Today marks a new chapter in the pandemic with announcements from Washington DC as well as from Governor Walz. This news aligns with the CDC's update that masks are no longer required indoors or outdoors for fully-vaccinated individuals. The Governor's announcement includes the flexibility for private businesses and local municipalities to continue to enforce face covering requirements. For example, this morning we learned that Mayor Frey of Minneapolis intends to continue indoor restrictions while Mayor Larson of Duluth has announced the elimination of mask mandates for both indoor and outdoor venues. Minnesota's Safe Learning Plan, along with the existing face covering guidance for schools and child care settings, remains in effect.
Where does that leave us?
The College has decided to continue with its current COVID-19 protocols, including face coverings, through the weekend and/or until we receive further guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and have the opportunity to apply recommendations to our College policies. We expect this guidance to come quickly. We ask our community for your continued cooperation and patience as we monitor the situation and strive to continue keeping our Saints as safe as possible. Please stay tuned for further updates next week.
Of note, the CDC's guidance on easing mask-lifting is for fully-vaccinated people, and we continue to encourage all eligible members of our community to receive a COVID vaccine. You can find the College's official stance on vaccines, as well as a list of resources to answer common questions and address myths on our website here.
This is a very exciting time of year where we celebrate the achievements of our graduating students. Commencement marks the beginning of new chapters for these remarkable Saints as they transition into their chosen professions. Please join us for our Virtual Commencement which goes live tomorrow morning.
There is also a Grad Walk Event planned at the DECC in Duluth where students and their guests will have the opportunity to participate by school in graduation activities. The DECC has signaled that they will continue to require masks inside their facility until the City Council takes its vote later this month on ending the mask mandate.
Thank you to all who have worked so hard to provide these alternative commencement options this year; a special shout out to Michele Runberg and all of our Saint volunteers! This is a new experience for all, and we are very grateful for the tremendous lift of so many to make both the virtual commencement and grad walk possible!
The five CSS TRIO programs rely on staff, faculty, and community partners in the effort to build a pathway of educational opportunity from middle school to graduate school. The Friend of TRIO Award recognizes the amazing contributions of these partners. The 2021 Friend of TRIO recipients include Amanda Abrahamson Roseth, Katie Morford, Jessica Johnston, David Bauman and Sherese Richards. Read the full write-up here.
Of special note, CSS TRIO programs recognize Janet Rosen with the first ever Friend of TRIO Lifetime Achievement Award. Since the beginning of CSS TRIO programs nearly 30 years ago, Janet has been a steadfast and skilled partner in the TRIO mission to expand educational access and success from middle school to graduate school. A meticulous and skilled grant writer, a savvy navigator of Federal regulations and program officers, a tireless advocate at the state and national level, a connector with Congresspeople and councils, a scrupulous gatherer of data, a high energy "hello" in the break room — Janet will be missed. The millions of dollars raised in support of CSS TRIO programs have changed countless lives through educational opportunities: a summer program, a trusted advisor, tutoring for a difficult course, college tours, mentoring, scholarships, and new horizons. Thank you, Janet, for all of your time, talent, and hard work contributed to TRIO programs over the years. We are immensely grateful.
The Saints continue to find success as the spring sports seasons come to a close. Women's Golf is now wrapping up their trip to the NCAA National Championship in Lancing, MI. Congratulations to Hannah Johnson, Olivia Wright, Hannah Garcia, Anna Lindemann and Ruby Mohelsky for performing on the national stage. Men's Soccer (6-3 overall/ 5-2 conference) took third place in the UMAC Tournament after defeating Northland 2-1 in overtime while Women's Soccer (9-0 overall/7-0 conference) won the UMAC Tournament Championship with a convincing 4-0 win over cross town rival Superior. Men's Track and Field took the UMAC crown as the Women finished in second place. Men's Tennis (10-4 overall/6-0 conference) won the UMAC Title and a berth to the NCAA Tournament which will begin today. Women's Tennis (7-6 overall/5-1 conference) finished second place in the UMAC Championship. Softball (32-6 overall/15-1 conference) is currently hosting the UMAC Championship while Baseball (18-7 conference/ 13-3 overall) will be traveling to UNW on May 20th.
Once again, numerous Saints have been honored with individual accolades including Olivia Howe (Softball) who was named Player of the Week.
Morgan Friday (Soccer Offensive Player of the Year), Wells Patten (Tennis Coach of the Year), Elliot Schneider (Tennis Player of the Year), Ryan Steger (Track Athlete of the Meet), Todd Bouchie (Track and Field Coach of the Year).
Women's Soccer: Morgan Friday, Hunter Zamzow, Mara Roberts, Kayia Quam, Karissa Beatson, Elisa Gaylen, McKenzie Nelson. Men's Soccer: Keegan Chastey, Ken Pryde, Jordan Finneran, Taylor Tran, Colin O'Reilly, Zach Madill. Men's Tennis: Elliot Schneider, Jake Jolowsky, Jack Kearney. Women's Tennis: Maddy Jankila, Julia Maier. Men's Track and Field: Samuel Eben Ebai, Malcolm Lumsden, Frank Cerar, Matthew Stuber, Jericho Peterson, Ryan Steger, John Schwinghamer, Calvin Boone, Lars DeWall, Easton Foss, Alex Seiler, Isaac Kobienia, Christopher Jacklen Women's Track and Field: Lilianne Tapper, Lexi Erickson, Daya Davidson, Melissa Geisenhof, Anna Becker, Annika Voss, Megan Bechthold.
Best of luck to those who are advancing to the postseason!
The people of God rejoice in the upcoming ordination and installation of Bishop-elect Daniel Felton as the tenth bishop of the Diocese of Duluth. All are welcome to join via livestream on May 20 at 11 a.m.
The ordination and installation of Bishop-elect Daniel Felton will take place at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth. The evening before, Vespers will be celebrated at the Cathedral at 5 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in-person attendance at these events is by invitation only. However, the ordination will be livestreamed by the Cathedral and available at https://www.dioceseduluth.org. Bishop-elect Felton is also planning to celebrate Masses in each of the diocese's five deaneries in the coming months to meet the faithful.
And best wishes to those in our community and around the world who just celebrated Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan!
As we get closer to the pandemic "finish line", I can't express enough my tremendous gratitude for the ways in which you have met our mission despite the professional and personal challenges you have faced. Thank you for putting our students first, for adhering to our Community Pledge and for the ways, big and small, you have contributed to bringing our community through this crisis. The light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than ever, thanks to all of you. Please continue to encourage all to get vaccinated and stay well!
Many blessings as the academic year comes to a close! Vivat St. Scholastica!