Friday, November 30, 2012

Saint Mary’s Concert Band to present winter concert

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Concert Band will perform a variety of music during its winter concert 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at SMU’s Page Theatre.

The band will perform “Fanfare & Flourishes” by James Curnow; “Symphonic Suite” by Clifton Williams; “Canterbury Chorale” by Jan Van der Roost; “Inglesina – the Little English Girl” by Davide Delle Cese; “Ireland: Of Legend and Lore” by Robert W. Smith; and “A Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson.

The concert will be followed by the traditional Christmas lobby party, which will feature a selection of holiday treats. Smaller ensembles will perform Christmas music throughout the reception.

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

Saint Mary’s basketball team invites community to bring toys for Gifts for Winona program

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University’s men’s basketball team is partnering with the Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona program to collect toys on Saturday, Dec. 8.

On Dec. 8, the men’s team will play Crown College at 3 p.m. in the SMU Gym. Attendees are encouraged to bring along a variety of new toys for girls and boys, which will be distributed through Gifts for Winona.

The Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona program, now in its 11th year, helps more than 1,600 people in the Winona area have happier holidays.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SMU jazz, percussion groups to join talents for Dec. 7 concert

Winona, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo I, and World Drum Ensemble will combine for an evening of hot jazz to melt away the chill of the season at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, in SMU’s Page Theatre.

Both jazz groups are directed by SMU's new director of jazz studies, A. Eric Heukeshoven. The World Drum Ensemble is directed by Denny McGuire.

Jazz Ensemble highlights include classic big band arrangements of “Shiny Stockings” and “Secret Love,” as well as contemporary settings of “Sister Sadie” and the funk classic “Chimps on the Loose.”

Jazz Combo I will showcase their improvisation skills on such jazz hits as “Take Five” and “Fly Me to the Moon,” along with a special tribute to legendary jazz composer Thelonius Monk.

Vocalist Jessica Ingvalson will be featured on two classic jazz ballads, “Georgia on my Mind” and “When Sunny Gets Blue.” The World Drum Ensemble will join the Jazz Ensemble on Minnesota native Dean Sorenson’s  “Carneval del Sol.”

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

Saint Mary’s ‘Lessons and Carols’ Christmas service is Dec. 8

WINONA, Minn. — The joyous and uplifting Christmas service of “Lessons and Carols” will be presented by the Saint Mary’s University Department of Music at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.

The beautiful service, held in the majestic Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels, features the Saint Mary’s Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Patrick O’Shea.

“Lessons and Carols” reflects on the Christmas story through several short readings, hymns and Christmas carols sung by the choirs and audience. Music includes familiar carols and selections by composers from the Renaissance to the present.

The Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels is located at Wabasha and Vila streets in Winona.

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

SMU Chamber Orchestra to perform Nov. 29, Dec. 9

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Chamber Orchestra will perform the “Sounds of Christmas” at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Sugar Loaf Senior Living facility and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the SMU Performance Center. 

The orchestra is composed of Saint Mary’s students, under the direction of Dr. David Leung. 

The recitals will feature Baroque masterpieces that are most appropriate for the Advent Season including “Christmas Concerto” by Corelli and Vivaldi’s “Winter” from his ever-popular “Four Seasons.” The breathtaking “O Magnum Mysterium” by Lauridsen, the light-hearted “Sleigh Ride” by Mozart, and the humorous “Farewell” Symphony by Haydn will round out the holiday performance. On Dec. 9, a special guest, Dr. Kyle Black from the SMU Modern and Classical Languages Department, will recite inspiring sonnets in various languages between compositions. 

 Both concerts are free and open to the public.

Monday, November 26, 2012

SMU Cardinals hosting third Toys For Tots Teddy Bear Toss

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University men’s hockey team will hold the third annual Toys For Tots Teddy Bear Toss Friday, Nov. 30, during the Cardinals’ 7:30 p.m. home game against St. Olaf at the SMU Ice Arena.

Fans attending are encouraged to bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal — preferably new, but those in good used condition will also be accepted and appreciated. Teddy bears will also be available at the arena for a donation of $1.

After the first SMU goal in the first period — or at the end of the first period — fans will have an opportunity to throw their teddy bears and/or stuffed animals onto the ice. They will then be collected and distributed to children in the Winona area for the holidays.

The men’s hockey team will also have a collection bin in the SMU Ice Arena lobby for anyone wishing to donate a toy other than a teddy bear for Toys For Tots.

The U.S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots Foundation was formed to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year and then distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in their local communities. The program is aimed at helping needy children throughout the United States of America experience the joy of Christmas along with the message of hope to these under-privileged children to motivate them into being responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.

