Saint John's University to Present Colman Barry Award

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April 12, 2000

Collegeville, Minn. - Saint John's University will present the seventh Colman J. Barry Award for Distinguished Contributions to Religion and Society to Kathleen A. Blatz, chief justice of the Minnesota State Supreme Court. The award presentation and lecture is scheduled for Friday, April 28, at 3 p.m. in the SJU Stephen B. Humphrey Theater. The title of Blatz's lecture is "The History of and Future for our Children." The award presentation and lecture is free and open to the general public. Blatz is the first women to be the recipient of the Colman J. Barry Award from SJU.

Blatz is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Notre Dame. She received her master's in social work and her law degree from the University of Minnesota. Blatz was in private practice before joining the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. Blatz served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1979 to 1990. She was appointed to the Fourth Judicial District bench in 1994, the Minnesota State Supreme Court in 1996 and became Chief Justice in 1998.

"Chief Justice Blatz has spent her career serving the public's best interest, which is evident through her tireless work in the area of juvenile justice and family law. We are pleased to honor her for seeking the highest good for all of us, just as Fr. Colman Barry did throughout his life," said SJU President Dietrich Reinhart OSB.

Blatz has served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Minneapolis, Amicus, and the University YMCA. She was a member of the Fairview Southdale Hospital board of trustees, the Children's Defense Fund advisory council, and the governor's task force on fetal alcohol syndrome.

In 1998 she won the University of Notre Dame Award of the Year and in 1999 was the recipient of the Career Achievement Award presented at the 27th annual Women and Business Conference.

The Colman J. Barry Award for Distinguished Contributions to Religion and Society recognizes the contributions that the Rev. Barry, a Benedictine monk of Saint John's Abbey and former president of SJU, made during his life of scholarship and teaching. The author of several books, including his three-volume Readings in Church History and Worship and Work, the Rev. Barry began his teaching career at Saint John's in 1952. He died in 1994.

The Rev. Barry was responsible for the creation of the Jay Phillips Chair in Jewish Studies in 1969, the first such chair at an American Catholic college, and the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library in 1964. His creative leadership set the roots on the SJU campus for Minnesota Public Radio in 1967, which has grown to become one of the top public radio networks in the nation.

For more information about the Colman J. Barry Award, call 320-363-2595.

Saint John's University for men and the College of Saint Benedict for women are partners in liberal arts education, providing students the opportunity to benefit from the distinctions of not one, but two nationally recognized Catholic, undergraduate colleges. Together the colleges challenge students to live balanced lives of learning, work, leadership and service in a changing world.