling of artworks reviewed, the seminar moved from the classroom to the art storage space that had been set aside in the Murray-Herrick Campus Center. For three weeks in the middle of the semester, students took turns presenting their research-in-progress and showing their works to the class.
Working with artworks directly is a special opportunity. In typical art history classes, students experience works of art as digital images projected on a classroom screen. With the actual art in front of us, we could perceive subtleties of color, texture and, of course, scale that are lost in a photo on a screen. In addition, as unique artifacts of human creation, artworks have what German cultural critic Walter Benjamin famously called an “aura,” which is lost or compromised in photographic reproductions. This artistic presence also added to the excitement of our class meetings in the storage space.
After conducting preliminary research on three artists, each student chose two artists to pursue further. I encouraged students to build persuasive arguments for their projects using ideas first advanced by Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb, and Joseph Williams in their book The Craft of Research. Analyzing the key parts of a research argument – the claim that the author wants to prove, the reasons for believing the claim, and the evidence that can demonstrate the persuasiveness of those reasons – we discussed how these parts manifested not only in scholarly articles but also in other formats: lectures, exhibition labels and exhibition catalogue entries.
Using feedback from me and from each other, students refined their arguments and entered the last stage of the seminar: expressing their research results in very different formats. For each project, students were required to write an essay suitable for an academic audience, and also a museum label and catalogue entry that would be suitable for an on-campus exhibition. Faced with this challenge, students acutely felt the differences between these two worlds. Readers of academic journals expect exhaustive research, clear citation of sources and a patient layout of a complex argument. Exhibition visitors, on the other hand, seek engaging and accessible written guidance for viewing the work of art in front of them. They are likely to skip labels that do not provide that guidance concisely. While the academic articles could each be 12 pages long, the museum labels could be no more than 150 words each.
Museum label writing is a specialized skill. The brevity and straightforwardness of the resulting text belies the effort required to make it work well. One of my favorite seminar meetings happened late in the semester, when Erika Holmquist-Wall, a curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (and a 2006 graduate of our master’s program) visited our class to consult students on professional practices of writing effective museum labels. In small-group discussions that resembled professional label-editing workshops, Holmquist-Wall guided students in revising their texts to speak more effectively to museum visitors.
The research projects that the seminar students accomplished were remarkable, and hearing about their findings made me doubly excited about the gift of the Fiterman collection to St. Thomas. I was introduced to new artists and learned more about familiar ones from the diligent historical exploration my students undertook.
Fiterman played a major role in the Twin Cities art scene, and so it comes as no surprise that some of the creators represented in the collection were artists of local renown. I enjoyed learning more about the paintings of Aribert Munzner, the prints of Eugene Larkin, and the sculptures of Harriet Bart, for example. The hard-edged, high-saturation prints by Peter Busa looked familiar in style to me, and then student Marquette Bateman-Ek explained why: Busa also painted the bright, crisp murals on the Valspar building in Minneapolis.
Several projects expanded my understanding of the artworks by decoding their subject matter and symbolism. What was going on in Miriam Schapiro’s silhouetted version of a “Punch and Judy” puppet show? Student Kate Tucker deciphered the work, noting references to artist Frida Kahlo and unveiling the collage as a feminist effort both to address domestic violence and to point to an ancestry of female artists. What accounted for the spiraling shapes in the prints and drawings of Nigerian artist Uche Okeke? Student Lauren Greer discovered that those shapes were derived from uli, an art form used by women of the Igbo culture for body decoration and wall painting. Was there purpose to the seemingly random objects – nails, shoeprints, sunglasses – that appear in Pop artist James Rosenquist’s print in the collection? Bateman-Ek explained that they actually reflect an autobiographical story of a traumatic era in the artist’s personal life.
In addition to these decryption keys, student research uncovered the processes employed by artists whose works are in the Fiterman collection. French photographer Georges Rousse is represented in the collection by several photographs of messy, graffitied interiors. Student Carin Jorgensen explained Rousse’s method of entering a building slated for demolition, painting figures on its walls, and taking a photograph as the enduring memory of the doomed space. Student Barbara Quade-Harick traced the source of Nancy Graves’s brightly dotted abstract prints from the early 1970s to NASA maps of the moon. Artist John Raimondi is represented in the collection by two very different works: a realistic color drawing of wolves and a tabletop-size model of his monumental abstract sculpture “Cage.” In interviews with the artist, student Brady King discovered his manner of addressing human emotional concerns through a process of moving from realistic animal imagery toward ever more abstract visual language.