Saint Mary’s University to Collect Toys for Tots Donations for the Fourth Straight Year

Toy donations welcome at Minneapolis, Apple Valley,
Minnetonka, Oakdale, and Rochester locations

Statistics show that 22% of children in America live in poverty.   Many of these 16 million children will not receive any presents this holiday season.  Saint Mary’s University wants to do what it can to help brighten the holiday season for Minnesota children.  That’s why we’re collecting Toys for Tots donations for the fourth straight year.  Headed by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for 65 years, Toys for Tots has provided more than 452 million toys to more than 209 million underprivileged children. 

Between November 30 and December 19, Saint Mary’s will accept donations of new, unwrapped toys at four Twin Cities locations as well as at our Rochester Center.  Typically, Toys for Tots experiences a shortage of toys for infants and teenagers.  That’s why we’re placing a particular focus on the ages of 0 to 2 and 15 to 17.  The university is also encouraging donors to contribute educational toys that spur creativity and thought.

We will collect donations at the following Saint Mary’s locations during listed hours.

·      Minneapolis campus (2500 Park Avenue)
-       Weekdays from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

·      Apple Valley Center (14200 Cedar Avenue)
-       Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
-       Friday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

·      Minnetonka Center (12450 Wayzata Boulevard)
-       Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

·      Oakdale Center (7200 Hudson Boulevard N, Suite 200)
-       Monday from 5-10 p.m.
-       Tuesday through Thursday from 4-10 p.m.
-       Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

·      Rochester Center (1926 Collegeview Drive SE)
-      Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
-   Friday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

For more information about Saint Mary’s participation in Toys for Tots, follow us on Twitter at @SMUGradPrograms.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving trees go up this week for Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona giving trees will be going up before Thanksgiving. This communitywide program — in its 11th year — is providing gifts to area children and seniors in need this holiday season.

Tags, each labeled with a different person’s holiday gift wishes, will be placed on area giving trees this week. Gifts for Winona’s main priority is to provide gifts to children 18 years of age and younger and individuals 60 years of age and older.

Trees will be located at: the three Severson-Sinclair locations, Walmart, the Winona Public Library, the Winona Post, as well as Security State Bank of Lewiston. Additionally, grocery cards can be purchased for families.

Individuals who want to help make someone’s season a little merrier should visit one of these locations, take as many tags off the trees as they wish, and return the gifts by Dec. 12 to the tree where they obtained the tags. The recommended amount for holiday gifts is approximately $35 per person. Tags should be securely taped to the outside of the presents or the bag of presents.

As the gift distribution is early this year — mid December — the community is asked to begin their season of giving early as well. The success of this program depends on the generosity of the Winona-area community.

For more information, call the Gifts for Winona line at (507) 457-8719. Other community partners that join SMU to help make this program possible are the Winona Post, Winona Radio and Winona Volunteer Services.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christian Brothers’ award to honor lifetime service of Saint Mary’s President Brother William Mann

WINONA, Minn. —The Christian Brothers’ Office of Lasallian Education will honor Brother William Mann, FSC, president of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, with the Brother John Johnston, FSC Award at a banquet Nov. 17 in Washington, D.C.

This award is the highest honor given in the De La Salle Christian Brothers Region of North America, which encompasses Lasallian education in the United States and Canada. Brother John Johnston, a 1955 Saint Mary’s alum, was former Superior General of the Christian Brothers. This award recognizes Brothers and Lasallian partners who, like Brother John Johnston, have endeavored on the international or regional levels over many years to advance the mission of providing a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor. The award is presented to those whose leadership, teaching, evangelization, or scholarly research and writing have borne witness to an abiding faith and zeal, and whose efforts have had a transformative impact upon the Christian Brothers’ founding story as lived today.

Brother William Mann has exemplified these qualities over his more than 40 years of service including as a teacher, leader, lecturer, and scholar. He has touched the hearts of Lasallians in his work at many levels, from individual schools to conferences to the headquarters of the worldwide Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Brother William is currently the 13th president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this academic year. Not only does he encourage academic excellence at every level at Saint Mary’s, he has focused on specific initiatives that strengthen the Lasallian Catholic nature of the university.

Prior to becoming Saint Mary's president in 2008, Brother William served as Vicar General, the second highest officer in the worldwide Institute. He also previously served as Provincial and Auxiliary Provincial of the former Long Island-New England Province. He is a founder and long-term lecturer at the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies, a three-year Regional formation experience in Lasallian history, pedagogy, and spirituality. He also inaugurated and now serves as an editor of AXIS: A Journal for Lasallian Higher Education, an electronic journal serving Lasallian colleges and universities.

