Friday, October 26, 2012

Saint Mary’s guest speaker Sarah Gee to provide entertaining business perspective

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University will host workshop facilitator, improv actress and alumna Sarah Gee onto campus Thursday, Nov. 1, to discuss “How to Survive and Prepare for the Business World in Today’s Economy.”

Gee, a 1995 graduate, has a unique background — serving as both a senior facilitator of MJ Learning, a full-service management training company, as well as a long-time improv actress with The Second City of Chicago (through which she has worked with Martin Short, Tina Fey and Eric Idle).

She is also the co-author of “Business Improv,” a book that blends experiential learning and the improvisation activities practiced in the world of theatre into a collection of activities designed to get people engaged and help them overcome the many obstacles and barriers that get in the way of creative problem-solving discussions.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in Page Theater, located in the SMU Performance Center. The presentation, sponsored by the Saint Mary’s Business Office, is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Saint Mary’s students to stage ‘Our Town’ Nov 8-11

WINONA, Minn. — Audiences will get a gentle reminder to not take the little things in life for granted as the Saint Mary’s University Theatre and Dance Department presents “Our Town” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-10 and 3 p.m. Nov. 11 in Page Theatre.

Written by Thornton Wilder and directed by Judy Myers, “Our Town,” is set in the small town of Grover’s Corners, N.H., in the early 1900s, as told through the eyes of the stage manager. Set in three acts: daily life, love and marriage, death and eternity, the play presents universal ideas about family, love and life that are essentially the same as they were more than 100 years ago.

This work was especially selected by the Department of Theatre and Dance to celebrate the Saint Mary’s University Centennial season.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available online at or at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

SMU Oldie Moldies to perform at Signatures Nov. 9

WINONA, Minn. — Catch dinner and a show with the Oldie Moldie All-Stars from Saint Mary’s University Friday, Nov. 9, at Visions Event Center.

Rock along to your favorite ’50s, ’60s and ’70s tunes while you enjoy a menu of house salad, pan-seared Canadian walleye fillet, wild rice pilaf, mixed vegetables, caper tarter sauce, rolls and butter, and chocolate and vanilla ice cream. A chicken or pasta option is available by reservation.

The Oldies are members of the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Saint Mary’s. The group consists of 12 talented and engaging singers and band members.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.; the Oldies will perform two sets, one at 6:30 p.m., and a second at 7:45 p.m.

The price for the dinner and show is $33 per person; reservations can be made now through Nov. 7 by calling Signatures at (507) 454-3767. Payment is accepted at time of reservation.

Visions Event Center is located at Signatures Restaurant, 22852 County Road 17 in Pleasant Valley.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Students celebrate National Chemistry Week during Saint Mary’s Chemistry Nights

WINONA, Minn. — Many area high school juniors and seniors will perform hands-on chemistry projects during upcoming Chemistry Nights at Saint Mary’s University, which will run 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1.

Chemistry Night, sponsored by the SMU Department of Chemistry and the La Crosse-Winona local section of the American Chemical Society, is an annual event designed to help students explore the discipline of chemistry and appreciate the positive role that chemistry plays in our everyday world.

Each year students solve challenging but fun chemical problems, based on the National Chemistry Week (Oct. 21-27) theme.  This year the theme is “Nanotechnology: The Smallest Big Idea in Science,” and the experiments will involve liquid crystals, gold nanoparticles and magnetic fluids.

Students will work in small teams, using wet chemistry and working with chemical instrumentation in the SMU Department of Chemistry, under the guidance of SMU chemistry and biochemistry majors.

Prizes will be awarded to the teams that have the greatest success in solving the chemical problems. Prizes will include SMU scholarships of $2,000 and $1,000.

Eight area schools and approximately 50 students are participating this year.

For more information, contact Dr. Brett Bodsgard at (507) 457-6972.

Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona announces application dates

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona program is once again setting age requirements for applicants this year.

With more families asking for help and a smaller number of people who are in a position to donate, the program is once again being adapted. The program’s main priority is to provide gifts to children 18 years of age and younger and individuals 60 years of age and older. Families will only be able to report gift requests for family members in these age ranges.

The annual gift-giving program — in its 11th year — helps more than 1,600 people have a much happier holiday season. The program has grown significantly each year.

Families may pick up an application form through one of the human service agencies that they work with (Habitat for Humanity, Project FINE, Winona County Community Services, Winona Senior Advocacy Program, Winona Volunteer Services or Women’s Resource Center).

