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MPR journalist and Mayo’s chief nurse among St. Catherine Commencement speakers

Cathy Wurzer (left) and Pam Johnson ’80 will speak on May 21 and May 23, respectively.
Cathy Wurzer (left) and Pam Johnson ’80 will speak on May 21 and May 23, respectively.
Photo credit: MPR and Mayo Clinic

St. Catherine University will welcome two distinguished speakers at its Spring 2015 Commencement ceremonies.

May 21, 7:30 p.m.
Graduate College and College for Applied & Continued Learning

Cathy Wurzer, host of “Morning Edition” on Minnesota Public Radio and co-host of “Almanac” on Twin Cities Public Television, will deliver this keynote address.

Wurzer has won several Emmy Awards for her work on Almanac, the Sigenthaler Award for broadcast reporting and an Associated Press award for investigative reporting. She’s been voted Best Radio Personality by City Pages multiple times. She is also a published author.

Most recently, she co-wrote We Know How This Ends: Living while Dying, with Bruce Kramer, former dean of the University of St. Thomas’ College of Education, about his fight with Lou Gehrig’s disease. In 2008, she wrote the regional best seller Tales of the Road-Highway 61.

The book, which details the sites and secrets along U.S Highway 61, won an award from the Midwest Independent Publisher’s Association and premiered as a feature-length documentary in 2009. Wurzer was the executive producer and host. The documentary won two Emmy Awards and a national Golden Eagle CINE award.

May 23, 2 p.m.
College for Women

Pamela O. Johnson 80, Mayo Clinic’s chief nursing officer, is the keynote speaker. In her role, Johnson is accountable for all aspects of nursing and guides the work of the 13,000 nurses across all Mayo Clinic sites.

Johnson has worked at Mayo Clinic for 34 years. She started as a staff nurse at Rochester Methodist Hospital; and most recently was chair of the Department of Nursing. She was instrumental in leading systems changes that brought nursing practice under the leadership of nurses at all levels within the Mayo system.

Johnson received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from St. Catherine and master’s in nursing from the University of Minnesota.

She is a member of both the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors and Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees. Johnson is also a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the Minnesota Organization of Leaders in Nursing and the American College of Healthcare Executives.


Both ceremonies will take place at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium.
For the complete schedule of events, see 2015 Spring Commencement.

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May 4, 2015 by Pauline Oo

See also: Alumnae/i, Healthcare, Leadership, Liberal Arts, Students