Brother William will be presented with the award at the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Awards Banquet at the conclusion of the Huether Lasallian Conference Saturday, Nov. 17, in Washington, D.C. The Huether Lasallian Conference is an annual gathering of Lasallian educators in the Region which explores emerging educational issues and themes. This year’s theme is Faith in Action: Global Engagement through Lasallian Education

Saint Mary’s University unveils ‘Strategic Plan 2017’ to guide university into second century

WINONA, Minn. — In 2012 Saint Mary’s University, under the direction of President Brother William Mann, conducted a year-long comprehensive strategic planning process. The significant endeavor involved 900 persons from the university’s network of stakeholders in a focused, five-phased planning process. The result, Strategic Plan 2017, was recently approved by the Board of Trustees. The plan is a complete articulation of a new vision for Saint Mary’s as a top-tier, national university.

With the adoption of Strategic Plan 2017 during its Centennial year, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is charting a course for the future by strategically aligning the university’s operations with its mission and vision. The plan outlines three themes which will serve to guide the work of the university: 1) strengthen and preserve the core mission and identity; 2) innovate and grow – three centers of excellence; and 3) steward and strengthen resources.

Over the next five years Saint Mary’s will undertake new initiatives and new thinking with a distinctive commitment to teaching and learning, ethical leadership, the sciences, and online education. “Strategic Plan 2017 is the next step in a process to launch the university’s second century, building on the significant success of its first century,” said Brother William. “This plan was the outcome of the thoughts and aspirations of our extended Saint Mary’s community. Under the goals set forth in Strategic Plan 2017 we will collaboratively ensure a vibrant, successful and meaningful future for Saint Mary’s.”

Strategic Plan 2017

Theme 1: Strengthen and Preserve the Core Mission and Identity
• Goal 1 Teaching and Learning: Establish active Centers for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at both the College and the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs.
• Goal 2 Identity: Perpetuate the Lasallian Catholic heritage and identity.
• Goal 3 Residential Experience: Create a vibrant campus and transformational residential life experience at the College.

Theme 2: Innovate and Grow — Three Centers of Excellence
• Goal 4 Sciences: Develop, articulate and execute a new vision for excellence in the sciences for the 21st century.
• Goal 5 Leadership Development: Develop, articulate and execute a new vision for excellence in leadership development for the 21st century.
• Goal 6 Online Education: Develop and launch a national online education initiative at the SGPP for the 21st century.

Theme 3: Steward and Strengthen Resources
• Goal 7 Enrollment: Increase the enrollment and visibility of the university at both the College and the SGPP.
• Goal 8 Institutional Sustainability: Optimize the financial and human resources and well-being of the university.
• Goal 9 Philanthropy: Grow the university’s endowment and philanthropic investment to support new initiatives, student scholarships, and faculty and staff development.

To read the plan in its entirety, go to

Friday, November 09, 2012

Dance Repertory Company presents 'The Nutcracker'

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Department of Theatre and Dance and the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) will present the Dance Repertory Company in The Nutcracker, Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 28 through Dec. 2.

The production will take place in Page Theatre, located in the SMU Performance Center.

This year marks the company’s seventh biennial production of the piece and features a special choral performance by MCA’s Winona Area Youth Singers at the conclusion of Act I in the Land of Snow.

The cast includes more than 90 members, comprised of students from Saint Mary’s University, Winona State University, MCA and children and community members from Winona and the surrounding areas.

Through this ballet, the beauty of the pure, young heart shines bright in a world of dancing dolls, angels, and of course, the wonderful magical Nutcracker Prince. In the dreams of a child named Clara, a battle wages between a band of mice and a company of toy soldiers. With Clara’s assistance, the toy soldiers are victorious and grateful. A Nutcracker Prince welcomes her to the Land of Snow, where they dance with the angels, and to the Kingdom of the Sweets hosted by the Sugar Plum Fairy, where she sees a beautiful array of ethnic dances such as Spanish Coffee, Chinese Tea and Russian Baba.

The Nutcracker will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, through Saturday, Dec. 1, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

A special matinee for families with younger children will be held 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28. This matinee features selections from the full ballet and lasts about one hour. This is especially suited for families with young children who may not enjoy a full evening performance. The cost for this afternoon matinee is $4 for everyone.

