Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cardinal Plunge Feb. 8 to raise money for Ellinghuysen family

Two of last year's brave Cardinal Plunge participants
Brave souls and warm hearts are invited to join Saint Mary’s University for the fifth annual “Cardinal Plunge” 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Lake Lodge Recreation Center, in coordination with the city’s Winter Carnival Goose Bump Jump.

This year, Cardinal Plunge participants will be freezin’ for a reason. Proceeds will be given to SMU junior Conner Ellinghuysen’s father, Robert Ellinghuysen of Winona. Robert was hit head-on in a collision in June 2012 along Highway 14 in Stockton. He underwent numerous surgeries and lengthy hospital stays. Proceeds will help the Ellinghuysen family with ongoing medical expenses and other family needs. A silent auction will also be held. Cash donations and items can be brought to the SMU Alumni Office.

The cost to plunge is $20 ($15 for the SMU community). This event is sponsored by the Saint Mary’s Future Alumni Committee.

Pre-register online at For more information, contact Kenzie Corrow at (507) 995-4863 or Conner Ellinghuysen at (507) 429-7960.

Brother Louis, other Christian Brothers leaders to be honored

Brother Louis DeThomasis, president emeritus of Saint Mary’s, will be honored Thursday, Feb. 13, at a special event at the university’s Twin Cities campus.

The event will include a dedication of Brother Louis Hall, formerly Park Avenue North (PAN). In addition, Brother Louis and four other Christian Brothers who have served as presidents at institutions throughout the nation will be recognized and presented with honorary doctorates. The event is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. in the Saint Mary’s University Center, 2540 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis. The indoor ceremony will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.

The four other Christian Brothers to be recognized include:

• Brother Mel Anderson, FSC, past president of Saint Mary's College of California
• Brother James Gaffney, FSC, president of Lewis University (Ill.)
• Brother Michael McGinniss, FSC, president of La Salle University (Pa.), past president of Christian Brothers University (Tenn.)
• Brother Thomas Scanlan, FSC, past president of Manhattan College (N.Y.), past vice chancellor of Bethlehem University (Palestine)

Together the five have served more than 125 years as leaders of Christian Brothers institutions that follow a heritage of innovative, student-centered education.

Tickets sold out for Ladysmith Black Mambazo; waiting list will be available

At this time there are no tickets available for the Page Series Ladysmith Black Mambazo performance Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Page Theatre.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Some tickets will become available at the door the night of the performance. A waiting list will begin at 6:30 p.m. the night of the show. Tickets are $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students.

Nominated 17 times for the Grammy awards, the South African a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo celebrates more than 50 years of joyous and uplifting music that marries the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical traditions to the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music.

Assembled in the early 1960s in South Africa by founder Joseph Shabalala, the group took the name Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Ladysmith being the name of Shabalala’s rural hometown; Black being a reference to oxen, the strongest of all farm animals; and Mambazo being the Zulu word for axe, a symbol of the group’s ability to “chop down” any singing rival who might challenge them. Paul Simon visited South Africa in the 1980s and incorporated Black Mambazo’s rich tenor/alto/bass harmonies into his Graceland album.

The ensemble just released an album “Always With Us” on Jan. 15.

As part of the evening concert they will play tribute to the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.

After-show reception

The SMU Solidarity Committee will host an after-show reception in the lobby of the Performance Center as part of the SMU Multi-Cultural Week celebrations. Light refreshments will be available.

Faculty display works at current art exhibition

Faculty members of the Department of Art and Design have joined talents for the current art exhibit, on display through March 8 in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

The show features new works — ranging from sculpture to photography — by Lisa Truax, Matt Winkler, Preston Lawing, Rob McColl, Rod Robertson and Tony Calabrese.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and the show is free and open to the public.

Chamber Music Concert scheduled for Feb. 7

The Saint Thomas Trio Chamber Music Concert will be held 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in Figliulo Recital Hall. The event, sponsored by the Department of Music, will feature Winona State University musicians Dr. Woobin Park on piano and Dr. Dan Sheridan on clarinet, along with Dr. David Leung from Saint Mary’s on viola. The performance is free and open to the public and will include music by Mozart, Schumann and Bruch.

SMU presents free concert featuring Baroque music

The Department of Music will present “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale and other Baroque Spectaculars” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, at Central Lutheran Church, 259 W. Wabasha St.

The event, free and open to the public, will feature the Saint Mary’s Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. David Leung. The concert will include music by Handel, Bach and Corelli.

Special guests joining Dr. Leung on violin will be Maureen Yuen, a violinist from State University of New York at Fredonia, and Erik Floan, an organist from Saint Mary’s University.

The Singers to premiere work by Dr. O’Shea

The Twin Cities-based critically acclaimed choral ensemble “The Singers” will perform in Winona as part of its 10th anniversary legacy tour.

The performance is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, at Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels, 1155 W. Wabasha St.

Under the direction of Matthew Culloton, the group will perform music by Morten Lauridsen and Benjamin Britten, as well as beloved American folk songs and spirituals.

The choir will combine with the Saint Mary’s Chamber Singers on two pieces, including the world premiere of a new work, “Nocte fletuum angelis” by Saint Mary’s music faculty member Dr. Patrick O’Shea, which commemorates the lives lost in the tragic school shooting in Connecticut.

