Reunion 2023

Alum College Sessions

Reunion 2023

Friday, June 23

1:15-2 p.m

Good Reads - Anna Jonas, S. Mara Faulkner ’62, OSB & Kathy Parker

CSB, Mary Commons

A good book is more fun when shared. Readers from the CSB campus will recommend some of their recent favorite books. There will be time to share some of your recommendations too!

About the presenters: Anna Jonas works at CSB and SJU as the General book buyer for the campuses. Additionally, she is the Saint Cloud Visitor monthly book reviewer. Sister Mara Faulkner ’62 is a vowed member of the sisters of the order of Saint Benedict and is an author of several books. Additionally, she taught literature and writing at CSBSJU for many years before retiring in 2013. Since then, she has been offering writing workshops and retreats and tutoring adult English Language Learners. Kathy Parker works at CSB and SJU as the director of libraries, media and archives where she manages library operations. Her secret plan is to have every graduate so habituated to reading they can’t imagine a day without a good book.

Virtual CSB and SJU Campus Tour - Peggy Landwehr Roske ’77

CSB, Ardolf Science Center 104

Walk about the campus virtually with Peggy Landwehr Roske ’77, CSB and SJU archivist, to learn about changes made to CSB and SJU over the decades (and centuries). See what is different since your days on campus and ask your questions about CSB and SJU history.

About Peggy Landwehr Roske ’77: Peggy Landwehr Roske attended St. Ben’s high school and college, received her master’s at UW-Madison, and served CSB and SJU as reference librarian for 25 years before becoming the joint archivist in 2006.

What’s So Special about CSB and SJU?: A Conversation about Benedictine Values and How They Are Present in Your Lives - Rodger Narloch ’91, Psychology Professor & Director of the Benedictine Institute

CSB, Ardolf Science Center 107

When people try to explain what’s so special about CSB and SJU, they often say that there’s just “something in the water.” One can argue that the qualities that permeate the “water” of the CSB and SJU culture stem directly from the values of our Benedictine heritage. Come and participate in a conversation about these values and share how they have continued to shape you well beyond just your college years.

1:30-2:15 p.m.

SJU Athletic Facilities Tour – Senior Development Officer with SJU Institutional Advancement-Pete Amann ’90

SJU, walking tour, meet in front of Gagliardi Field 
Game changer-tour of SJU Athletic complex, Tennis, Baseball, Soccer and Field/Dome 

Join Pete for a first-hand look at the modernization of athletic facilities at SJU. These new dedicated fields are a game changer for current and future SJU students and gives SJU a competitive advantage in student recruitment. You will see how we have remained true to our Benedictine style with thoughtful and innovative design that gets right to the heart of the game. Let’s go for a walk and tour new athletic facilities! We will explore the Chang Tennis Complex; Becker Park/Haugen Field, home of Johnnie baseball; Haws Field, where the Johnnie soccer team plays; and the new Gagliardi Field and Alpers Golf Learning Center. 

Library and Learning Commons Tour – Vice President for SJU Institutional Advancement, Rob Culligan ’82

SJU, Walking tour, meet outside the main doors of Alcuin library facing the Abbey Church. 

Innovation. Collaboration. Technology.

These are the watchwords of 21st-century workplaces and communities.

The Reinhart Learning Commons is designed for the kind of learning and teaching essential to preparing our students for their future.

This exciting building combines flexible classrooms, the latest technology, and a variety of informal social learning spaces. It will provide faculty and students with the environment and the tools to fully engage in collaborative learning and innovative thinking. This tour of the newly remodeled Alcuin Library will demonstrate how a 21st century library provides flexible spaces for both solitary study and collaborative work; deploys the digital tools required by scholars and students; efficiently houses print resources; and supports a holistic academic experience with an array of academic support services.

ROTC - A proud history - a bright future - Captain Steve Poepping

SJU, Quad 264
The Fighting Saints Battalion has commissioned approximately 3,000 young men and women into the US Army. The Battalion is comprised of students from Saint John’s University, The College of Saint Benedict, and Saint Cloud State University. The students within the battalion are active in the universities and various ROTC events which include-Student leadership organizations athletic departments, Ranger Challenge, Northern Warfare Competition, and Bataan Death March.

Please join us as Captain Steve Poepping looks thru the history of the ROTC program, and how those traditions and values are carried out today on campus.

Captain Steven J. Poepping is a 2009 graduate of Annandale High School and subsequent graduate of Saint Cloud State University in 2012 with a B.S. in Accounting. CPT Poepping began serving the State of Minnesota in 2008 as an Intelligence Analyst in 2-135 Infantry Battalion out of Mankato, MN. While attending Saint Cloud State University (SCSU), he joined the Fighting Saints Battalion ROTC Program and received a commission in 2012 as an Armor Officer. Following graduation from SCSU, CPT Poepping attended Basic Officer Leadership School (BOLC) at Fort Benning, GA. After BOLC, he moved to Fort Hood, TX where he was a Platoon Leader in the 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, forward deployed to Kosovo. Upon return from Kosovo, CPT Poepping became a Tank Company XO in 1st Brigade 1st Cavalry Division where he participated in a Brigade rotation to Korea. After promotion to Captain, CPT Poepping attended the Maneuver Company Commanders Course in Fort Benning, GA. There he prepared to command both a Charlie Troop (Dismounted) and Bravo Troop (Mounted) as part of 4th Brigade 25th Infantry Division (Airborne).