To order tickets, call the Saint Mary’s University Box Office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at (507) 457-1715 or visit

SMU All-Campus Student Art Exhibit runs Nov. 17-Dec. 15

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University students will display their artwork in the show “Clarity” Nov. 17 through Dec. 15 in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

The 2012 All-Campus Student Art Exhibit will feature senior art exhibitions by Nikki Farmer and Marie Fidler.

An opening reception is scheduled for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in the galleries, located in the Toner Student Center.

The galleries — free and open to the public — will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Gifts for Winona application deadline is Friday, Nov. 16

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona — in its 11th year — is providing gifts to area children and seniors in need this holiday season.

Families looking for help obtaining gifts this year must apply by Friday, Nov. 16. 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).

Families must apply for the program through a referral agency.

Once again this year, Gifts for Winona’s main priority is to provide gifts to children 18 years of age and younger and individuals 60 years of age and older.

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.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Saint Mary’s to host panel discussion about global education issues Nov. 14

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the Under-Told Stories Project, Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and Saint Mary’s University will host a forum on “Closing the Global Gap: The complex issue of education in a global era.”

In America today, there is concern about a persistent achievement gap in our education system. Whether it is a drive to maintain global competitiveness or a desire to catch up, efforts are underway in many countries to rethink and modernize education. The mastery of reading, writing and math are no longer enough. Students need to think critically, reason, problem-solve and communicate effectively in a global economy. 

The public forum — scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. — will include a digest of the latest reporting on issues associated with youth education. International journalist Fred de Sam Lazaro will lead a distinguished panel and moderate a discussion with the audience. De Sam Lazaro is director of the Under-Told Stories Project, a program that combines international journalism and teaching at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. He is a regular contributor to PBS’ “NewsHour” and the network’s “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.”

Panelists will include:
• Nathalie Applewhite, managing director of the Pulitzer Center
• Dr. Efe Agbamu, executive director, English Language Learners, St. Paul Public Schools
• Brother. Ed Siderewicz, assistant to the president for First-Generation and Lasallian Initiativs, Saint Mary’s University

The event is free and open to the public and will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the SMU Performance Center. For more information, go to

Friday, November 02, 2012

Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts to host Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party fundraiser

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is hosting its seventh biennial Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party, Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

This year’s Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party will feature two tea sittings (1 p.m. and 4 p.m.), with specialty teas and exquisite finger foods. The Land of the Sweets Gift Boutique, featuring holiday gifts and crafts, is available to the public from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for children and $18 for adults. All children attending the tea party will receive a complimentary photo with their favorite live character from the “Nutcracker” ballet. Tea attendees will enjoy the sounds of MCA’s Winona Area Youth Singers, as well musical performances by MCA’s Music Division instructors.

The Sugar Plum Fairy Tea party is the first big event of the “Nutcracker” production season for MCA and its performing group, the Dance Repertory Company. The company will present the full-length ballet, Nov. 28 – Dec. 2 at the Saint Mary’s University Page Theatre.   This year’s cast of more than 90 includes students from Saint Mary’s University, Winona State University, and children and community members from the Winona and surrounding areas.  For tickets to the production, call (507) 457-1715 or visit

Proceeds from The Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party go toward the MCA student scholarship fund and “Nutcracker” production costs.

To reserve seats or a full table of six for either the 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. tea sittings, please call (507) 453-5500. The Valéncia Arts Center is handicapped accessible.

Conservatory’s Fall Music Division Concert is Nov. 16

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will conduct its Fall Music Division Concert 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at Saint Mary’s University’s Figliulo Recital Hall. The concert will showcase the Winona Area Youth Singers (WAYS), two new jazz combos, and a variety of private lesson students.

For more information, visit, e-mail, “Like” the Conservatory on Facebook, or call (507) 453-5500. Admission is a free-will donation, and all proceeds support the music division.

This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008. The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organization that offers programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre, year-round. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for children age 3 to adults at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Zumbathon® Nov. 10 to raise funds for First-Generation Initiative at SMU

WINONA, Minn. — Get fit while raising money for scholarships! On Saturday, Nov. 10, the public is invited to a Zumbathon® fundraiser from 4 to 5 p.m. at Saint Mary’s University. The event will be held in the SMU gymnasium and freewill donations will benefit the university’s First-Generation Initiative, which provides full scholarships to high-need, high-potential qualified students who are the first in their families to attend college. Alyssa Gostomski Carter, a 1998 alumna, is organizing the event, with help from Lisa Ziebell and Sondra Howard from Z’s Studio in Winona. Carter is being supported by MetroBeat Fitness and Dance in Minneapolis. This is the second year that she is spearheading a Zumbathon® to help raise awareness and funds for the First-Generation Initiative.