Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Saint Mary’s University receives Centennial congratulations from U.S. legislators

 WINONA, Minn. — Noting Saint Mary’s University for its “strong vision, “solid foundation” and “commitment to education,” the Minnesota Congressional Delegation has signed a congratulatory letter in honor of the university’s 2012-13 Centennial Celebration, expressing confidence Saint Mary’s will “continue to amaze” during its second century.

The letter, authored May 11, 2012, was signed by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator Al Franken, and U.S. Representatives Tim Walz, Chip Cravaack, Betty McCollum, John Kline, Erik Paulsen, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson and Michele Bachmann.

“We as a nation strive to provide the type of world class education to our children that Saint Mary’s has been providing for the last century, and I was proud to recognize them for this tremendous milestone,” said Rep. Tim Walz. “As Saint Mary’s continues to grow their educational presence throughout Minnesota, the Midwest and internationally, their best days lie ahead, in the next 100 years.”

 The letter reads:

Dear Brother William: We, the Minnesota Congressional Delegation, write to congratulate Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota on its Centennial Celebration. Reaching this historic milestone is a tribute to the vision of Saint Mary’s founder, and first Bishop of Winona, Patrick Heffron. In 1912, the cornerstone of Saint Mary’s was set atop Terrace Heights surrounded by the beautiful bluffs in Winona. That founding was the result of a Catholic education movement taking shape in the state of Minnesota and beyond, which would go on to contribute in a significant way to making our citizens among the most well-educated in the world. 

In its first century, Saint Mary’s University has grown from a diocesan undergraduate college to become a top-tier national university. The undergraduate college continues to excel in producing well-educated and well-qualified graduates who exceed national benchmarks in graduate school acceptance and employment. The university is an innovator among private colleges in embracing the expansion of quality, flexible graduate and professional programs as a way to meet our economy’s need for an ever more sophisticated and well-prepared workforce. Saint Mary’s footprint has today expanded to two campuses and dozens of satellite locations in the upper Midwest, as well as abroad in Kenya and Jamaica. 

Saint Mary’s has always been guided by a strong vision to transform society one learner at a time, a manifestation of its Lasallian Catholic heritage. And in so doing, Saint Mary’s fulfills its mission to “empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership.” 

Elected officials rarely try to predict the future, but the 2012 Minnesota Congressional Delegation can all agree that with a solid foundation and commitment to education, Saint Mary’s University will continue to amaze us during its second century.

“We are thankful for this timely recognition and for such kind words of praise from our congressional delegation,” said Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s University. “Their letter acknowledges and affirms our global reach, our heritage of service and leadership, and our transformative programs. It means a great deal to us for our political leaders to acknowledge our successes as we launch our second century.”

May 30 marks the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone for Saint Mary’s Hall, the first building constructed on Saint Mary’s Winona campus. On this day, a flag will be flown at the U.S. Capitol in honor of this occasion. This flag will be presented to Brother William Mann, university president, at Saint Mary’s official Centennial launch, June 23, on the Winona campus. The public is invited to the celebration.