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Alumni in Action: Brother George Pahl, FSC ’36†

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 8:00am

Brother George Pahl, FSC ’36†

Educator, scientist, mentor, former Saint Mary’s president
Hometown: Minneapolis
Major: Biology

Brother George Pahl joined the biology faculty of Saint Mary’s in 1942. Students remember him as being a great teacher and innovator, working closely with students as he instilled in them a love of biology. Outside of his work at Saint Mary’s, Brother George was nationally noted and a much-published researcher on river biology and of radiation and cancer. From 1969 to 1976, he was called upon to serve as Saint Mary’s 10th president. On-campus housing improved during his tenure with the addition of the Ek Family Village and the New Village (now known as Residencia Santiago Miller), and the Advanced Institutional Development Program federal grant was awarded to help improve the college. At the end of his tenure as president, Brother George received the Bishop Heffron Award, acknowledging his dedication to the development of Saint Mary’s.

Read more Alumni in Action stories.

Under-Told Stories forum Nov. 18 to address Dalai Lama beliefs about education and ethics

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 2:48pm

WINONA, Minn. — The public is invited to Saint Mary’s University on Wednesday, Nov. 18, to discuss “Educating Ethics: From the Church to the Classroom” and other topics inspired by Fred de Sam Lazaro’s recent interview with the Dalai Lama. De Sam Lazaro directs the Under-Told Stories Project at Saint Mary’s, a program that combines international journalism and teaching.

The event, to be held at Saint Mary’s Toner Student Center lounge, will center on the Dalai Lama’s call for a common ethics curriculum to be taught in schools. He told de Sam Lazaro that religious leaders have too often focused on exclusion and division, leading to both conflicts and growing inequality—between and within societies.

A panel of education and religious leaders will discuss the Dalai Lama’s call to action, its implications for our schools, and what it means for our religious communities. Participating in the panel discussion, led by de Sam Lazaro, are:

  • Rebecca Hopkins, dean of Graduate School of Education at Saint Mary’s
  • Sister Judith Schaefer, OP, president of Cotter Schools
  • Brother Robert Smith, FSC, vice president for the Schools of Graduate and

Professional Programs at Saint Mary’s

Free pizza will be served at 5:30 p.m., followed by the 6-7:30 p.m. program.

De Sam Lazaro is also a senior distinguished fellow at Saint Mary’s Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership. He has served as a correspondent for PBS NewsHour since 1985 and is a regular contributor to Religion and Ethics Newsweekly on PBS.

This event is made possible by the Under-Told Stories Project, as seen on the PBS NewsHour, and is sponsored by the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership. For more information, contact Scott McMahon, executive director of the Hendrickson Institute, at or 612-238-4545.

Saint Mary’s University mourns passing of Larry Gorrell ’74

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 10:09am

It is with sadness that we inform you of the death of Larry Gorrell, who passed away today, Nov. 11, 2015, at his home.

A 1974 alumnus, Larry had a long history with Saint Mary’s, beginning in 1990. He served the university in a number of leadership roles including: faculty member, dean of the School of the Arts, director of the M.A. in Human Development program, coordinator of the M.A. in Lasallian Studies, and Performance Center general manager.

Larry is credited with founding the Arts Administration program in 1991. Most recently, he served as assistant director of the M.A. in Human Development program until May of 2015 and was continuing his passion for teaching.

A leader in the arts world, he also directed many plays on campus and with Home and Community Options and worked with the Minnesota State Arts Board.

The following are the arrangements for his visitation and funeral. Both will be held at:   Saint Maron Catholic Church 602 University Avenue NE Minneapolis, MN  55413 612.379.2758 Visitation Tuesday, Nov. 17:  5 to 8 p.m. (a prayer service will be held at 7 p.m.)
Wednesday, Nov. 18:  9 to 11 a.m.

Funeral Mass Wednesday, Nov. 18: 11 a.m.

There will be a luncheon following the Funeral Mass. Arrangements are being handled by Kapala-Glodek Funeral Home (612-378-1331). Please continue to keep the Gorrell family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. To view the full obituary, click here.

Affording Saint Marys: Pat and Teresa McCoy

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 8:00am

A college education is an investment that pays lifelong dividends. Saint Mary’s University is committed to making that investment accessible and affordable. In this series, read testimonials from students and parents about financial aid.

“Facing the challenge of paying for college for the first time can be daunting to say the least When we took Erin on her first college visit in October of her junior year, we had no idea what we were doing or what we would be facing. College costs more than 10 times what it did when I attended and the numbers just seemed astronomical. Our first indication that things might be OK occurred when we started receiving responses to Erin’s college applications (from the private schools, anyway) with congratulatory messages indicating she was being awarded merit scholarships in varying amounts due to her ACT scores and outstanding academic record.

