A Letter from the President

A Letter from the President

A letter from ReBecca Koenig Roloff ’76, MBA

I began my new role as president of our beloved St. Catherine on August 15. The welcomes from faculty, staff, students, alumnae and the Board of Trustees deeply touched me — most especially the campus signs that said “Welcome Home, Becky!”

Home is what St. Catherine has always felt to me, and it is deeply connected to the theme of this fall issue — food. Nothing connects us more to each other than where and with whom we feel at home, and how we share food. It is central to any notion of community.

I drafted this note on a Southwest plane returning from a weekend with my closest women friends from Harvard Business School. While our career lives have taken many different directions, the conversation often centered on mortality and recent losses that had been sustained by some in our circle, and what we wanted to do with the next 20–30 years of our lives if we were lucky enough to enjoy time and health.

I shared the story told at my sister’s funeral about a woman who loved carnivals. She learned one was coming to her town for one day so she saved her money so she could ride every ride. She was at the gates when they opened and immediately realized she had enough money to ride every ride but not enough time to ride every ride. She had more money coins than time coins. The point about my sister MaDonna (1981 grad) was that she had made great choices for how and with whom she spent her coins of time.

If you are reading this magazine, somewhere in your life you chose to invest both your coins of time and your coins of money in a St. Catherine education. I hope you are proud of the choice you made; I know St. Catherine is proud of you.

However many coins of time we each have left, let us enjoy them and spend them to be a positive force for good in the world. 

Remember wherever you are in the world, St. Catherine is yours and you are always welcome here.

I close with a poem that was sent to me this week by Jill Underdahl, CSJ, ’92. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Send Greetings to President Roloff!

Editor's Note:

St. Kate's inaugurated its 11th president on October 11. If you missed the event — and want to extend congratulations — sign the president's guestbook.  

You’ll also find a series of campus activities to celebrate President Roloff's installation on that webpage. 


A selfie with the president!

A selfie with the president!


Connections are made slowly, 
sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.
More than half a tree is spread out
in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm 
that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper 
that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant 
that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark,
and use the sun to make sugar.

Weave real connections,
create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endure: 
make love that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving
and taking more in, a thicket and bramble 
wilderness to the outside but to us
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time:
not always, for every gardener knows that after the digging, after the planting, after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.

Pauline Oo
MAOL Cert ’14, MBA '16

Staff Writers
Sara Berhow​
Julie Michener
Sharon Rolnec

Copy Editor
Kara DeMarie MLIS '16

Carol Evans-Smith
Molly Orth

Project Manager
Kayla Forbes MBA '17

Web Developer
Lindsey Carlson

Director of Visual Communications
Jayne Stauffer

Director of Marketing and Communications
Kristin Kalstad Cummings '91

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