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The College of St. Scholastica

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are enjoying the summer months, the sweetness of its bliss, warmth and beauty! I write to you from Bismarck, North Dakota, where the Benedictine Leadership and Pedagogy Conference is being held at the University of Mary. In addition, the ABCU (Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities) Presidents and Superiors also get a chance to meet, an annual event that is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and strengthen our Benedictine charism in community with our fellow colleagues. Fortunately the region has seen a good deal of moisture this spring which has brightened the wide landscape. Thank you to Teresa Gurerro Guerrero (Director of Counseling Services), Krista Harju (Social Work Faculty) and Sr. Kathleen Del Monte (AVP Mission Integration) for representing us this year!

Celebrate Juneteenth

As a friendly reminder Juneteenth is Sunday June 19th and is recognized as an official college holiday on Monday June 20. EDI has put together this resource document to help celebrate and recognize this important holiday.

In addition to the resource guide the EDI office has put together, the library has put together this Juneteenth virtual book display with an excellent list of recommended readings. Many thanks to Julie Rustad, Distance Education Librarian for curating this wonderful display.

Click here to view the events honoring Juneteenth in the Twin Ports.

Ojibwe Medicine Garden

The Ojibwe medicine garden has been planted. Hurray! Many thanks to Mikayla Eldredge, our student worker and Jennifer Niemi, Native Studies Director, for helping to plant the cedar, asemaa, sweet grass and sage. All are welcome to stop by and check it out.

The next step in the process is to have the garden given its Ojibwe name. A small ceremony to accept the name and a blessing of the plants will happen next week. Many thanks to Sister Terrie for her support and collaboration in securing a location for the garden on campus. As a friendly reminder, the garden is located to the right of the bridge of the main entrance of the Duluth campus. Pictures are attached from some of the prep and planting work that has been done.

Welcome Ben Deneen, Chief Information Officer!

We welcomed Ben Deneen to St. Scholastica this week. Ben serves as the Chief Information Officer for the College and is a member of the President’s Cabinet. Ben is taking over from Najam Saeed who has been serving as interim CIO for the past 14 months. We are incredibly grateful to Najam for serving the College during a time of significant transition within the IT department. We’re very excited to have Ben joining us, and I thank the IT team for their support during this time.

Reunion is one week away!

Reunion is just one week away! I hope you are able to join us June 24-26 to celebrate our 110th Reunion on the Duluth Campus! I am looking forward to participating in my first in-person Reunion celebration since becoming president. As always, our faculty and staff are welcome to join our alumni at this event—it would be wonderful to see you there! You can see the full schedule of festivities and register to participate on our Reunion website.

Reunion attendees will have a chance to win a $1,500 Delta gift card generously donated by an alumna (raffle tickets are $20 each) and can also bid on a custom CSS wooden rocking chair. All proceeds will go to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

Saturday evening is the President’s Dinner. We will have the pleasure of hosting our many alumni, Sisters and friends who have generously supported the College over the years to thank them for their support. This year, all Reunion attendees have the opportunity to attend the President’s Dinner as well.

Remembering Sister Grace Marie Braun

I would like to take a moment to honor Sister Grace Marie Braun of our St. Scholastica Monastery, who recently passed. Sister Grace Marie Braun was instrumental in advancing the College on many levels. She served as a Professor for 25 years at CSS and for seven years during that time was Director of Food Service for the entire community (the College, the Monastery and Stanbrook Hall High School). Sister served on the building committee for Somers Hall and ensured a separate food service and dining room were included in the building for the students.

In 1975 she was elected the ninth Prioress of St. Scholastica Monastery and served in that capacity for twelve years. Her visionary leadership saw construction of the Benedictine Health Center in 1980. That same year, the College conferred upon her the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. Her guidance saw the creation of the Benedictine Health System in 1985 and in 1986 oversaw the major renovation of the chapel/library.

Please join me in remembering the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery while they celebrate Sister Grace Marie’s life.


Blessings to you all and we’ll be in touch with the next Friday Update in two weeks.

Be safe and stay well,


From President's Cabinet