The Shroud of Turin: What Can We Determine from Scientific Analysis? – Fr. Cyprian Weaver, OSB

 SJU, Emmaus Dining Room, Emmaus Hall

Among the few artefacts in the world, the Shroud of Turin has stirred the imagination, sparked controversy, raised speculations, and strengthened the faith of some. For nearly four centuries, the Shroud has resided in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. Millions of Christians perhaps consider it to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. Controversy has surrounded the shroud from its initial discovery. The history and controversy will be discussed in this presentation along with the various interpretations of the image on the shroud including the evolving use of scientific methods to validate and or further challenge the legitimacy of the shroud and its proposed image of the crucified Christ.

Fr. Cyprian Weaver did his undergrad work at Saint John’s University and his MA in Systematic Theology at the School of Theology and Seminary. Then he received his Master’s (physical anthropology) and first Ph.D. in human biology at the University of Colorado. He received his MS in neuroscience and his second Ph.D. in neuroendocrinology at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. He taught at Saint John’s University (1967-1972; 1978-1990) and is currently working in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School (2007-present).

3-3:45 p.m.

A Science of Female Friendship - Carol Bruess, PhD

CSB, Ardolf Science Center 107

What do women's relationships with friends, sisters, family, colleagues and others have to do with our physical, psychological, professional, and personal wellbeing? Just about everything, and then some! In this session, Dr. Carol Bruess will share the intriguing social science on the power of female connections. You’ll learn about the sometimes-surprising role women’s relationships play in our lives and leave with concrete ideas about how and why you should create and sustain rituals of connection with the women in your lives, no matter your age or stage. Why? Because research shows (spoiler alert): It might just be the single best predictor of how long you’ll live.

Carol J. Bruess (rhymes with “peace”), PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Communication and formerly the director of Family Studies at the University of St. Thomas, MN. For three nearly three decades she has been a professor, researcher, author, and speaker passionate about how humans create healthy relationships through micro-moments of interaction and ritual. Carol is particularly interested in the the power of women in friendship, as well as the impact of the digital age on in-depth listening, robust conversations, and human empathy. The author of five books, she has a popular TEDx Talk “Are All Relationships Messy?” Check out her sewing and design shenanigans – as well as efforts to train their 98lb pup George the Bernedoodle as a therapy dog – at

3:15-4 p.m.

Woodworking shop Tour - Fr. Lew Grobe

SJU, Walking tour - meet at Woodworking Shop

The woodworking shop has helped with construction and expansion of many buildings such as Mary Hall in 1950, the interior of the new monastery in 1956, as well as the forms for the construction of the Abbey church in 1959-1961. The woodworking shop has also created thousands of pieces of furniture such as tables, bookcases, chairs, beds, and coffins for those in the St. John's community. They have also created cabinets to hold The Saint John's Bible Heritage Edition. The woodworking shop has always focused on values of stewardship and sustainability in its practices.

Most recently, the woodworking shop has shared its talents on the Holtkamp-Pasi organ in the Abbey Church. The expansion of the organ, first built by Walter Holtkamp Sr. in 1961, means that there are no longer any musical limitations to community worship. The inaugural year of concerts for the organ launched in the fall of 2021

The Saint John’s Bible: From Inspiration to Illumination - Tim Ternes, Director and Saint John’s Bible Interns

SJU, Sullivan Auditorium, Alcuin 170. There will be a host at the main door of Alcuin Library to direct guests to the auditorium.

Guests will have a guided introduction to The Saint John’s Bible led by an outstanding CSB and SJU  current student. The host will introduce guests to the tools, methods, materials and art of this monumental project created to mark the new millennium. Hear the stories and inspiration behind the making of the original and learn about the stunning fine art edition created to share the Bible with the entire world.

Saturday, June 24

8:30-9:15 p.m.

Green Tea, Hospitality, and Health - Richard Bresnahan ’76, artist in residence

SJU, Saint John's Pottery Studio  

How did green tea traditions evolve over time, and what are the benefits to crafting the perfect brew? Gather around the irori tea table at The Saint John's Pottery with Director and Artist-in-Residence Richard Bresnahan ’76 to learn about the intriguing history of the Japanese tea ceremony, tea-related art objects, and the importance of good tea-drinking habits.

Yoga SOL - Lauren Furmanski ’13

CSB, Athletic Studio located in the basement of the Haehn Campus Center

This dynamic yoga class takes you through a guided flow of poses, synchronizing your breath with traditional yoga movements. The perfect blend of Power Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa.

Lauren started teaching group fitness classes as a student at CSB and that passion continues today.  She has been teaching yoga since 2018 and is now a 500 hour registered yoga teacher. She currently teaches five classes per week at Life Time Fitness.