Some students particularly impressed me with the originality of their research. Alyssa Thiede learned that one of her artists, local painter Ta-Coumba Aiken, thought of his art-making as a healing process. Thiede considered this idea not only through typical art-historical methods, such as decoding the traditional symbolism of the paintings; she also looked into the very different field of health studies to gauge whether forms such as those in Aiken’s paintings fit with what current studies have concluded about the therapeutic effects of art in health care settings. Abby Hall looked into a late print by painter Milton Avery, and made a persuasive case that it reflected influence from his fellow New York artist and former student Mark Rothko, the noted abstract expressionist; heretofore, scholars had observed influence that Avery had on Rothko, but Hall proposed that late in his life it appears the influence went in the other direction as well, as indicated by both visual and biographical evidence. Would I believe that Avery the teacher could learn something from Rothko the student? After learning so much from the students in this seminar, I had no doubt that was possible.
The donation of artworks from Fiterman has added valuable, beautiful and interesting works of contemporary art to the collections of the University of St. Thomas. The “Insights into Modern Art” exhibition (on display in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center lobby gallery through May 26) offers a chance for the public to see choice works from this collection. At the same time, it serves as a showcase of the pedagogy that this gift has enabled. The students in my seminar learned valuable lessons about working directly with contemporary art, a kind of professional training that was made possible by the donation. I look forward to future opportunities both to display the university’s modern collections in dynamic ways and to teach future students via such hands-on learning.
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Ela Gandhi, a renowned peace activist and recipient of numerous awards for her work in promoting nonviolent political change, will appear at Carleton College on Wednesday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall. Entitled “The Challenges Facing Post-Apartheid South Africa,” Gandhi’s presentation is free and open to the public.
Carleton Announces its 2013 Lindesmith Lecture, “A Buddhist Imagines Islam: Gendün Chöphel in India”
Carleton College will present its 2013 Lindesmith Lecture on Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Boliou Hall Room 104. Entitled “A Buddhist Imagines Islam: Gendün Chöphel in India,” the lecture will be given by Donald S. Lopez Jr., Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies and the Department Chair at the University of Michigan. This event is free and open to the public.
Six senior studio art majors at Gustavus Adolphus College will have their work displayed at the College’s Hillstrom Museum of Art beginning May 4 through June 2. The exhibition, !Look At That, Art Attack! Senior Art Majors Exhibition 2013 will hold an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 4.
The exhibition is a culminating event in the studio art major’s curriculum and a required component of the major. The exhibition demonstrates the diversity of styles and approaches taken by the student artists, some of whom intend to continue studying or working in art after graduation.
On display will be works by Miranda Bickett (North Mankato, Minn.), Margit Bren (Chatfield, Minn.), Karl Brudvig (North Oaks, Minn.), Leif Erik Estenson (St. Peter, Minn.), Olivia Thao Nguyen (Mankato, Minn.), and See Thor (St. Paul, Minn.).
Their works were created using a variety of different media such as painting, digital design, sculpture, ceramic, or mixed media. Each artist is represented by artwork and by a personal statement reflecting her or his artistic goals and aesthetic philosophy. Faculty from the College’s Department of Art and Art History served as jurors for the exhibition, selecting the strongest works from a group of submissions by each student. The exhibit was installed with the assistance of the student artists, and a number of the works on view are being offered for sale.
The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. The Museum’s regular hours are weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekends, 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Museum’s website at gustavus.edu/finearts/Hillstrom.
Media Contact: Media Relations Manager Matt Thomas
Gustavus Adolphus College senior Sarah Lucht ’13 has been awarded a Fulbright Study/Research Grant to Iceland for 2013. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
Lucht’s Fulbright Grant will allow her to work in Dr. Jórunn Eyfjörð’s laboratory at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. Dr. Eyfjörð primarily studies cancer genetics and genomic instability, with a focus on breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. Lucht says that she will be researching full-time on a few different studies in the laboratory, most likely related to breast cancer gene mutations.
“I am really excited about gaining hands-on experience doing cancer research, as I plan to attend Harvard School of Public Health after completing the Fulbright to obtain a Masters in Epidemiology focused on cancer epidemiology and prevention,” Lucht said. “I am hopeful that my experiences in Iceland will supplement my graduate studies well and provide me with an important base of knowledge as I go forward.”
