Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Proud to be a Katie!

I graduated from the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) in 1998 with a B.A. in English and Philosophy. (It's hard to believe that was almost fifteen years ago!) Today is Shout Out St. Kate's Day, so I wanted to share some facts about St. Kate's as well as just a few memories from my four years there.

'Just the facts, ma'am'
  • St. Catherine's college for women is the largest in the country.
  • It was the first Catholic college or university in the country to receive a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 1937.
  • It is the most diverse of all Minnesota private colleges.
  • St. Kate's is the most comprehensive of any Minnesota private college, with associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees awarded.
  • It is in the top 10 percent of all U.S. News and World Report colleges and universities in our category.
  • It is more than 100 years old (106 to be exact!).
  • There are more than 5,200 students at St. Kate's (3,000 in the baccalaureate program).
  • The newly renovated facilities house the second largest human anatomy (cadaver) lab in Minnesota.
  • The Minnesota Women's Press named Paula King, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Business and Leadership, to its "Changemakers 2011" honor roll.
I have many, many memories from St. Kate's, more than I can write about here. But I thought I would share just a few memories of my "real life" as a student -- you know, the things that don't usually end up in the facts and figures.

I remember ...
  • The beautiful grounds full of flowers in spring and vibrant foliage in the fall. I still live near St. Kate's and love walking around the campus.
  • Feeding geese at the pond and squirrels everywhere on campus.
  • Living on campus, especially in Whitby Hall, where most of my junior- and senior-year classes were held. In the winter I went to class without putting on a coat -- or even "real" shoes.
  • Being a writing assistant in the O'Neill Center for Academic Development during my senior year.
  • Working as a childcare aide in the campus Early Childhood Center. The center was near the "wooded" area of campus, and occasionally we saw the resident fox out for a jaunt (while the children were all safely inside, of course).
  • Starting out with an undeclared major and finally deciding near the end of my sophomore year what two subjects to focus on for my degree. I enjoyed all my general-requirement classes and had a hard time picking just two. I was pretty close to a minor in Theology, too.
  • Attending the Dew Drop Bop party every spring, which was especially fun when the weather cooperated, and it could be held outside.
  • Decorating my dorm-room door. I used to cut pictures of flowers out of seed catalogs, glue them on coordinating construction paper and completely cover my door. (Even during college you never found me far from craft supplies.)
  • Sitting with friends at dinner in the dining hall and listening to everyone say a certain word to see who had the strangest accent. Somehow that always ended up being me, even though I was usually the only one in the group actually from Minnesota. (Shouldn't I have had the "normal" accent?) I think the word that always got me was "boat."
If you or someone you know -- whether a traditional-age or returning student -- is heading to college, consider St. Catherine University. I'm definitely proud to be a Katie!