Capitalism, War, and the Olympic Ideal - Dr. Kenneth M. Jones, Professor of History, Emeritus

SJU, Quad 264

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine raises the possibility of bans and boycotts based on nationality, Olympic traditionalists respond with the argument that “the moment governments decide on who competes, you are politicizing sport in a way that the genie is out of the bottle and you can never put it back.”

Is this true? How can history illuminate this argument about the intrusion of politics into the Olympic temple that values individual competition and friendship over national rivalries? More narrowly, we’ll focus on the 1984 Summer Olympics as a transformative moment that heightened attention and commercialized the games, while opening opportunity for women and competitors from new corners of the world.

Arboretum Walk - Saint John’s Outdoor University

SJU, One-hour walk beings at Abbey Church steps

You’ve hiked the Chapel Trail, but how much do you know about the trail and the surrounding landscape? Take advantage of this opportunity to walk a short loop of the trail and get a close-up look at plants and wildlife and learn more about the natural history of the 2,944 acres of lakes, prairie, oak savannah and forest surrounding Saint John's with a guided walk with arboretum experts.

1-2 p.m.

40 Years of Exploring Canada's Arctic By Canoe - Bob O'Hara, SJU Class of 1963

SJU, Quad 264

Bob O’Hara ‘63 is member of the Explorers Club of New York and the Midwest Mountaineering’s Minnesota Explorers Hall of Fame. He also has first descents as the first non-indigenous person on the Arrowsmith and Quoich rivers in Nunavut.

1:30-2:15 p.m.

Saint John’s Abbey Cemetery Tour  – Josie Stang

SJU, Abbey Cemetery

Saint John's Abbey Cemetery Tour with Josie Stang - meet outside the southwest entrance (by the blue bench) to Emmaus Hall and we'll walk over together.

Since 1876 the deceased monks of Saint John’s Abbey and deceased parishioners of the Collegeville parish have found a resting place “high above the Sagatagan” on our cemetery hill, oriented towards the rising sun. A 2007 expansion provides for other Saint John’s alumni and friends who have chosen to await the final coming with them. This tour will highlight the graves of some unique personalities, monastic and lay, whose presence contributed to Saint John’s distinctive “sense of place.”

Josie Stang is in charge of the Saint John’s Cemetery for the monastic community, for alumni and friends, and for the parish cemetery section. She began this work in 2007 when the addition of the alumni/faculty/friends section of the cemetery was created. Prior to this work, she was Associate Director of Admissions/Financial Aid at Saint John’s Preparatory School for 11 years.

2-2:45 p.m.

Facilities Updates Tour–New and Remade: Monastery Buildings, Main, Haehn Campus Center and Clemens Library – Chad Marolf

CSB, Walking tour - meet in the Fireside Lounge in Gorecki Dining and Conference Center

Through the Illuminating Lives campaign and beyond, the College of Saint Benedict has been investing in the construction of new spaces and the renovation of others. On this tour, you will learn how it came to be that the college purchased three historic buildings from the monastery and transformed them into an admissions welcome centre and spaces for other college administrative functions. This step allowed us to free up and completely remake space in the Main building, which is now home to the departments of Math, Computer Science, Psychology, Economics and Nursing. We have also created new spaces for students in the Haehn Campus Center and an all new Experience and Professional Development home called the Experience Hub.

About Chad Marolf: Chad serves in the Institutional Advancement department as a Senior Principal Gifts Officer. He has been with CSB for eleven years, having served in a similar role for six years prior at St. Cloud State University. Chad harkens from Ohio where he grew up and went to college and grad school. He is married and has three kids ages 30, 27 and 25. He also recently became a grandfather. 

2-3 p.m.

Abbey Church Tour

SJU, meet under Bell Banner

The Abbey and University Church was designed for a complex community made up of Benedictine monks, students of the University, the Seminary and the Preparatory School, a parish attached to the monastery, and visitors. The design of the church was based on the premise that all these members should be allowed closer participation in services. This was achieved by building a vast worship space without columns and based on a trapezoidal shape that would enable all to sit as close as possible to the altar.

The church is a technological feat as well. Incorporating a massive use of cast and steel-reinforced concrete, it was fundamentally constructed by local carpenters who made the forms into which the concrete was cast. The large bell banner at the north side, the main entrance to the church, houses a cross made of oak harvested from the woods at Saint John's Arboretum, and the five bells that call people to worship. It is 112 feet high, stands on thin parabolic arches, and announces that this is indeed a special place.

The British Are Coming! - Thom Woodward ’70

SJU, Quad 264

Trace the history of rock and roll from the 1200s to the British Invasion. Thom Woodward '70 will offer a PowerPoint presentation with music snippets and commentary using the resources of the Hill Museum and a rock history compiler

Cherish the past-embrace the future 

Bradley Miller, Associate Professor of Music and Axel Theimer ‘71 

Stephen B Humphrey Choir Room-028 

A “get together” with Brad and Axel to reconnect, share cherished memories, and learn what is on the horizon for the CSB+SJU choirs!