Lucht has spent the past four years at Gustavus building up that base of knowledge. The Brooklyn Center, Minn., native is scheduled to graduate this spring with a double major in biochemistry & molecular biology and chemistry. Lucht says that one of the advantages of attending Gustavus has been the close and quality interaction she has received from several of her professors.
“Dr. Amanda Nienow from the Chemistry Department has been incredibly supportive of my learning here at Gustavus since my first semester when she taught my section of General Chemistry,” Lucht said. “I have profited greatly from her wise advice as a mentor, professor, and academic advisor. Dr. Jeff Dahlseid from the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department really encourages me to consider my role in the world, inside and outside of science. His love of vocational reflection has rubbed off on me, and I am grateful for every conversation I have had with him.”
Besides spending a considerable amount of time in the laboratories of the Nobel Hall of Science, Lucht is a Gustie Greeter, a member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, the Elders’ Adopt-A-Grandparent program, and the Tri Beta National Honors Society.
“With her work ethic, intelligence, strong background, and deep interest, I have no doubt Sarah will be successful,” Dr. Nienow said. “Not only does Sarah excel inside the science classroom, she has a true liberal arts mind and loves to learn. She has especially had interest in learning languages and has taken classes in Spanish, Latin, German, and Arabic. In addition to a pursuit of language, Sarah has been involved in our Peer Mentoring program, working with first-year chemistry students to teach them about science and college in general.”
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program awards approximately 7,500 new grants annually and currently operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.
Media Contact: Media Relations Manager Matt Thomas
Dr. Massimo Faggioli, Theology Department, College of Arts and Sciences, is the author of four articles:
- “Is Vatican II Still Relevant?” in Visions of Hope. Emerging Theologians and the Future of the Church, ed. Kevin Ahern, Maryknoll, NY, Orbis, 2013, pp. 7-19
- “Chiesa-istituzione e chiesa-movimento: la sfida del secolo,“ Limes. Rivista italiana di geopolitica, 3/2013, pp. 79-86
- “Tendenze in atto nel dibattito sul Vaticano II (2002-2012), Cristianesimo nella Storia XXIV/1 (2013), pp. 1-14
- “Laicita,’” Nuova Informazione Bibliografica, X/1 (2013), pp. 65-83
Dr. Michael Hollerich, Theology Department, College of Arts and Sciences, is the author of two articles:
- “Eusebius of Caesarea,” in James Carleton Paget and Joachim Schaper, eds., The New Cambridge History of the Bible: From the Beginnings to 600, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 529-553
- “Eusebius of Caesarea,” in The Literary Encyclopedia, http://www.litencyc.com/ (London: The Literary Encyclopedia Company, 2013).
Dr. J. Thomas Ippoliti, Chemistry Department, College of Arts and Sciences, had a chapter published March 19, titled “Overcoming Problems Incorporating NMR into the Organic Chemistry Lab,” Chapter 6, pp. 83-90, in the ACS Symposium Series book NMR Spectroscopy in the Undergraduate Curriculum.
On April 27, the University of St. Thomas Geography Department attended the ninth annual Minnesota Undergraduate Geography Symposium hosted by Macalester College. Eighty participants attended from five Midwest colleges that have geography programs. Eleven UST geography students presented the following original research to their colleagues:
- Joe Mueller: “Access to Medical Devices: A Case Study of Florida”
- Joseph Molin: “Quality of Life in the Twin Cities and Nice Ride”
- Chad Miller: “Where Should I Live? Analyzing Neighborhood Quality of Life in the Twin Cities”
- Fartun Dirie: “Measuring Quality of Life in the Twin Cities: Third Space and Traditional Neighborhood Institutions and Mental Maps: Gaining Insight Into the Diverse Somali Perceptions of Residential Desirability in the Twin Cities”
- Mitchell Schaps: “Wind Power Potential in Minnesota”
- Frederik Bjoenness: “Neighborhood Quality in a Global Context”
- Ryan Burke: “Alternative Transportation Clusters in the Seven-County Metropolitan Area, Minnesota, 2013”
- Nicholas Ronnei: “Mapping Isolation in Minnesota: The New Sunshine State”
- Jay Kidd and Emily Jorgensen: “Analyzing Changing Patterns of Carbon Sequestration in Scott County, 1992-2006”
- Chia Lee: “The Rise of Obesity and Its Affect on the Increase of Fitness”
Please remember in your prayers Angela Oxman, who died Monday, April 22, following a lengthy illness.