Completed application forms must be returned to Winona Volunteer Services (402 E. 2nd St.) from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, and 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2. SMU volunteers will be available for assistance on these dates.

This program exists through the generosity of the Winona community, as well as the work of other community partners including: Winona Volunteer Services, Winona Radio and the Winona Post.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween Fun Night is Oct. 29 at Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — Elementary and preschool children from the Winona area are invited to attend the 12th annual Saint Mary’s University Halloween Fun Night from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29.

Participants should stop at the guard booth at the main entrance of the Winona campus for directions on where to park.

Young trick-or-treaters should start out the evening at the Hall of Fame Room, located in the Toner Student Center, where tattoos and stickers, a coloring station, and other fun games will be offered, and the Cardinal mascot will greet pint-sized ghosts and goblins.

From there, SMU students will lead groups of trick-or-treaters through the residence halls of the university, where they can go door to door for candy.

Last year more than 750 youth participated in this free, safe and fun event, sponsored by the Office of Residence Life of Saint Mary’s.

Get set to scream at annual Saint Mary's Walk of Horror

WINONA, Minn. — This year’s Saint Mary’s University Walk of Horror is again guaranteed to give you goosebumps. New scares are planned around every corner.

The 16th annual hair-raising fundraiser for the SMU Cardinal fastpitch softball team will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 26-27 and 30-31 in the SMU bluffs. Walkers are asked to meet on the lighted path between the SMU baseball and softball fields, where the haunted walk will begin.

Groups are then escorted through the dark bluffs surrounding the SMU campus for approximately 20 minutes.

The cost is $5 for adults, $4 for students with ID, and $4 for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available at the gate.

SMU head fastpitch softball coach Jen Miller said the event is fun for all ages. The scare level is toned down for younger children and turned up for groups bold enough to face their fears. Last year more than 1,100 brave souls took SMU’s Walk of Horror.

Proceeds from this event will be used for the softball team’s travel expenses.

For more information, contact Miller at (507) 457-6923.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Saint Mary’s to host presentation about the U.S. religious landscape

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University will host a public presentation titled, “The U.S. Religious Landscape: Continuities and Some Change” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Saint Mary’s will host guest speaker Clifford Grammich, Ph.D., the chairman of the 2010 Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies who will discuss the fact that recent religious data shows many remarkable patterns of stability over the past century, including the Catholic Church as still the largest religious body in the U.S.

The event will be held in the Common Room, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall, and is sponsored by the SMU Departments of History, Political Science and Theology.

For more information, contact Dr. Richard Tristano at

Monday, October 08, 2012

MCA receives support from State Arts Board

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts was once again selected to receive grant funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

For the 2013 fiscal year MCA has been awarded funding in the form of an Operating Support grant allowing the organization to continue to provide arts-based learning opportunities and programming to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds in Southeast Minnesota.

In 2010 and 2011 MCA was awarded funding through the State Arts Board’s Community Arts Schools and Conservatories grant division and for the 2011-2012 year MCA was awarded formulary and merit-based funding for operating support. The consistent funding support by the Minnesota State Arts Board acknowledges MCA as a leader in community arts education for the state of Minnesota.

The Minnesota State Arts Board funding will help support and expand MCA’s current programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre for children and youth. Furthermore, the grant will allow MCA to venture into new community outreach projects, expand its visual art and theatre divisions, grow the adult arts wellness program, and remain fiscally responsible with balanced budgets.

In the 2012 MCA employed 31 teaching artists, served 1,032 local children/youth, 108 adult students, and over 3,500 people attended dance and music performances and events produced by MCA.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, exists to provide quality arts education and performance by nurturing and encouraging artistic expression in children and adults. MCA’s service to the community ranges from recreational to pre-professional performing arts curriculum and programming designed to provide physical and aesthetic benefits, heightened self-respect, discipline, and confidence.

For more information about the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, visit, email, or call (507) 453-5500.

Page Series welcomes Winona native Simone Perrin

WINONA, Minn. — Winona native Simone Perrin, joined by Dan Chouinard, will present some sweet songs and dandy accordion playing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre.

Simone Perrin is a Minneapolis-based theater artist, accordionista and chanteuse. She’s also an artist and composer. She has appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion” and premiered two shows at the 2006 Minnesota Fringe Festival, her one–woman show, “Tall Tale of a Broken Heart,” and “In Hopes of Claudia” with Kevin Kling.

