What is Alumnae Relations?
The Alumnae Relations office is the place at Saint Ben’s that is dedicated to the happiness and success of our College of Saint Benedict alumnae. An alumna is any woman who attended Saint Ben’s for at least two semesters. Alumnae Relations is staffed by a team of four professionals dedicated to serving Saint Ben’s alumnae through programs, events, communication and opportunities to stay connected to your alma mater. Alumnae Relations can help alumnae with a variety of services, connections and information and is always the first place you should go if you have any questions or updates to share.
Officially, the purpose of the Alumnae Relations office is to connect, engage, inspire and support all alumnae in the spirit of the women’s Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts experience. We are the keepers of the Bennie sisterhood and providers of the Bennie safety net.
What is Institutional Advancement?
Institutional Advancement (or IA as we are called on campus), is the division of Saint Ben’s that focuses on external constituents, friends and donors of the college. The functions of IA include annual giving, major and planned giving, alumnae relations and advancement services. IA is the department that manages alumnae contact information and preferences. IA is also the department that fundraises to ensure that Saint Ben’s can continue to support young women as they pursue their academic and life goals.
What is the Alumnae Association?
The College of Saint Benedict Alumnae Association is a membership group for any woman who has attended Saint Ben’s for at least two semesters. The Alumnae Association is guided by their board of directors (we refer to them as the Alumnae Board), a representative group of Bennies whose purpose it is to support alumnae and their relationship with Saint Ben’s.
How do I become a member of the Alumnae Association?
You don’t have to do a thing to become a member of the Alumnae Association. Once you’ve attended Saint Ben’s for at least two semesters, you are automatically a member of the Alumnae Association and entitled to enjoy all the benefits of staying in touch with the college.
Does it cost money to be a part of the Alumnae Association?
No! Membership in the Alumnae Association is free and lifelong. It is our great pleasure and honor to support your efforts, challenges and successes throughout your entire life. Saint Ben’s didn’t just commit to you as a student when you were accepted to the college, Saint Ben’s is committed to you for life. If Saint Ben’s asks you for money, we only want it to support current and future Bennies.
What is the Alumnae Board?
The alumnae board is the governing body of the College of Saint Benedict Alumnae Association. This group of Saint Ben’s alumnae represent the interests of the more than 23,000 Bennies around the world. The purpose of the Alumnae Board is to foster and strengthen the lifelong relationship between alumnae and the college; to connect, engage and empower Bennies and to support the mission of Saint Ben’s. Any alumna is eligible to serve as a volunteer on the Alumnae Board.
What is the YAC?
YAC is a collaboration with our colleagues at Saint John’s University. It’s a special effort to engage our youngest alumnae and alumni. YAC stands for Young Alum Community, and features programs, activities, events and connections for alums zero to ten years after graduation. YAC is managed by a group of young alum volunteers who provide great connections and things to do year round.
Why do you need my contact information?
Your contact information (phone numbers, email and mailing address) is important to Saint Ben’s for many reasons. Updated contact information means you will always receive the most current news from campus. The Saint Ben’s Magazine, the Bennie Blast monthly email, invitations to events and activities are just a few of the ways we share what’s happening on campus with our alumnae and friends. Keeping your contact information up to date also means that your classmates and other Saint Ben’s alumnae will be able to find you through BenniesConnect, our online alumnae directory. And yes, of course, your updated contact information means we can write, call or email you to ask for your financial support. Your updated and current contact information also means we can celebrate your milestones from birth announcements to death notices, from professional accomplishments to awards, we are delighted to share your good news with the Saint Ben’s Community.
What's the policy on sharing an alumna's personal contact information?
The College of Saint Benedict shares your personal contact information interdepartmentally (e.g., with CSB Athletics or an academic department), but never outside of the Saint Ben’s community without your permission.
What does the Alumnae Relations office want to know about me?
We especially care about the big milestones in your life: marriages, births, professional accomplishments and opportunities. In addition, we also accept prayer requests and information about the times of struggle in your life, including death notices for your loves ones.
What is a class representative?
A class representative is a volunteer with the purpose of maintaining and cultivating a connection with all the Bennies in her class year. This volunteer opportunity asks for a five-year commitment and is open to all Bennies. For more information about the class representative volunteer opportunity click here.
