A Sense of Place

A Sense of Place. Such a sense depends on a shared environment, a shared history, but most of all on a community of people who live and work together. On this page we have collected stories and reminiscences from students, faculty, staff, and visitors to Saint John's and Saint Ben's, stories that reflect the sense of these places, the people in them, and the larger connections that they engender.

Carmen Fernholz '65

Fernholz said Saint John's taught him the value of being a life-long learner. Fernholz' father, Armand, attended Saint John's in the '30s. "Fr. Virgil Michel impressed my father while he was a Johnnie. I always respected my father, so I came to Saint John's on his recommendation. Our family has always valued a Catholic education. "Looking back, Saint John's always challenged me to look at things differently and seek out the broad picture. I learned from the Benedictine presence at Saint John's to have the courage to try new ideas and have no fear," he said.

What were some of Fernholz memories from his experience at Saint John's? "I remember Saturday morning classes and Saturday afternoon football games," he said. "More importantly, I remember, appreciate and cherish the camaraderie and community, and I especially remember the Benedictine philosophy of worship and work."

Read the entire article: Carmen Fernholz '65

Tom Wicka '90

Tom Wicka's '90 experience at Saint John's had a profound impact on his life. When asked to describe that impact Wicka stated, "SJU created an internal compass for me of how to approach life's experiences and opportunities." The sense of belonging to a larger community and the responsibility of serving others were traits that Wicka learned while a student at Saint John's and they guide him in his current daily decision making. "To me the SJU way is to work hard, contribute positively to life and appreciate the small things".

When asked to describe how his Saint John's experience influenced the choices in his life, Wicka replied, "The bond that SJU helped me construct with my friends and family is what guides the choices I make in life. Friends and family are always my first point of consideration and they are the core to my happiness."

Read the entire article: Tom Wicka '90