Oxman, of Regina, Saskatchewan, was the mother of Dr. Jeff Oxman, assistant professor with the Finance Department in the Opus College of Business.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, May 4, in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Public Safety would like to alert the University of St. Thomas community to a home invasion robbery on the 1900 block of Marshall Avenue.
At about 1:45 p.m. Monday, April 29, Public Safety received information from the St. Paul Police Department that three unknown suspects entered an unlocked apartment, held a resident at gunpoint, and possibly removed personal property items from inside. The resident was unable to provide police with suspect descriptions including race or sex, and indicated he may have been targeted. The St. Paul Police Department does not consider the public at risk at this time.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to call Public Safety at (651) 962-5100 or the St. Paul Police Department at (651) 291-1111.
For more information, see Public Safety’s April 29 alert. Other recent alerts, advisories and bulletins, as well as crime prevention and safety tips, also are posted on the St. Thomas Public Safety website.
There sure was a lot of Purple on the Plaza on Tommie Tuesday, and for good reason.
More than 1,500 students, faculty and staff gathered in the lower quadrangle and on John P. Monahan Plaza over the noon hour to pay tribute to Father Dennis Dease, who will retire June 30 after 22 years as president of St. Thomas.
Students planned the festivities and played off St. Thomas traditions established during his tenure, including a March Through the Arches and a clapping crowd that lined sidewalks in purple t-shirts with “Father Dease’s Farewell Crew” printed on the front and “Thanks Father Dease” on the back.
Dease walked with outgoing Undergraduate Student Government President Mike Orth and Hana member Jessica Algoo from the Arches to Monahan Plaza, trailed by international students carrying flags from more than 20 countries.
Orth welcomed the crowd and thanked Dease for his lifetime of service to the university and, in particular, to its students by listening to them and making them feel engaged, respected and appreciated.
“I have learned so much from this incredible man,” Orth said. “Never have I met someone who better defines the role of a humble, quiet servant-leader who genuinely cares about the well being of his community. He is a man who commands the attention of a room but quickly turns that attention around into a voice of tenderness and care.
“As I wrapped up my very last meeting with him in April, I thought to myself, ‘This is the leader I hope to become some day.’ ”
Dease called the turnout “a wonderful gesture” and said it underscored his pride in St. Thomas students.
“I have long believed that the ultimate measure of the quality of a university is the quality of its graduates – and ours are extraordinary,” he said. “I can say the same thing today about the quality of our students, who are outstanding in every sense of the word.”
Dease said he always has been guided and motivated by two goals as president: to continually improve the quality of a St. Thomas education and “to make sure we live up to – and live out – our mission statement to educate students ‘to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good.’ ”
The Festival Choir sang “Thanks,” which it also performed at the Opening Doors capital campaign closing dinner last October, and the president received two gifts.
International students gave him a huge postcard with a map of the globe surrounded by their signatures, and Algoo announced that a blue beech tree will be planted on the east side of the quadrangle in his honor. A plaque under the tree will read:
“This tree is dedicated to the Reverend Dennis Dease in gratitude and celebration of his extraordinary commitment, leadership and devotion to undergraduate students during his 22 years of president of the University of St. Thomas. April 30, 2013.”
Algoo then quoted a Greek proverb on a wall in the Anderson Student Center: “A society grows great when people plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.” Dease later returned to the microphone for final words:
“I don’t know about you,” he said, “but I fully intend to sit under that tree.”
Concordia University, St. Paul will host baccalaureate service and three commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2013, May 9-11, on the Concordia campus. Over 900 students will be awarded degrees, including some 200 traditional undergraduate, 182 adult undergraduates and 527 graduate students.
The commencement celebration kicks off Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m., with baccalaureate worship service in Graebner Memorial Chapel, followed by the commencement ceremony for all traditional undergratuate programs on Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. Commencement for adult undergraduate cohort programs and graduate programs are Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
All 2013 commencement ceremonies take place in the Gangelhoff Center. (235 Hamline Avenue North)
- Baccalaureate, Thursday, May 9, 7:30 p.m. (Graebner Memorial Chapel)
Commencement Worship Service
- Undergraduate Programs, Friday, May 10, 7:30 p.m. (Gangelhoff Center)
College of Arts and Letters, College of Business and Organizational Leadership, College of Education and Science
View live web stream of Undergraduate Programs Commencement here.
- Adult Undergraduate Cohort Programs, Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. (Gangelhoff Center)
College of Business and Organizational Leadership, College of Education and Science
View live web stream of Adult Undergraduate Cohort Programs Commencement here.