The concert is free and is funded, in part, by Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

Tickets are available at the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or at the door.

Chat, Chow & Web 2.0

The next Chat, Chow & Web 2.0, hosted by the Fitzgerald Library, Information Technology, and Instructional Technology, will be held noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19. Meet in the main lounge of the McEnery Center. Lunch will be provided and RSVPs are appreciated to

In this session, titled “Talk to Me,” two faculty members enlist the power of social media technologies to promote engaged student response.  Lisa Truax (Art) will share her experiences with Flipgrid, a video response tool, and Janel Schultz (Math) will talk about how she is using Poll Everywhere, the classroom response system that incorporates mobile devices.

SMU to host Missing Voices Summit Feb. 6 on TC campus

Gloria Ladson-Billings, a leading voice in culturally responsive teaching and equity in education, will speak at the second Missing Voices: Equity in Education Summit Thursday, Feb. 6, on the Twin Cities campus.

Ladson-Billings will share from her experiences as an award-winning author and scholar. Specializing in pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African American students, Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Professor of Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Hosted by the Culturally Responsive Teaching program and the Graduate School of Education, Missing Voices focuses on bringing together diverse educators, youth and parents in the Twin Cities and beyond who want to work collaboratively to reduce the opportunity and academic achievement gap in Minnesota. Throughout the day, participants will engage in dialogue and gain insight from multiple perspectives that will lead toward solutions to eliminate the gaps.

The event will be held at the Saint Mary’s University Center from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost to attend is $40, which includes the keynote, world cafe discussion, breakout sessions, continental breakfast, lunch and parking. Although this event is currently at capacity, a waiting list has been formed.

Celebrate Chinese New Year today at the Heights

The faculty, staff and students are invited to celebrate the Chinese New Year and enjoy a  free lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today, Friday, Jan. 31, in the Heights building. Enjoy a variety of cultural activities and performances.

Chili cookoff will warm up cold winter

In what has become one of the hottest competitions at Saint Mary’s, the annual SMU Chili Cookoff is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21.

No beans about it, the Volunteer Committee believes this is a great fundraiser.

All faculty and staff are invited to submit their award-winning chili and vie for the golden ladle. Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries, and all competitors will get SMU shirts.

Let Deb Nahrgang (Ext. 6966 or know if you plan to enter the contest, so that there is enough to go around. Then, just bring your unmarked crockpot to the Common Room by 11:15 a.m. sharp and check in.

Everyone is invited to eat chili between 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. You do not need to compete to enjoy. Toppings, sides and desserts will also be provided. Awards will be presented at noon.

Proceeds will benefit our students in Jamaica.

Donations now accepted for Taylor Richmond benefit, auction

The beneficiary for the 2014 Taylor Richmond Benefit is Jason Richter.

Richter is well known to the Saint Mary’s community as he worked at the university from 1998 to 2010 as the Student Activities director, and as such he was responsible for overseeing this benefit.

Richter was diagnosed with multiple myeloma last summer. He had pain in his lower back that turned out to be a mass, hindering the flow of liquids in his spinal cord. This is a disease that is more commonly found in people around the age of 60; because of his young age, he has responded well to treatments. He has undergone 10 radiation sessions, as well as recent bone and stem cell transplants. On top of that, the Richter family lives an hour away from the hospital Jason is receiving treatment at in Iowa City.

Although now in remission, Richter is still undergoing chemotherapy treatments. This year’s proceeds will assist his family, which includes three young sons, with their medical expenses and travel costs.

The silent auction will be March 13-14. Donations for the auction are now being accepted. Past items have consisted of: all-expense paid trips, electronics, dinners, themed baskets, tickets to sporting or music events and gift cards.

The benefit has become an annual tradition since its start in 2001 by students in honor of Taylor Richmond, son of SMU staff member Nikki Richmond and Nick Richmond. Each year this event benefits continues to help someone in need who has ties to the SMU community.

Donations for the silent auction or monetary donations to help with cost of dance or supplements for the silent auction can be sent to Hannah Friedrich at Box 1090.

Baseball team examines relationships with God, self and others on retreat

The baseball team and coaches spent Jan. 17-19 on retreat in Watters Hall. For three days, the athletes examined more deeply their relationship with their God, self and others.

The retreat was coordinated and facilitated by the Christian Brothers on campus, as well as Brother Armand Alcazar, a theologian from Lewis University, near Chicago.

The theme of the retreat revolved around relationships and was based on the two commandments from Matthew 22: 37–40,  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The retreat included three presentations by Brother Armand, large- and small-group discussions, morning and evening prayer and reflections, journaling, meals in Watters Hall (and one at the Brothers’ residence), a film, a two-hour service project at the YMCA, a block of free time on Saturday afternoon, and an affirmation service.

These types of experiences set Saint Mary’s apart as the only Lasallian Catholic University in the State of Minnesota.

Sympathy to Wiltgen family

Leonard Wiltgen, the father of Nancy Wiltgen ’75, J.D. (Development), died Thursday, Jan. 23. He was also the business manager at Saint Mary’s in the 1950s and the younger brother of long-time Saint Mary's coach and teacher Ken Wiltgen.

The Saint Mary’s community extends its sympathy to the Wiltgen family.