Thursday, June 14, 2012

Public invited to launch Saint Mary’s Centennial Celebration June 23

This photo, taken in May 1912, is of the cornerstone being laid for Saint Mary's Hall, the first building of what would become Saint Mary's University.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University welcomes the public to a special Centennial Cornerstone Commemoration — and birthday cake reception — Saturday, June 23, at the steps of Saint Mary’s Hall on the Winona campus, where the dreams for the university first began.

The program, which will begin at 2 p.m., includes a blessing of the cornerstone, along with remarks from Brother William Mann, Saint Mary’s president, and the Centennial Honorary Co-Chairs, Jack and Mary Ann (CST ’64) Remick of Rochester and Mike ’66 and Claudia (CST ’68) Dooley of Chesterfield, Mo.  Additionally, proclamations will be read, historic items will be on display, and the flag that flew at the U.S. Capital May 30, in honor of Saint Mary’s Centennial, will be presented to Brother William. May 30th marked the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone for Saint Mary’s Hall.

Following the ceremony, everyone is invited to a birthday cake reception with live entertainment.

The Cornerstone Commemoration launches a yearlong Centennial celebration at Saint Mary’s, with events planned in Winona, the Twin Cities, Chicago and throughout the U.S., as well as in Nairobi and Jamaica.

From its humble beginnings as a diocesan college for men, Saint Mary’s has grown into a top-tier national university and a dynamic and transformative learning community. About 1,400 students are enrolled in the residential undergraduate College at the Winona campus.  Approximately 4,600 students are enrolled in the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, which offers certificate, bachelor degree completion, master degree and specialist and doctoral programs. The university delivers education to its adult learners through campuses in Minneapolis, Winona and Nairobi, Kenya; centers in Apple Valley, Rochester, Oakdale and Minnetonka; and at numerous other locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Jamaica.

The Centennial launch coincides with Saint Mary’s annual Homecoming celebration June 22-24, which brings over 350 alumni back to campus each year. This year, Saint Mary’s will honor the following outstanding alumni during a reception Saturday, June 23, on the Winona campus.

2012 Saint Mary’s Homecoming Honorees:

Distinguished Alumnus
Dr. Roger Lucas ’65
North Oaks, Minn.

Roger Lucas transferred from the University of Minnesota to Saint Mary’s after speaking with Brother George Pahl, longtime science teacher and former president of Saint Mary’s. ­After graduation in 1965, Dr. Lucas went on to complete graduate school at University of Illinois Institute of Technology and has enjoyed a successful career in scientific research and development.

Dr. Lucas was one of the founding shareholders of Envoy Medical Corporation. In 1996, he was named director, and he is currently serving as chairman of the board of directors. Envoy Medical Corporation was in founded in 1995 to design, manufacture, and bring to market the world’s first, and only, fully implantable hearing restoration device not to use a microphone or speaker. Dr. Lucas is also currently vice chairman and chief scientific advisor to the board of TECHNE Corporation. He co-founded this biotechnology company in 1985, and under his vision, it has grown into one of the world’s largest suppliers of genetically engineered immunoregulatory molecules to the biomedical research community.

Dr. Lucas has served as assistant professor of biochemistry at the State University of New York and is also currently a board member of ChemoChentryx, Inc., and Discovery Genomics, Inc. He was a recipient of National Institutes of Health Pre- and Post-Doctoral Fellowships.

Dr. Lucas attributes much of his success to the invaluable summer research experiences he had while he was a student at Saint Mary’s.  As a way to give back to the educational institution he so very much values, he currently funds summer internship collaborations between R&D Systems (a subsidiary of TECHNE Corporation) and Saint Mary’s so that current Saint Mary’s students can gain this same exceptional practical experience.

Alumni Appreciation
Robert “Bo” Rettig ’77
La Grange, Ill.

Bo Rettig proudly calls himself part of the GOOF gang. The long-time supporter of Saint Mary’s has organized an annual get-together of alumni and families on the Winona campus for the past 27 years. The event, known as the GOOF (Get-together Of Old Friends) weekend, brings anywhere from 15-25 families (equaling 35-37 individuals) to Winona every year in July. Through these annual events, several members of the second generation of GOOF alumni have been introduced to campus. Through Rettig’s tireless efforts, this annual outing has fostered an incredibly close-knit group of  ’70s alumni — as well as some great recruiting efforts for the university.

The GOOF group also created the Saint Jude Alumni Scholarship fund in 1989 — a fund that began with $3,000 and now stands at over $200,000.  Last year the fund created two scholarships totaling approximately $10,000.  It is a legacy that will continue to grow, thanks in part to Bo’s leadership in soliciting contributions every year from his peers.

This year, Rettig will complete his sixth year on the SMU Alumni Association Board of Directors, and his enthusiasm, positive attitude and support for his alma mater is contagious.  He has graciously assisted with admissions and development initiatives, volunteers each year with the Lasallian Day of Service, and supports Alumni Association endeavors in countless other ways. In addition, he has served as a class rep and class reunion chair, and has been very supportive of the Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity.

The person who nominated Rettig for this recognition stated it best: “I know of no individual who is more deserving of recognition for his contributions to further the goals and objectives of Saint Mary’s University.”