Where can I find the Benedictine Values?
The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University are guided by the Benedictine Values distilled from the Rule of St. Benedict, written in the sixth century by St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine monastic order. A list of the Benedictine Values, an interpretation of each, and its reference in the Rule of St. Benedict is available here.
What are the ways I can stay informed?
There are multiple ways to stay up-to-date on Saint Ben’s after you graduate. Social media, the CSB Magazine, the Bennie Blast (e-newsletter) and Informed (for donors who give at a leadership level) are just a few of the options for staying current on the news from campus. We also provide lots of opportunities to connect with faculty and staff in person.
Here are a few of the links that are helpful for staying informed:
- College of Saint Benedict Alumnae and Friends (Facebook): /www.facebook.com/SaintBensAlums/
- CSB/SJU Young Alum Community (Facebook): www.facebook.com/groups/CSBSJUYAC/
- College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (Face book): www.facebook.com/csbsju/
- College of Saint Benedict Alumnae Association (Twitter): https://twitter.com/SaintBensAlums
- CSB/SJU (Twitter): https://twitter.com/CSBSJU
- CSB/SJU (Instagram): instagram.com/csbsju
- CSB/SJU (Pinterest): pinterest.com/csbsju
- CSB/SJU (YouTube): youtube.com/csbsjuvideo
- Social media directory: www.csbsju.edu/marketing-communications/social-media-at-csb/sju/social-media-directory
What are the ways I can stay involved?
Your involvement with Saint Ben’s is one of our favorite things to help you discover. Whether you want to volunteer or attend events, there’s something waiting for you.
Here are a few ways to jump in and get started:
- Stay current about campus activities
- Participate in programs
- Read publications from the college
- Refer a student for enrollment
It’s our pleasure to talk with you about your interests, skills and ideas. Then we can help connect you to the right place on campus so that you always feel a strong sense of community.
How can I volunteer?
CSB benefits from the assistance of hundreds of volunteers, every year. In fact, we depend on them. The Alumnae Relations office can connect you directly with many of these, as well as being able to connect you with other opportunities all across campus. For a current list of volunteer opportunities, click here.
How do I refer a new student?
We welcome referrals from alumnae. After all, you’re the ones who know Saint Ben’s (and Saint John’s) the best. Go to www.csbsju.edu/admission/csbsjurefer to refer a future Bennie or Johnnie.
How do I use the Bennie network or just find information about Bennies in my area?
Bennies are all over the world, so we created BenniesConnect to keep you in touch with each other. Go to www.csbalum.com and click on the BenniesConnect icon. You’ll need your “Constituent ID” number which you can find on the mailing label from your latest Saint Ben’s Magazine or by emailing [email protected]. Once you are in the system, you can search for Bennies on the Online Directory. You can also update your contact information or submit a life event update (known as Class Notes) so that Bennies know where you are and what you are doing.
Can Saint Ben's help me promote my cause, event, fundraiser?
We encourage Bennies to promote their events, fundraisers and businesses on our social media pages. The best place to post information is on our Facebook page(s) and on our LinkedIn pages. We also have a place where people who own their own business, work with clients or are looking for customers can post their business information and contact information. It’s called the Bennie Business Online Directory.
Do you have events or programs for alumnae?
Yes! Events can be found at www.csbalum.com/events. We also host a number of programs throughout the year. Here are a few annual programs, for your reference:
- Bennie Mentor program
- First-Year Care Package program
- Month of Gratitude program
Do I still have to live near the campus to be a part of the events?
The Saint Ben’s Alumnae Association hosts events across the United States. The largest segment of our alumnae base is in the Twin Cities area, so our events tend to be centered in that area. On an annual basis, the college selects cities to visit, outside of Minnesota. We list our events on our website: www.csbalum.com/events. Make sure your mailing address and email address are up-to-date to ensure that you are invited to our events, especially if you live outside of Minnesota (visit www.csbalum.com and click on BenniesConnect). There may even be an Alumnae Association chapter near you.
What's the difference between Reunion and Homecoming?