“Early on, Saint Mary’s started to distinguish itself from other schools by recognizing her leadership attributes and offering additional funds like the Out of State Resident Scholarship and a scholarship for having attended a Catholic high school, while also making us aware of additional funding Erin could apply for in the art, music, and theatre areas. When we had questions, we got answers. Erin was made to feel like she personally mattered to Saint Mary’s from the very beginning of the process, not just as a prospective student but as a budding member of the Saint Mary’s “family.” No other school was as welcoming; no other financial aid office was as helpful, as thorough, or as accommodating as Saint Mary’s.

“One key component to Saint Mary’s winning out in the end, other than the obvious educational and faculty advantages, was the local presence of Brenda Jones, assistant regional director of admission, who met with us personally on multiple occasions, answered all of our questions, and gave us the roadmap we needed to negotiate all the hurdles we encountered along the way. She provided invaluable advice, put us in touch with all the right people, and even set up personal meetings with anyone and everyone we needed to see to bring Erin to her final decision to attend Saint Mary’s. The subsequent meetings with faculty and staff resulted in Erin’s belief that she was a perfect fit for Saint Mary’s, just as Saint Mary’s was a perfect fit for her.

“It was under Brenda’s tutelage, I am happy to say, that Erin applied for, and received, the Saint Cecilia Music Award, the Saint Luke Art and Design Award, and the Lillian Davis Hogan Theatre Award, as well as two other independent fine arts scholarships from outside the university. Because of her outstanding aid package (which also includes work study and a minimal federal loan), Erin will be able to pursue her dream of studying the fine arts at the university level for about the same annual outlay that we experienced each of the last four years at the high school level—a tremendous value to say the least!”

Pat and Teresa McCoy, parents of Erin McCoy ’19

Read what other students and parents say about financial aid at Saint Mary’s.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota to host information session Nov. 12 at Twin Cities Campus

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 7:00pm

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will host an information session from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, at its Twin Cities Campus.

All are invited to attend the event, but especially individuals who are interested in pursuing bachelor’s degree completion or advanced degrees offered in Minneapolis. Register here.

“We have offered adult education opportunities in this area for more than 30 years,” said Brother Robert Smith, FSC, vice president of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs. “Our degree and certificate programs are designed for dedicated learners, keeping flexible scheduling and quality programming in mind.”

Programs currently offered at the Twin Cities Campus include:

Located at 2500 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis, the Twin Cities Campus was established in 1985. Approximately 4,300 students are enrolled in the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, which offers master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as bachelor’s degree completion, certificate and specialist programs. The university delivers education to adults through campuses in Winona, Minneapolis and Nairobi, Kenya; centers in Apple Valley, Rochester and Oakdale; and at numerous other locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Jamaica. Saint Mary’s is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.

For more information on the open house or courses offered at the Twin Cities Campus, call 612-728-5100, email or visit the location website.

Alumni in Action: Brother James Miller, FSC ’66†

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 8:00am

Brother James Miller, FSC ’66†

De La Salle Christian Brother, servant of God
Hometown: Stevens Point, Wis.
Major: Religious Studies in Spanish

Brother James Miller is often remembered for the way his life ended. A life cut short too soon, Brother James was only 38 when he was shot and killed by three masked gunmen on Feb. 13, 1982, as he was mending a wall outside a school in Guatemala, where he worked. Born in Wisconsin in 1944, Brother James taught high school in the Midwest for several years before going to Nicaragua, and eventually Guatemala. At the Casa Indigena school, he taught English, religion and Guatemalan art to secondary students. Aware of the oppression of the indigenous people of Guatemala and their need to be trained in job skills and leadership skills, he helped begin an experimental farm where indigenous students learned agricultural methods and improvements. More importantly, he prepared native leaders for rural areas who would work for collective development in their villages. The man who died serving others has been designated a servant of God; the Catholic Church is investigating cause for his sainthood. He is the only Saint Mary’s graduate to be considered for the designation.

Read more Alumni in Action stories.

MCA presents fall concert Nov. 16 by music, theatre division students

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 4:42pm

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts music and theatre divisions invite the community to a fall concert, Monday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Recital Hall at the Valéncia Arts Center (home of MCA).

The concert will showcase the students of the “Broadway Bound” class, and a variety of private lesson students who study music at MCA. Students, ranging from 5-years-old through adults, will be performing classical, Broadway, and contemporary music and scenes.

Admission is free-will donation. All donations will support future programming and the MCA scholarship fund. MCA is committed to making the arts accessible to all community members.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, a nonprofit organization, offers programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth ages 18 months and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at the corner of 10th and Vila streets. For more information, go online to, email, or call 507-453-5500.