- Graduate Programs, Saturday, May 11, 2 p.m. (Gangelhoff Center)
View live web stream of Graduate Programs Commencement here.
Speakers and honorees will participate in the ceremonies as follows:Undergraduate Programs Commencement
Commencement Speaker: Dave Winfield was born in St. Paul, Minn., and graduated from Central High School. Not only is he one of the finest athletes to come out of the state of Minnesota, he was also one of the first professional athletes to create a charitable foundation. Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001 after a 22-year career in Major League Baseball, Winfield has spent more than 20 years giving back to his community, including the Winfield Foundation, which works to provide community outreach programs, social services to families in need, and scholarships and computer literacy programs to deserving high school students.
Student Welcome Address: Kyle Sorkness of Fergus Falls, Minn., is a Theology major and Biblical Language minor who is graduating summa cum laude as a member of the Delta class of the University Honors Program in litteris fideque. Active in most of Concordia’s theology and ministry clubs, Sorkness served as the Student Senate President during 2012-13.
Student Farewell Address: Kelsey Koch of Savage, Minn., is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics with a 5-12 Math Teaching license and a minor Environmental Science. Koch has been an active member of Concordia’s student body, participating in Christus Chorus, Tri Pi Math Club, CSP Ministry, and the Student Alumni Council.
Honorary Doctorate Recipients: David Winfield and Rev. Karl Lutze. Winfield is the honorary recipient of a Doctor of Humane Letters for his 20 years of giving back to the community through charitable work. Rev. Lutze is receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters for his personal and professional dedication serving students, congregations and communities across the United States. He began his career in 1945 and spent 15 years as an ordained pastor to Southern parishes. He then served 21 years with Lutheran Human Relations Association of America. Lutze taught in Valparaiso University’s Department of Theology from 1959 to 1991, also serving full-time as Valpo’s Director for Church Relations for the final 10 years of his tenure. Lutze became the first executive director of the Association of Lutheran Older Adults in 1992.
Aeterna Moliri Awards: Ken and Alix Behm exemplify the ideals of the Aeterna Moliri Award, which recognizes “builders for eternity,” individuals who further the work of the church and its people through their vocation or service. The Behm’s idealize the tenets of this award, supporting Concordia and the Lutheran church with their time and talents for decades. Ken has devoted over 35 years to fundraising efforts for Concordia, has been a member of Concordia’s President’s Advisory Council for eight years, and has served on the Board of Regents for six years. Both Ken and Alix spent time as members of the Advancement Committee and co-chaired the Sharing Knowledge and Faith Campaign, reaching out to potential donors alongside the Development staff.
Undergraduate Cohort Programs Commencement
Commencement Speaker: Rev. John R. Schmidtke has served the Lord as Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Mo. since 1989 where he has been instrumental in leading the church in two unique urban ministry directions. In 2000, Bethlehem gave birth to a new non-profit housing ministry called Better Living Communities, which has already built 56 new homes and is presently in construction on 40 additional homes. A second projects consists of coupling a public charter school to educate children during the formal school day with a “Christian after school academy” that teaches the Good News of Jesus.
Student Welcome: Connie Erickson of Lino Lakes is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Management and Leadership. Married with one child, Erickson has served full-time with the Minnesota Air National Guard for more than 30 years.
Student Farewell: Summer Groth is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Science. She is an ACE, ASCM, and NETA-certified personal trainer, health fitness specialist, cancer exercise trainer, kettlebell, and group fitness instructor.
Graduate Programs Commencement
Commencement Speaker: Dr. Cheryl T. Chatman is the Executive Vice President and Dean of Diversity at Concordia University, St. Paul. Dr. Chatman is active in the community, serving as a member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education and the Governor’s Commission of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. She also serves on the board of ARTS US and the Lutheran Education Foundation of Minnesota.
Student Welcome: Annette Witte-Nyberg is graduating with a Masters of Arts degree in Literacy Education. Married with four children, Witte-Nyberg is currently a 5th-grade teacher at Westwood Elementary (St. Cloud) where she has been part of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIC) team for 10 years.
Student Farewell: Cary Cunningham is graduating with a Master’s of Arts degree in Human Resource Management. Employed by Hennepin county as an HR Business Parter, Cunningham remains active by fostering dogs for adoption, serving on the board of directors for local non-profits, and organizing local sports leagues.