She grew up on the banks of the mighty Mississippi in Winona, where she learned that singing for your supper is OK, houseboats are the best way to enjoy a lazy river, and family is the most important. After school in Ohio and years in New York, she came back to the Midwest. Settling in the Twin Cities, she has collaborated with storyteller Kevin Kling on numerous projects, as well as performed with everyone from Prudence Johnson to The Brass Messengers. Perrin is inviting Chouinard to join her for an evening of new songs, stories and fun.

The audience is invited to dress up in ball gowns, suits and tuxedos for this event; gift cards will be given away for “best dressed” attendees.

Tickets for this Page Series performance are $20 for adults for $15 for seniors and students. Tickets for these events are available at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Partnership brings Polish students to Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — A three-way partnership is allowing three Polish students to attend college in the United States. The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Winona campus is richer for their international presence and participation. The Wasie Foundation, the Gostomski Family Foundation and Saint Mary’s University join to offer a full scholarship each year to a qualified student from Poland. And each year the college hosts a lunch to let the students get to know and thank their benefactors. Pictured are, from left: Vickie Cada, SMU donor relations director; Audrey Kintzi, SMU vice president for development; Jan Preble, vice president at The Wasie Foundation; 2012-13 Polish scholars Marta Aleszewicz, Agnieszka Prusak and Katarzyna Plawiak; Mike and Ryan Gostomski of the Gostomski Family Foundation; and Dr. Steven Titus, SMU senior vice president for university advancement.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Ribbon cutting held for new Saint Mary’s residence hall

Cutting the ribbon are, from left: Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s University; Michael Gostomski, chairman of the SMU Board of Trustees; Brother Larry Schatz, Visitor of the Midwest District of the Christian Brothers; and Jim Bedtke, vice president of the College.

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Oct. 5, for its newest residence hall, Brother Leopold Hall.

The four-story facility was completed in time for students to move in this fall.

Hay Dobbs of Minneapolis was the architect and Schwab LLC of Winona was general contractor.

The new residence hall is located near the university’s high ropes course and track/soccer complex. It is open to sophomore, junior and senior undergraduate students during the academic year, and will serve conferencing, camps and educational program needs in the summer.

The new hall is the first on campus to offer a variety of housing options. It features single-occupancy suites, double-occupancy suites, and two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments. The structure has 140 beds in 45 units, with a private bath in each room.

All rooms are air-conditioned and wired for cable TV and Internet access. Study rooms, lounges and a kitchen bring students together in community and encourage collaborative learning.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Saint Mary’s Page Series brings ‘Bunnicula’ to life Oct. 9

WINONA, Minn. — Audiences of all ages will enjoy the hauntingly fun children’s favorite “Bunnicula” beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre.

Lock up your lettuce! Protect your parsley! Rescue your rutabaga!

A floppy-eared bunny with mysterious habits is staking out its place in TheatreworksUSA’s spine-tingling new musical, co-written by Tony-nominated playwright Charles Busch and based on the best-selling books by James & Deborah Howe, “Bunnicula!”

Chester the cat and Harold the dog get along like ... well ... cats and dogs, even though underneath their furry exteriors, they’re really the best of pals. But one dark and stormy night, the Monroe family comes home from the movies with an orphaned rabbit they found under their seats. He’s a very strange baby rabbit who has sharp fangs instead of buckteeth, and who sleeps all day and prowls around his cage all night.

Meanwhile, all the vegetables in the house are drained of their color and turn white. Could this possibly be a coincidence, or could Bunnicula be a vampire? Chester thinks so, and he’ll stop at nothing until he vanquishes the new arrival, even if it means the end of his friendship with Harold.

Tickets for this Page Series production are $12 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and are available at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily or online at

Saint Mary’s invites community to submit ‘to-do’ lists for ‘Make a Difference Day’

WINONA, Minn. — In recognition of national “Make a Difference Day,” Saint Mary’s University’s Volunteer Mentors group is inviting Winona residents and nonprofit agencies to submit requests for service.

The university hopes to get as many students as possible out into the community between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Oct. 27. Students are willing to help individuals and organizations with anything from painting to yard work.

Saint Mary’s will supply the workers, if you supply the materials needed (paint, brushes, rakes, tools, etc.).

“Make a Difference Day” is the most encompassing national day of helping others, a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Created by USA WEEKEND magazine, this annual event takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October. For the fifth year, SMU is proud to join the millions of people throughout the nation who are participating.

To register your request, please call Chris McClead at (507) 457-7268 or e-mail by Wednesday, Oct. 17. Please include details about what you need done, how many students are needed for the job and where you are located.