Thanks to all who attended the Saint Mary’s University Centennial celebration weekend! The presence of over 1,200 Saint Mary’s University alumni, benefactors and friends was felt through the Centennial All-School Reunion and Red Carpet Gala events on the Winona campus. The weekend was a chance to celebrate and to recognize all who have played a vital role in the university’s first century — as well as to officially launch the second century.
For those unable to attend, the numerous activities included decade and reunion class gatherings, canoe trips, an alumni art exhibition, ropes course demonstrations, city and campus tours, a 5K fun run, and an all-school picnic. Additionally more than 50 Christian Brothers from around the world gathered on campus for the unveiling of a new statue — designed by Brother Jerome Cox ’60 — which honors all members of the international Catholic teaching order who have served the university.
At Saturday’s Gala, more than 800 guests were treated like Hollywood stars, beginning with a red carpet entrance (complete with student “paparazzi” and live interviews). Guests enjoyed a reception in the Gostomski Fieldhouse, which was transformed for one night into a giant, glittering celebrity lounge, with entertainment provided by the John Paulson Big Band. A gourmet meal was served during a special program, which spoke to the transforming nature of the university, past, present and future. Emcee Bill Lunn ’87, news anchor for KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities, kicked off the program in true Oscar-esque style as music and movies set the scene for the glamorous evening.
Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, Superior General of the Institute of Brothers of the Christian Schools accepted a Centennial Award on behalf of the Institute, and Brother Larry Schatz, Visitor, accepted a Centennial Award on behalf of the Midwest District of the Christian Brothers. Also honored were the Centennial honorary co-chairs, Mike ’66 and Claudia (Drvota CST’69) Dooley and Jack and Mary Ann (Wera CST’64) Remick, as well as Mike ’62 and Joette Gostomski of Winona. The Gostomskis received the Heritage Award for their outstanding support, engagement and philanthropy. In his remarks, Brother William invited alumni, staff and friends to join him in ushering a second century of educational excellence at Saint Mary’s.
The clouds parted after dinner and in between thunderstorms, so guests could view a spectacular fireworks display on the university plaza, and attendees danced the night away to the cool sounds of Nicholas David, finalist in NBC’s “The Voice.”