S. Linnea Welter; left: undated, right: September 1968. (click thumbnails for larger images)
Sister Linnea Welter was the sixth president of the College of Saint Benedict. She served a two year term from 1961 to 1963 and the separate incorporation of CSB when the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict transferred the ownership of the college to the college itself, thus rendering them two separate institutions with shared space. It was also during S. Linnea's presidency that a new gym was added to the campus, in 1961, liberating the students from playing basketball around the pillars of the Teresa Hall's ground floor gym. (CSB's second gym would eventually evolve into Murray Hall.) In 1963, Regina Hall was completed as the second dormitory in the Mary Commons complex.
S. Linnea was born Eleanore Mary Welter in Excelsior, Minnesota, in 1913, the same year that the College was founded. In her early years, she attended Saint Hubert's grade school in Chanhassen, then Saint Benedict's High School in Saint Joseph. S. Linnea entered Saint Benedict's Monastery in 1937, making her first monastic profession on July 11, 1939, and her final profession on July 11, 1942. She attended the College of Saint Benedict and graduated with a B.A in English and continued her education at the University of Minnesota, graduating with a Master's in English. S. Linnea also studied at Fordham University in New York, Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and the University of Birmingham, in Stratford, England.
S. Linnea shared her love for education by becoming a teacher. She started her career teaching at Regis High School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Cathedral High School in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Her love of teaching took her back to her alma mater, where she taught at the College of Saint Benedict for 32 years in the English department, leaving the position for two years during her presidency.
After her term as president, S. Linnea returned to the college's English department; she retired from teaching in 1982. S. Linnea's love for the College kept her working for the institution as a writer and editor until her final retirement to Saint Scholastica Convent in 1992. S. Linnea passed on December 19, 2008 at the age of 95 and in the seventy-first year of her religious profession.
For more on Sister Linnea:
Special thanks to Megan Girgen '13 and Meghan Flannery '15 for drafting this text.