July 23 Safe Return update
With August around the corner, we are preparing for our return this fall with much hope and enthusiasm! We will continue to strongly encourage all to get vaccinated to ensure our ongoing safety as a community of learners and educators. In a couple of weeks we’ll begin to see our student athletes return as the fall MIAC season approaches. We will be offering vaccination clinics on site as students move into residential halls and return to the Duluth community. Our vaccination rates continue to climb favorably. As you have read in the news, the Delta variant continues to be a strong concern among unvaccinated populations so our efforts to encourage vaccinations will continue to be a critical focus of our communication. Please continue to visit css.edu/safereturn to remain informed of our COVID-19 updates; you can expect to see some changes to our existing FAQ page in the coming weeks.
Some good news to share with you all this week:
College Advancement update
Fiscal year 2021 ended on June 30 with many positives to report from College Advancement. Last year, the College received $6.6 million in new government and foundation grants (not including CARES and HEERF funding), the largest total in the College’s history. In addition, the College added $4.3 million in private gifts and pledges, the largest total in six years. These dollars are critical to the College in supporting programs, facilities, scholarships, and new initiatives. Congratulations to the College Advancement team for a record-setting year!
Student-athletes will be returning to campus in August for their fall pre-season training. We are excited to have them, and the energy they bring, back soon. MIAC competition will kick off with Men’s Soccer at St. John’s on Wednesday, September 1.
The academic honors keep coming in for our Saints teams and athletes for the 2020-21 school year. Dana Moore’s Volleyball program earned its second consecutive AVCA Team Academic Award. Additionally, the Volleyball program made the AVCA Academic Honor Roll by finishing in the top 20% of team GPAs in NCAA Division III. Our Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams led by Wells Patten were both named All-Academic Teams by the ITA for the seventh time. A total of 15 CSS tennis players (8 men, 7 women) were recognized as ITA Scholar-Athletes.
Six student-athletes have earned Academic All-District distinction from CoSIDA, which is the most since 2014-15. Mitchell Adrian (Football), Liana Blomgren (Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field), Madissen Burns (Volleyball), Hannah Johnson (Women’s Golf), Ryan Steger (Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field), and Taylor Tran (Men’s Soccer) have all been recognized. Mitchell Adrian became the football program’s 10th CoSIDA Academic All-American earning Second Team laurels.
Women’s Golf senior Hannah Johnson was one of 535 nominees for the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Next, conference offices will select their nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year. Each conference nominee will be notified by the NCAA, and all conference-round nominees will be announced in August.
Congratulations to Merissa Edwards on assuming the role of Interim Athletic Director! And congratulations and kudos to Stacy Deadrick in recognition for her decades-long coaching career with the Saints Women’s Basketball program as she steps down from coaching to assume more responsibilities in athletics administration. #SaintsRiseUp!
Great news! The College is preparing to disburse over $3.2 million in Federal HEERF3 (American Rescue Plan) funding to students who were enrolled as of the spring 10-day census. This funding is intended to cover “Cost of Attendance” or emergency costs related to tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental) or child care expenses related to spring semester; and will be paid directly to the student. The disbursement of these funds will occur the week of July 30, 2021, with awards ranging from $725-$1,300 per student (depending upon financial need).
The College has joined a national effort to double the maximum Pell Grant from $6,495 to $13,000. This federal grant helps low-income and first-generation students have equitable access to higher education which has a profound impact on many of our Saints. Additionally, we know that the pandemic has impacted low-income families especially hard. Doubling the Pell will help keep these students in school and on track to serve and transform their communities after graduation. Please consider contacting Congress to advocate on behalf of our students. This site https://doublepell.org/take-action/ has a letter template you can use and graphics to express your support on social media. Thanks in advance for amplifying this effort and helping to make a difference for our Saints!
We look forward to welcoming you all back and celebrating a new academic year. We have much to be thankful for and much to be proud of as we emerge from the pandemic. Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer! Stay well and be safe.