Both are designed to bring Bennies (and Johnnies) back to campus to celebrate and remember time as students. These are times to celebrate the friendships you formed during your time here as well as freshen up your connection to the college. Homecoming is an all-school gathering every year. This family-centered tradition is focused on Johnnie football and celebrating the fall. Reunion is class-year based and designed for alums to come back to campus every five years for a weekend in the summer. Housing is available for all attendees, for a small fee. It’s typically held the fourth weekend of June.
What is Bennie Day? Is there a Bennie Day event in my area?
Bennie Day is a celebration of being a Bennie and being a member of the Saint Ben’s sisterhood. This special tradition was started in the early 2000s by the Saint Ben’s Student Senate. Bennie Day usually takes place the Thursday before Homecoming. Alumnae all over the world are invited to host and/or attend Bennie Day events. The Alumnae Association will contact alumnae over the summer about setting up Bennie Day events for the fall. Bennie Day events will be listed on our Alumnae Event page: www.csbalum.com/events. On Bennie Day, even if you can’t be gathered with your Bennie sisters, we encourage every Bennie to share a photo, memory, story or shout out to other Bennies to celebrate our community.
Why are there so many CSB/SJU events and not just CSB events? Also, why is SJU having an event and I'm not invited?
Much like the way you experienced your life as a Saint Ben’s student, we have created an environment for alumnae where being a Bennie gives you the best of both worlds. We are a college for women and host events just for Bennies. Sometimes we work with our Johnnie counterparts. It’s very important to us that Bennies in all stages of life have the opportunity to think critically, lead courageously and advocate passionately.
Alumnae should also know and understand that Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s are two separate institutions. We each have our own alum offices and do all of our fundraising separately. And, while our partnership with Saint John’s is very special, part of what makes it special is that we continue to do some things separately. Just like your time here as a student.
Where can I find information on campus events (athletics, fine arts, etc.)?
Information for on-campus events can be found on our website:www.csbsju.edu. If you want to look for specific events in departments outside of Alumnae Relations, you can go to:
Where do I get my transcript?
Please contact the Registrar’s Office to obtain your official transcript. You may request it online, in person or by mail.
What career resources are available to me?
We have compiled a variety of tools that can be used to stay in touch with friends, network and brush up on interviewing skills. From the BenniesConnect alum directory to resources from the Office of Experience and Professional Development (formerly Career Services), we are here for you.
What campus resources do I still have access to?
- CSB/SJU Bookstore – Want to buy some Bennie gear, but can’t get back to campus? Shop the CSB and SJU Bookstores online.
- Email for Life – Beginning with the graduating class of 2016, CSB/SJU offers Email for Life. You can continue to access your @csbsju.edu email account in the same ways you always have, free of charge. Contact the Help Desk at 320-363-2888 or email [email protected] for more information.
- Housing – We love it when you come home to visit! Several housing options are available by reservation: Saint Benedict’s Monastery Guesthouse (contact S. Rita Kunkel, 320-363-7088, [email protected]), Saint John’s Abbey Guesthouse (contact Br. Isidore Glyer, 320-363-4010, [email protected]), or the Saint Benedict’s Monastery Hermitage at the Spirituality Center (contact 320-363-7112, [email protected]). Additional on-campus housing is available in the summer through CSB Events and Catering.
- CSB/SJU Library Services – Borrowing cards are available to those living within a 50-mile radius of CSB/SJU. View full policy online.
- CSB Recreational Facilities – Reduced price alum memberships are available for purchase at the Campus Recreation Desk in the Haehn Campus Center (HCC). View pass options and more information.
How long do I have access to my email after I graduate?
Beginning with the graduating class of 2016, CSB/SJU offers Email for Life. You can continue to access your @csbsju.edu email account in the same ways you always have, free of charge. Contact the Help Desk at 320-363-2888 or email [email protected] for more information.
Where can I stay on campus or near campus?
We love it when you come home to visit! Several housing options are available by reservation: Saint Benedict’s Monastery Guesthouse (contact S. Rita Kunkel, 320-363-7088, [email protected]), Saint John’s Abbey Guesthouse (contact Br. Isidore Glyer, 320-363-4010, [email protected]), or the Saint Benedict’s Monastery Hermitage at the Spirituality Center (contact 320-363-7112, [email protected]). Additional on-campus housing is available in the summer through CSB Events and Catering.
