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First-ever Alumnae Council meets at St. Kate's

Over 170 alumnae from across the country, representing various age groups and professions, attended the first-ever St. Catherine University Alumnae Council meeting on September 29–30. The two-day event included committee work, focus groups and other activities focused on the art and power of engagement.

President Andrea Lee, IHM, welcomed the council members to the inaugural meeting, calling them “super volunteers.”

“Whatever the reason — you are here, and we need you. We know you have priorities and schedules and competing demands on your time. But we asked, and you said yes. You stepped up to make a difference,” she said.

The Alumnae Council is made up of a broad cross section of alumnae who serve in an advisory capacity to the University to enhance alumnae engagement and communications. Each member commits to serving on one of the working committees, including student recruitment, career development for students and alumnae, and lifelong learning, among others.

“We are all proud Katies, and descendents of this great institution,” said Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Langkilde Kautz ‘82, who delivered the keynote address during the opening event.

Kautz shared the story of how she learned the valuable lesson that purposeful work makes a difference. At age 5, her father gave her the job of carrying buckets of sand to a wheelbarrow, which was then taken to construction workers who made concrete that formed the bricks that laid the foundation of her parish’s new church. Kautz said at the end of the day, there was a large pile of bricks, and she felt a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. The church took over a year to build, but she asked her father to come back again and again to help.

“Keep your eyes on the end product and know that you are part of meaningful and purposeful work. My dear Katies, you are here to make a difference one committee at a time, one event at a time, one person at a time, one task at a time,” she said.

Inspired by Mayor Kautz’ speech, Carrie Krasowski Hansen ‘85 said she called her parents on her drive home that evening. “Every visit back to campus builds me back up, and I just wanted to tell them one more time that the tuition they paid for me to attend St. Kate’s was the best investment ever.”        

Initial results from the Alumnae Council working committees will be shared at the Annual Meeting in May 2012.

Oct. 12, 2011 by Sharon Rolenc

See also: Alumnae/i, Business, Leadership