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The College of St. Scholastica
SaintsRiseUp Safe Return

Greetings College Community,

This week you probably have heard that Governor Walz has laid out a comprehensive vaccination plan for the State of Minnesota. Inside today’s update you will find links where you can learn more about that. We continue to push on the need to move higher education up the priority list through our advocacy with our colleagues from the Minnesota Private College Council and through our own college staff working with MDH. In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of early sign up for your vaccinations through Vaccine Connector (see below).

COVID-19 Vaccine Connector
MHD has launched the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector. The Vaccine Connector is the next step of the state’s vaccination strategy to meet Minnesotans where they are and connect them to vaccine opportunities, no matter where they live or their personal circumstances.

  • When Minnesotans become eligible the Vaccine Connector will alert them of their eligibility, connect them to resources to schedule an appointment and notify them if there are vaccination opportunities in their area.
  • This tool is an important step toward connecting all Minnesotans with the vaccine so the State can be ready as the supply increases in the coming months.
  • Minnesotans aged 65+ who sign up with the Vaccine Connector will also be automatically included in the selection process for appointments at state-run community vaccination sites.

Signing up for the Vaccine Connector is easy, safe, and secureand all Minnesotans should sign up. There will be no cost and no restricted time period for signing up. Health insurance and personal identification forms are not required for signing up. Minnesotans unable to sign up online can have family or friends help them sign up online or call 833-431-2053 (toll free) for assistance signing up over the phone. Translation is available by phone in all languages.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccination in Minnesota, go to the Minnesota Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine information hub.

COVID-19 saliva test for students
The College of St. Scholastica Student Health Service is offering free COVID-19 saliva testing on the Duluth campus. In order to maintain proper distancing measures, please register for a time to be tested. Students can sign up at March 3rd Student Saliva COVID test.

  • Location: Benedictine Commons
  • Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2021
  • Time: 9 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
  • Parking will be available in Lot #7

Additional Instructions:

  • Please bring your smartphone to utilize the QR Code on the test kit. It takes less than 5 minutes to provide a sample.
  • DO NOT eat, chew, smoke or drink anything (including water) for at least 30 minutes before starting the saliva test.
  • There will be door prizes and giveaways. With any questions, please contact Health Services.

BIG SHOUT OUT to the Student Government Association who is co-hosting this event, our amazing SHS staff, and the Minnesota Department of Health.

TRIO news
The College of St. Scholastica’s five federally funded TRIO Programs invite you to participate in National TRIO Day by signing the #TRIOWORKS banners that can either be accessed virtually or outside Tower Hall 2150.

TRIO Day (February 27, 2021) is an opportunity to focus attention on the need for increased investment in first-generation, low-income students. Enacted by a Congressional Resolution in 1986, National TRIO Day is a call to citizens from all walks of life to come together to promote educational access and success in communities where TRIO Programs continue to create change.

The TRIO programs help first-generation, low-income students overcome social, cultural and academic barriers to succeed in higher education. By providing direct services and individually focused and intensive programming geared towards helping students navigate the college admissions and financial aid process, TRIO programs assist students in overcoming the obstacles they face as the first in their families to attend and graduate from college. Today, more than 800,000 students in nearly 3,000 programs at host institutions, both urban and rural, make higher education a reality for students who are often the first members of their family to enroll in and graduate from college. #NationalTRIODay and #TRIOWORKS

Athletics update
Athletics remains steady as our winter sports teams prepare for playoffs. Our Men’s Basketball (6-0), Women’s Hockey (7-0) and Softball (4-0) teams remain undefeated while our Men’s Ice hockey continues a 3-game winning streak.

This past weekend the Men’s Ski team finished 2nd in the CCSA championship as the Women finished 3rd. Three Men’s Indoor Track and Field student-athletes won their events and the women’s program is now preparing to compete in the conference championship slated for this coming Saturday.

We’d like to express gratitude towards our athletic trainers, student workers and administrators who have spent countless hours assisting with our on-campus testing. Congratulations to our student athletes for their success in competition!

Commencement news
We have had questions about spring commencement and graduation ceremonies and planning is underway. The College of St. Scholastica will be offering two commencement options for the spring 2021 graduates:

  1. A pre-recorded virtual Commencement Ceremony utilizing the Marchingorders virtual platform used in December.
  2. A Grad Walk which gives the graduate the opportunity to participate in person with limited guest attendance. The Grad Walk will take place on May 15, 2021 at the DECC, Amsoil Arena.

For more information about our 2021 Commencement and details about reservation requirements and due dates, please access this link or contact

Duluth community opportunity
The Duluth Transit Authority is reviewing their bus system across the northland for improvements and are seeking your input. If you’re interested in the Duluth Transit system please visit this link and within there is a survey:

In closing, I would like to share this wonderful story about our alum Grace Getchell ’18 who is certainly living out our Benedictine values and making a big impact through her work with citizens of hurricane-ravaged Honduras:

Have a wonderful weekend. Be safe and stay well,

President McDonald