Award-winning music critic and journalist Jeff Chang will deliver Carleton College’s convocation address on Friday, May 3. Chang’s presentation, “Who We Be: The Colorization of America” (titled after his forthcoming book of the same name), will look at the cultural and social implications of the transition to an America without a white majority. Convocation is held from 10:50-11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel, and it is free and open to the public. Convocations are also streamed live and can be viewed online at go.carleton.edu/convo/.
Thirty-nine juniors and seniors at Gustavus Adolphus College will be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, on Thursday, May 2 in the Three Crowns Room. The ceremony is open to invited guests only.
The Gustavus chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the Eta chapter of Minnesota, was approved in 1982 and formally chartered in April 1983. Students who have excelled in the study of liberal arts are elected each year by a faculty committee of local chapter members. Election criteria include a record of high achievement in liberal arts courses and majors, competency in math and foreign language, and demonstration of a love of learning as evidenced by the depth and breadth of a student’s college career.
The following students will be inducted on Thursday:
Hallee C. Adamsheck, Minnetonka, Minn.
Erik G. Anderson, Appleton, Wis.
Meredith K. Bache-Wiig, Plymouth, Minn.
Lydia J. Benge Briggs, Grantsburg, Wis.
Katherine C. Bischoff, West St. Paul, Minn.
Zachary H. Blinkinsop, London, England
Andrea K. Blom, Byron, Minn.
Nicole C. Bowar, Rice, Minn.
Elizabeth A. Brauer, Cottage Grove, Minn.
Karl J. Brudvig, North Oaks, Minn.
Matthew J. Bye, Minnetonka, Minn.
Kristen R. Campbell, Excelsior, Minn.
Rachel M. Chase, Chatfield, Minn.
Alexander J. Christensen, Minneapolis, Minn.
Dawn E. Comstock, Roseau, Minn.
Claire E. Curran, Lake Forest, Ill.
Kyle C. Edelbrock, St. Cloud, Minn.
Hannah M. Engel, St. Anthony, Minn.
Kirstin M. Erickson, St. Cloud, Minn.
Kevin E. Fortuna, Kalama, Wash.
Samantha J. Good, St. Peter, Minn.
Andrei H. Hahn, St. Charles, Ill.
Eric T. Halvorson, West Fargo, ND
Kayla E. Hanson, Apple Valley, Minn.
Rachel E. Johnson, Minneapolis, Minn.
Taylor M. Logeais, Minnetonka, Minn.
Kristen E. Montijo, Colorado Springs, Col.
Andrea L. Morgan, St. Peter, Minn.
Anna K. Morton, Edina, Minn.
Suzanne E. Mundhenke, Duluth, Minn.
Evan J. Odean, Duluth, Minn.
Trevor J. Oestenstad, Minnetonka, Minn.
Cassandra E. Quam, Lombard, Ill.
Janella K. Reiswig, Bismarck, ND
Julia L. Tindell, Apple Valley, Minn.
Tuan A. Tran, Hanoi, Vietnam
Allyson N. Voss, Wausau, Wis.
Avery L. Wallace, Madison, Wis.
Megan J. Wika, Blaine, Minn.
Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society. It has chapters at 280 institutions and more than half a million members throughout the country. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression. Among its programs are academic and literary awards, lectureships, a fellowship, a professorship, and publication of The American Scholar, an award-winning quarterly journal.
Media Contact: Media Relations Manager Matt Thomas
Public Safety would like to alert the University of St. Thomas community of a strong-arm robbery that occurred on the Minneapolis campus.
At 2:10 p.m. Monday, April 29, a UST student reported she was walking from 11th Street through the plaza area, toward the Terrence Murphy Hall entrance. An unidentified suspect approached the student from behind. The student had her cell phone in her hand and was placing the phone in her purse. The suspect grabbed the phone from the student, then forcibly shoved her to the ground. The suspect then fled the area on foot towards 12th Street.
The student received minor injuries and was assisted by officers. The Minneapolis Police Department was contacted and a report was filed.
The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall, 20–30 years old, thin to medium build, close cropped hair, wearing reflective sunglasses, a rust colored sweater with buttons, and blue jeans.
The University of St. Thomas believes that descriptors alone are not a valid reason to profile or cast suspicion on any individual. They are included here because they may reasonably assist in identifying the perpetrator of this incident.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to call the Minneapolis Police Department at (612) 348-2345, or Public Safety at (651) 962-5100.
For more information, see Public Safety’s April 29 alert. Other recent alerts, advisories and bulletins, as well as crime prevention and safety tips, also are posted on the St. Thomas Public Safety website.