Potential future Bennies and Johnnies in the Twin Cities metro area had a piece of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University community brought to them Wednesday night when the two schools held their annual Twin Cities reception for accepted students at Best Buy’s corporate headquarters in Richfield.
CSB and SJU senior associate director of admissions Tony Amelse said almost 160 students pre-registered for the event which connected potential incoming first-year students and their families with faculty members, current students and graduates.
“We often talk about what an incredible network CSB and SJU have – especially with our alums,” Amelse said. “And about the value of community in a Benedictine environment. This is a very real way to show that off in a distinct atmosphere and fashion.
“Aligning with a great brand like Best Buy helps show off that network in a very real way.”
The event began with registration and a dessert reception followed by a program kicked off by a welcome message from Corie Barry '97, the chief executive officer of Best Buy Inc.
“As an alumna, it makes my heart happy that you’ve chosen – or are at least considering – Saint Ben’s or Saint John’s for your next steps in education,” Barry said via video. “This is a big decision. One that will certainly influence the rest of your life. As a mom of a high school junior, I say that not to scare you. That’s to excite you. There are so many opportunities ahead for every single one of you. And this is your chance to pave your own path.
“I give a ton of credit to Saint Ben’s for shaping me into the person and the leader I am today. I believe in the sheer power of holistic learning. Which is why I’m a huge advocate of a liberal arts education.”
The crowd on hand was then greeted by Dr. Brian Bruess, the joint president of both CSB and SJU before having the chance to ask questions of a panel consisting of current students, staff and faculty members.
“One of our foundational values is hospitality,” Bruess said. “In fact, we take hospitality extremely seriously. It’s more than a welcome or a smile or someone pulling the door open for you.
“We know that hospitality has a profound educational value. Because we know that when someone is truly welcomed as a student into a classroom, onto a sports team or intramural team, into a residence hall or into a community … when they feel genuinely and authentically welcomed … they feel valued. And when a person feels valued, their opportunity to flourish is unlimited.”
Participants engage in a panel discussion Wednesday night at Best Buy Headquarters.