Yesterday's announcement from Governor Walz represents a hopeful turning point in our "path back to normal." The State's three-step timeline is poised to end nearly all COVID-19 restrictions by May 28 and end the statewide mask mandate once 70% of Minnesotans age 16 and up have received the vaccine — hopefully by July 1. This news will inevitably impact institutions of higher education and our own fall planning efforts for our campuses. We anticipate receiving revised recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, we must remain vigilant and continue our good efforts in physical distancing, masking and frequent handwashing; these efforts have had a meaningful impact on ourselves and the people we care about. We also encourage all eligible members of our community to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an act of charity and solidarity with others. We will continue to share vaccine opportunities as they arise, and recommend Minnesotans bookmark this site to find a vaccine provider in your area.
As our spring semester comes to a close, there is much to look forward to! I want to sincerely thank the Fall Planning Task Force for their discernment and recommendations. Next week I will be issuing an announcement about our anticipated fall return, based on these recommendations. We are excited, and at the same time, being very thoughtful about welcoming employees and students back to a "more normal" teaching, learning and work environment!
It was another successful week for the Saints as the UMAC conference announced numerous honors. Congratulations to Rachel Gray who was named UMAC Coach of the Year along with Hannah Johnson UMAC Player of the Year and Anna Lindeman UMAC Rookie of the Year. Johnson, Lindeman, Olivia Wright and Hannah Garcia were also named first team All-UMAC along with Men's Golfer Anthony Aherns who was also named to the first team while Sam Long and Liam Butche were awarded honorable mention. The UMAC also announced the following individuals as player of the week: Morgan Friday (Women's Soccer), Jake Schelonka (Baseball), Olivia Howe (Softball), Haley Rosenthal (Softball: Pitcher of the Week), Calvin Boone (Men's Outdoor Track), Jake Bonasera (Men's Outdoor Field).
Women's Soccer (8-0 overall/7-0 conference), Softball (32-6 overall/15-1 conference) and Men's Tennis (9-4 overall/ 6-0 conference) secured the UMAC Regular Season Championship honor. Men's Tennis finished as the #1 seed and will be hosting UMAC Championship Friday. Women's soccer finished as the #1 seed and will be hosting the UMAC Championship on Saturday while Men's soccer (5-3 overall/ 5-2 conference) will be hosting the UMAC consolation contest on Saturday as well. Women's Tennis will be seeded at #2 entering the UMAC championship contest while Track and Field will be traveling to Morris for the UMAC Championship this weekend. Baseball currently sits at second place in the conference with a 15-5 (overall) and 11-3 (Conference) record with several games still remaining.
Next week, nationally ranked Softball will be hosting UMAC Championship as the #1 seed (May 13) while Women's Golf prepares to travel to Michigan for the NCAA Golf Championship (May 11). Good luck ladies!
A huge shout out to all who were involved in virtual celebrations highlighting undergraduate and graduate projects, research collaborations, special ceremonies, and award winners these past few weeks. We are so blessed to have such dedicated faculty and staff who have made enormous efforts under pandemic conditions to continue important recognitions of our teaching and learning impact. I am so proud of the creative ways that truly made our mission shine. Thank you for all you have done to honor our learners!
Commencement Mass will take place May 15, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in the Mitchell Auditorium. Due to COVID restrictions, we will be limiting the opportunity to participate in-person to graduates only (RSVP is required). Friends and families of graduates and all others are welcome to participate in the liturgy via livestream here.
A huge thank you to Beth LaVigne and all of the CSS student tutors for their work with Duluth Public School students. So far, 1730 tutoring sessions have been completed by 45 CSS tutors from many majors. A special thank you, also, to Elena Bissonette for her work as the student coordinator for this program.
The Student Leadership Award recognizes the academic, co-curricular and values-based leadership efforts of a graduating St. Scholastica student. The Student Leadership Award Committee has chosen the 2021 award recipient from a pool of nine highly regarded and inspiring student leaders.
We are pleased to announce that Pa Chang Vang is the 2021 Student Leadership Award winner! Pa Chang is an accomplished McNair Scholar who embodies all five of the Benedictine values. She considers the Love of Learning to be the value most meaningful to her, as it emphasizes the preservation and creation of knowledge not only in an academic sense but in a social, cultural and work sense as well.
Please join me in congratulating and celebrating Pa Chang!
The TRIO Upward Bound and Upward Math & Science programs will graduate 27 students from ten area high schools. Twenty-four of these students have committed to post-secondary education, earning over $1.4 million in scholarships.
Thank you to Amy Galarowicz, Director of our UB and UBMS programs, and her entire team for their leadership in preparing our community's next generation of college students!
The College is a nominee in the Star Tribune's 2021 Minnesota's Best poll! Please join fellow Saints in casting your vote for us in the Education College/University category. Voting will officially close on April 14. Learn more about the process and cast your vote in other categories here.
And thank you to all of you who were able to respond to our request for support of the State Grant program as the legislative session nears its end. We so appreciate your support for our students who receive this important funding!
Enjoy your weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms and mom-figures in our Saints community! You help us live out our Benedictine Values!
Blessings and stay well,