A look back at CSB/SJU in 2021

Academics Athletics Campus & Community Student Features

December 14, 2021

Here’s a look at some of the top stories at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University for 2021.


Communication professor Aric Putnam took office in the Minnesota Senate … The Benedictine Volunteer Corps selected its cohort for 2021-22 … MIAC presidents approved competition for all sports after the pandemic caused cancellations … Graduates Alul Yesak ’14 and Muqkadeen Poole ’19 were selected to be part of New Leaders Council Twin Cities (NLC-TC) Fellows cohort.


The Wind Ensemble performed virtually at the Minnesota Music Educators’ Association Midwinter Clinic … SJU graduate Zach Vertin ’05 was appointed senior advisor to Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations … CSB was named a top Fulbright producer. It marked the sixth time in seven years that CSB had been recognized … CSB senior Ashley Toledano-Solis was named to the Young Women’s Cabinet for the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota … CSB basketball knocked off St. Thomas for Mike Durbin’s 700th career win.


The Fighting Saints Battalion was named the top ROTC program in an 11-state region … Juniors Faith Gronda and Fabian Venegas-Ramos were named Newman Civic Fellows … The Howard Hughes Medical Institute funded an Inclusive Excellence initiative at CSB/SJU … CSB/SJU took part in a virtual Innovation Partners pilot program … SJU senior Kriston Clarke, junior Tyler Koll and sophomore Logan Edwards received Extraordinary Service Awards.


25 CSB students were accepted into the Omega Chapter of Delta Epsilon Sigma Catholic honor society … Sophomore Sydney Richter, senior Michael Pineda and the Biology Department’s Human Anatomy Content Development Team were honored with CSB, SJU and team student employment awardsDr. James Mullen was named transitional president of SJU for the 2021-22 academic year … Phi Beta Kappa inducted 53 students for academic excellence … 25 students were inducted into Sigma Beta Delta. It’s the highest national recognition a business or accounting major can receive … Steven Lemke was named associate director of The Saint John’s Pottery and environmental artist-in-residence … ROTC squad leader senior Ethan Erickson earned the national Tom Surdyke Leadership Award, given to the squad leader who best demonstrated leadership abilities … Campus Compact honored three individuals and three organizations … Newly renovated O’Connell’s opened in the Haehn Campus Center … Flynntown construction project to enhance student experience … CSB/SJU was ranked among nation’s top liberal arts schools by College Consensus.


CSB/SJU earned the top three spots at a sports medicine conferenceCommencement ceremonies were held outdoors at Clemens Stadium for the CSB/SJU class of 2021 … SJU golf won the MIAC title in record fashion … CSB first-year Fiona Smith took fifth in the 5K at NCAA track nationals … SJU hosted an NCAA baseball regional … Seven SJU track and field student-athletes earned All-America honors at NCAA nationals … Johnnies finished 15th at the NCAA golf nationals.


CSB/SJU revamped its credit rules on community college transfers … Four CSB/SJU graduates earned Fulbright awards … SJU 2000 alumnus Matt Logelin’s book was the basis for a hit Netflix movie.


CSB/SJU selected Katie Alvino as its new vice president for marketing and communications … Hunter Weiss ’21 was named the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for Division III Women’s Volleyball.


Class of 2025

CSB/SJU welcomed the Class of 2025 to campus … A new video scoreboard was installed in Clemens Stadium.


CSB welcomed its first cohort of students into its new Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. The graduate-level degrees will be the first awarded on the CSB campus and will fill an increasing demand for advanced nurse practitioners and nurse leaders in the region … An organ dedication occurred in the Abbey and University Church … Zippia, a career website, found that SJU was once again the best college for employment placement in Minnesota. It was the fourth time in five years that SJU earned the top spot in Minnesota. For the third year in a row, CSB was second in the state … SJU graduate and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei ’89 answered student questions aboard ISS … CSB/SJU remembered a 9/11 American hero on the 20 th anniversary … 2020 graduates were welcomed back to campus for a commencement ceremony … SJU graduate Tim Healy ’87 received the Bob Basten Award … SJU alumnus Jim Sexton ’81 received the Fr. Walter Reger Award … CSB athletics honored Sister Lois with a building name … College rankings again placed CSB/SJU among national leaders … Six graduates received Entrepreneurship Awards from the McNeely Center … The Multicultural Center debuted to rave reviews during its opening.


The CSB Softball Complex received national recognition … SJU won its second consecutive MIAC golf title … 12 individuals, one team were inducted into the J-Club Hall of Honor … CSB starting varsity lacrosse program, to begin play in 2023 … The first work in the Hassler Sculpture Garden was dedicated … Give CSB Day raised $572,393 toward scholarships … CSB received a national honor for 20 years of Gilman Scholarships.


CSB/SJU secured approval from the Higher Learning Commission and officially launched its search for a single-leader presidentKristin Colberg, associate professor of theology, was named to the 25-person theological commission assisting the Synod of Bishops. She was the only person from the United States on that commission … SJU football won the MIAC title, advanced to NCAA second round … Report found study abroad rates at CSB/SJU near the top nationally … Give SJU Day raised $702,008 for SJU Student Fund Scholarships … CSB sophomore Fiona Smith finished fifth at the NCAA cross country nationals.


CSB/SJU celebrated the season with campus holiday concerts … The SJU rugby club team advanced to the national semifinals.

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