‘CSB’s first full-time president dies at 98’

Sister Remberta Westkaemper, OSB, the first full-time president of the College of Saint Benedict and an important contributor to the sciences at CSB, died at St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud, Minn., on March 13, 1988.

She was born January 2, 1890 in Spring Hill, Minn., to the late Conrad and Christine Westkaemper. S. Remberta entered Saint Benedict’s Convent on July 10, 1907, made her first vows July 11, 1908 and made her final vows July 11, 1911. She celebrated her Golden Jubilee on August 15, 1958 and her 75th Jubilee on August 15, 1983.

She received a bachelor’s degree in botany from the College of Saint Benedict in 1919, a master’s of science in 1922 and a doctorate in 1929 from the University of Minnesota.

S. Remberta taught grade school for nine years in Wadena and Swan River, Minn. In 1917 she taught biology at Saint Benedict’s Academy and CSB and was president of CSB from 1957-61. From 1961-73 she taught biology and physiology at CSB; during these years she also spent two years teaching anatomy and physiology at the St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing. She retired in 1973.

Professor emerita of CSB, S. Remberta was a Sigma Xi Honor Society member, a Minnesota Academy of Science member, an Award for Distinguished Service to Science recipient, an outstanding teacher of America for 1972, a “Who’s Who Among Women” entry, an “American Catholic Who’s Who” entry, and she was an elected member of the science division of the American Benedictine Academy.

An expert on the flora of Stearns County, S. Remberta collected and classified more than 600 specimens of plants from Stearns County for herbariums at both CSB and the University of Minnesota. She was preceded in death by three sisters and three brothers.

Saint Benedict’s Today – March 14, 1988