Can Saint Ben's help me promote my cause, event, fundraiser?
If you would like to host a CSB or CSB/SJU alum event, we are here to assist! Begin by completing the online Event Planning & Publicity Form. We will follow up with you with next steps once we receive your submission. Thousands of Bennies like you are doing great things in this world. However, due to the sheer volume of good works you do every day and our limited resources, we are only able to offer our “official” support to CSB and CSB/SJU opportunities. Here are some peripheral ways you can promote your endeavors:
- Post on the CSB Alumnae & Friends Facebook page, the CSB/SJU Young Alum Community Facebook Group or your class Facebook page (search “CSB/SJU Class of [your class year]”).
- Post in the CSB/SJU Alums LinkedIn Group.
- Join the Bennie Businesses Network to have your business listed in the Bennie Businesses Online Directory.
How can I promote job/internship opportunities for students?
All CSB/SJU alums can access the online resource Handshake to search for jobs or post job and internship opportunities. This tool is made available exclusively to current students and CSB/SJU alums.
- Become a Handshake Member: Get a password to search the site
- Employers: Post a job/internship/volunteer opportunity on Handshake
- Existing Handshake Members: Log in
Where can I find information about campus events (athletics, fine arts, etc.)?
You can find most events listed on the comprehensive Campus Events Calendar. When viewing the calendar, you can check and uncheck individual calendars to view a broad or specific selection of events. In addition to the campus calendar, you can access the more detailed Alumnae Events, Athletics and Fine Arts Programming calendars on their respective websites.
Why do you ask me for money?
Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s are non-profits. Simply stated, we don’t make a profit on the tuition and revenues that we take in, nor do those dollars fully cover the costs of providing a Saint Ben’s education that is accessible to all. Over 95 percent of our students receive financial assistance in the form of scholarships and/or grants, and we count on financial support from our community to help us provide that financial assistance. We ask because you understand first-hand the value of a Saint Ben’s education, and we hope that you will want to help make this experience accessible for future Bennie women, every year.
If I make a gift to Saint Ben’s or Saint John’s, does my gift go to both schools?
No. The gifts designated to Saint Ben’s will directly benefit Saint Ben’s students, whereas gifts designated to Saint John’s directly benefit Saint John’s students. Although the institutions are joined in many of their functions, students still graduate from their respective schools. Just like each school has its own facilities (libraries, academic buildings, dorms) and presidents, financially they are separate.
Once I make a gift to Saint Ben’s, where does it go?
Your gift goes where you originally designate the gift. If you do not designate your gift, 100 percent of it will go toward current student scholarships. You can always change your designation to a place that most inspires you.
What are the ways to give and can I designate my donation to a specific area on campus?
There are many ways to give to Saint Ben’s including online, electronic fund transfers, matching gifts, planned gifts, and our favorite, sustaining gifts. Read about the Ways to Give to find one that works best for you. With any donation, you have the opportunity to designate your gift to certain areas of need. Or, if you don’t have a preference, your gift will automatically go toward current scholarships.
How do I make a gift to Saint Ben’s?
Making a gift is as simple as going to www.givecsb.com and clicking on the “Give Online Today” button.
What is Phonathon? And why are they calling me?
The Phonathon is a team of current students who work for Saint Bens’ Institutional Advancement. The team calls alumnae, parents and friends of the College of Saint Benedict to build lasting relationships, stay up-to-date with your lives, share campus news and events and raise money for student scholarships. They call to continue the Saint Ben's tradition of community by keeping you connected with us and by helping to provide the Saint Ben's experience for future Bennies in the years to come.
What is Young Alumnae President's Circle (YAPC)?
The Young Alumnae President's Circle (YAPC) brings together Saint Ben's alumnae who want to ensure others have the chance to experience the power of a Saint Ben's education. Members of the Young Alumnae President's Circle are among Saint Ben's most distinguished supporters who have graduated within the past 15 years. To become a member and sustain membership, Bennies must give at leadership levels by making automated monthly gifts, or a one-time gift, in amounts that correspond to their class year.
