The Saint John’s Pottery, Saint John’s Outdoor University receive matching gifts

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July 31, 2017

The Saint John’s Pottery and Saint John’s Outdoor University have each received a gift of $175,975 from a planned gift from the estate of the late Bernard Kathmann.

He created his planned gift in 2009, and passed away on Oct. 29, 2016, in Ontario, California.

Kathmann was a long-time friend of SJU despite not attending the college. His nephew, Mike Kathman, was the director of libraries at SJU and the College of Saint Benedict. Mike’s wife, Jane Kathman, was a professor of management at CSB and SJU.

Both gifts will provide financial support for student and apprenticeship programs offered by Outdoor U and the Saint John’s Pottery, respectively.

The purpose of the Mildred and Bernard Kathmann Endowed Outdoor U Fund is to provide endowed financial support for the Outdoor U Fellowship Program, a one-year full-time position for recent graduates to acquire valuable and practical working experience in environmental education. The fund also supports students to pursue research in environmental studies, environmental education and related natural resource issues, and logistical support specific to achieve these goals.

The fund will also ensure that funding is available so students will continue to share in a style of learning that has become characteristic of SJU and its academic partner, the College of Saint Benedict. Support will be available to students from CSB and SJU with an interest in and a passion for issues related to Saint John’s Outdoor University. 

The purpose of the Mildred and Bernard Kathmann Saint John’s Pottery Apprenticeship Fund is to provide financial resources for the Pottery apprenticeship. The apprenticeship program provides formal training to post-undergraduate artists in sustainable resource development, ceramic production and contemporary art theory. Proceeds from the endowment will be used for to support these individuals in their creative and technical development.

Bernie Kathmann was born in Quincy, Illinois, and was the youngest Boy Scout to receive the Eagle Award, at age 13, in 1929. He met his wife, Mildred, in 1931, and the two were married in June 1941 in San Diego.

They spent the rest of their lives in California, living in the same house for 55 years. Although he worked a variety of jobs, he spent most of his working years with Armstrong Nursey as an accountant and later as purchasing manager. Mildred passed away in 2003.