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2012 Alumnae Annual Meeting to feature Alumnae Awards

The St. Catherine University Office of Alumnae Relations is hosting its annual meeting on the St. Paul Campus Monday, May 14.

The program features remarks by President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, an overview of Alumnae Relations accomplishments from the past year, presentation of the 2012 Alumnae Awards and an information fair highlighting the work of Alumnae Council committees.

Alumnae Awards

Traditionally held the evening before June Reunion, this year’s Alumnae Awards program has been moved to the annual meeting to give the broader alumnae population easier access to the celebration. This year’s honorees include Sara Hietpas Gavin ’77, Harriet Hentges ’63, Christine Palumbo ’75, Pamela Wheelock ’81, and Rising Star honoree, Annie Ballantine Jellum ’05.

Alumnae Council

The Alumnae Council, launched in the fall of 2011, brought together the leadership and talents of over 160 diverse alumnae. The following ten working council committees have taken different approaches to strengthen engagement with alumnae: Career Development, Chapter Management, Communications, Fundraising, Lifelong Learning, Professional Development, Reunion/Special Events, Student Recruitment, Volunteer Services and Young Alums.  Immediately following the program, representatives from these committees will be on hand to answer questions about their work.


Alumnae Relations materials received a facelift this year with a revamped website, Notes+Events calendar, more vibrant @St. Catherine email newsletter and redesigned section of SCAN. Efforts to streamline communications in the digital age have led to online news submission forms and easier online registration for events.


Several favorite alumnae events have seen a marked increase in attendance this past year, including Booked for the Evening, Home for the Holidays and Conversation with Books. Efforts have also been made to create new events or reach out to alumnae in new ways through opportunities like An Afternoon at the Opera, discount tickets to Pirates of Penzance, and the upcoming DupliKate and TripliKate brunch.


Chapter activity has increased the past year, in part due to the implementation of a new structure that empowers local leaders to take charge of local programming and events. Twelve new leadership teams have formed to plan a full year of events, from informal coffee and conversation events to programs showcasing the University and alumnae.  Online meetings and trainings have allowed chapter leaders across the country to communicate live with each other.

Lifelong Learning

Efforts to increase participation in lifelong learning classes resulted in the scheduling of events in Twin Cities suburbs in addition to campus offerings, and a partnership with Chapters to bring the Traveling Scholar program to other cities including St. Cloud, Chicago and Grand Marais. The 2011 Summer Chautauqua offered an exciting 10-day series of classes and events. The upcoming second annual Chautauqua event offers 45 classes and events over a more condensed 8 days, and increases the number of family-friendly options.

Engaging Affinities

For some alumnae, keeping their connection with St. Kate’s has more to do with shared interests or a current shared work environment than with friends from a specific class year. Alumnae Relations is working towards establishing new or strengthening existing affinity groups like attorneys, holistic health and corporate chapters.

This year’s annual meeting is held in the Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine, Monday, May 14 beginning at 6 p.m. The event is free, but an RSVP is required by emailing or calling 651-690-6666.

April 11, 2012 by Sharon Rolenc

See also: Alumnae/i, Business, Leadership