What is planned giving?
Planned giving is the process of preparing to make a planned gift – a contribution that is arranged in the present and allocated at a future date. Commonly donated through a will or trust, planned gifts are most often granted once the donor has passed away. Read more about CSB Planned Giving options.
How do I submit a story idea? Whom should I contact?
We know Saint Ben’s alumnae are a particularly impressive group. If you know an alumna you think deserves to be in the spotlight for any reason, you can submit a story idea for our print and online publications here. You can also email the alumnae relations team at [email protected]. Make sure to also contact us about your own impressive feats.
How do I find an alum?
It’s easier than ever to get in touch with your classmates. There are a variety of resources you can use to get in touch with old friends. BenniesConnect is the only online social network created exclusively for Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s graduates. You can learn how to register and reconnect with your friends here.
If you’re a young alumna, you can join the Young Alum Community on Facebook and connect with peers from Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s who have graduated within the last 10 years.
How do I update my contact information?
What is the Saint Ben’s magazine?
The College of Saint Benedict magazine is published three times a year by the Saint Ben’s Office of Institutional Advancement. It contains feature stories on alumnae who are doing great things in the world and exciting news about the state of the campus. Feeling out of the loop? It also keeps you up-to-date on classmates who have married, had children, or had an important milestone happen in their life.
What's a milestone? (include info on all awards)
A milestone is a significant event or change in your life. Maybe you got a new job, got married, started a charity, ran an Ironman, wrote a book, won an award, had a child, or displayed work in an art exhibition – or maybe you went all out and did all of the above. We want to help you share your impressive feats and great work. You can submit a milestone on BenniesConnect. You can also email us about any milestones at [email protected]. Milestones will appear in the Saint Ben’s magazine that comes out three times a year.
What is the Bennie Blast?
The Bennie Blast is a once-a-month email newsletter for our alumnae. The Bennie Blast brings you up to date on campus news, shares photos from around campus, spotlights alumnae for their achievements and keeps you informed of alumnae events happening all around the country. If you aren’t getting the Bennie Blast, let us know at [email protected] and we can make sure you stay connected.
What is an alumnae chapter, and is there one in my area?
Maybe you just moved to a new city, or maybe you want to reconnect with classmates close to home. Either way, alumnae chapters are a great way to get in touch with nearby Bennies. Chapters are geographically based groups and they range from informal to formal, with some meeting once a year and some meeting every other month. As of right now there are chapters in the Bahamas, Chicago, Denver, Omaha, Wisconsin, Washington D.C., and the Tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. You can contact Valerie Jones at [email protected] for more alumnae chapter information.
What is an affinity group?
An affinity group connects you to alumnae with whom you have something in common – like your career or an activity you were involved in during school. As part of an affinity group you can share everything from career advice to college memories. Current CSB affinity groups include the Benedictine Bar Association, accounting, choir, ROTC, CSB Senate, politics/public policy and the Young Alum Community. For more information, you can contact Anne Sumangil at [email protected].
How do I find my Benedictine Friend?
If you have lost touch with your Benedictine Friend, you can contact [email protected]. You can also call the Monastery at 320-363-7100.
Who is my class representatives and how do I get in touch with her?
How do I connect with the Monastery?
There are many ways to connect with Saint Benedict’s Monastery. The Monastery’s Spirituality Center is open to individuals or groups, and it provides spiritual direction and a variety of faith and education presentations, workshops and seminars. You can stay for a few hours, or for a few days, taking advantage of the monastic grounds and sacred spaces. For more information you can visit the monastery’s website.
In addition to providing retreats within the Spirituality Center, the Monastery provides home retreats and outreach services.
The Monastery also runs summer camps for young women to learn about God and enjoy their summer.
You can tour Saint Benedict’s Monastery, exploring its grounds as an individual or as a group.
How do I get back in touch with my professors? Is there a program for that?
If your professor is still employed by the college, you can search for them on the website, www.csbsju.edu. Their contact information will be listed, along with their current office for those who want to make an in-person visit. If you are having trouble locating your professor, you can email the Alumnae Relations office at [email protected] or call us at 320-363-5682 and we will do our best to get you in touch.