Alumni Awards

 Each year, awards presented on behalf of the Alumni Association are given to outstanding alumni and a faculty or staff member of The College of St. Scholastica. These awards are particularly prestigious because alumni embody the enduring values of The College of St. Scholastica and impart them to our world through their personal and professional activities and relationships. Recognition by alumni is the highest award the College can give.

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The Awards

Sister Ann Edward Scanlon Award

Sister Ann Edwards

The Sister Ann Edward Scanlon Award is given to an alumna/alumnus who like its namesake:

  •  demonstrates an exceptional level of commitment to the College 
  •  shows outstanding dedication in working to improve his/her community

Read more about Sister Ann Edward

Sister Mary Rochefort ’70

Meet the Winner of the 2015 Sister Ann Edward Scanlon Award

Sister Mary Rochefort '70 serves as vice president of mission integration at the College. She helps instill the Benedictine Values in students, faculty and staff through leading activities and prayer as well as her writings. She devotes a great amount of time to community service, giving retreats and days of reflection for women; helping local second-graders prepare for their First Communion; and serving on the Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center Board in Duluth. Her nominator writes: "Above all, Sister Mary is a trustworthy person of integrity who is a woman of prayer. Her deep faith and reliance on prayer aids her in all her endeavors."

View Past Recipients of the Sister Ann Edward Award

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Sister Alice Lamb Award

Sister Alice Lamb

The Sister Alice Lamb Award is a career achievement award given to an alumna/alumnus who:

  •   is well-established in his/her professional career
  •   has contributed significantly to her/his profession
  •  has maintained a life-long commitment to The College

About Sister Alice Lamb: Sister Alice Lamb was associated with the College for 52 years before her death in 1983. She was a professor and head of the Biology Department and later academic dean of the College. This award in her name recognizes her lifelong commitment to her profession and the College.

Susan Dekich ’78 Meet the Winner of the 2015 Sister Alice Lamb Award

Susan Dekich '78 is the longest-serving teacher in her school district, and is one of the first to arrive and the last to leave each day. She teaches children with special needs and learning disabilities, and also volunteers her time by running school dances and the school store. Her nominator writes: "Her job can be very difficult, but she embraces each day with a positive attitude that radiates to her students." Susan volunteers through several organizations in Grand Rapids, including the local homeless shelter and her church. An avid supporter of St. Scholastica, she donates to the College and participates in homecoming reunion activities.

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Sister Timothy Kirby Benedictine Spirit

Sr. Timothy Kirby

The Sister Timothy Kirby Benedictine Spirit Award recognizes a graduate of St. Scholastica who:

  • has been a credit to the College by his or her professional achievements
  • exemplifies the Benedictine values of
    • respect for the individual
    • dignity of work
    • stewardship
    • hospitality
    • love of learning

Read more about Sister Timothy Kirby

David Sparby ’76

Meet the Winner of the 2015 Sister Timothy Kirby Benedictine Spirit Award

David Sparby '76 recently retired as the regional CEO of Xcel Energy. His previous positions include VP and CFO of Xcel Energy and president and CEO of Northern States Power Company - Minnesota. Throughout his career, he was known as a leader who valued and respected his colleagues. He has been involved in charity work through Xcel and the United Way, and led green energy initiatives that have made Xcel a sustainable energy leader. He serves on the St. Scholastica Board of Trustees, and is proud of his family legacy at the College: his mother, wife and children are all Saints alums. He enjoys attending alumni events with his family.

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Scholastica Inspiration Award

Strength, Providence, Wisdom and Rebirth Animal Icons The Scholastica Inspiration Award, established in 1994, honors a faculty or staff person whose interest and care for students made a significant impact on their lives.

Heidi Johnson, MA ’97Meet the Winner of the 2015 Scholastica Inspiration Award

Heidi Johnson is the first year/information literacy librarian at St. Scholastica, and is known for her patience and ability to listen well, an emphasis in the Rule of St. Benedict. Her nominator writes: "Heidi embodies what it means to be a faculty member at a Benedictine institution." With a passion for historic preservation, she shows commitment in her volunteer role of College Archivist, Pro Tem. She has designed a records database, modified the classification system used to organize photos and documents, and digitized a tremendous amount of primary documents. Heidi is also very involved in a wide range of other volunteer activities.

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Young Alumni Achievement Award

CSS Alumni AssociationThis award presented Homecoming Weekend, honors an alumnus or alumna who:

  • is under 40 years of age
  • demonstrates a high level of achievement early in his or her career
  • shows support of the College
  • lives out the Benedictine values through service to others

Christopher Rubesch ’08Meet the Winner of the 2014 Young Alumni Achievement Award

Chris Rubesch graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Humanities; he is currently enrolled in the
St. Scholastica Post Baccalaureate Nursing program and is looking forward to focusing on public health issues once he receives his degree.

Chris is a former member of the CSS cross country, track, and ski teams. He is an ultra-marathoner and the vice president of the Upper Midwest Trail Runners, an organization with a goal of supporting and conducting running activities and protecting and supporting local trails and parks.

Chris has exemplified our Benedictine values of community, respect, hospitality, love of learning and stewardship through his generous support to improve the lives of disenfranchised residents of the Duluth area. He always seems to find time to devote to his passion of working for those less fortunate in the Duluth Community and even on a more global scale.

Chris is as a founding member of DuluthQ, a group that began meeting in 2010 to promote community discussion and action by asking questions related to social justice issues which impact the Duluth area. Chris helped produce a documentary about poverty, homelessness and the working poor in Duluth, which premiered August 23, 2011 at Teatro Zuccone.

Chris serves on the Board of CHUM and is the youngest member. In addition to serving on the Board, he is a member of the CHUM Communication Committee and also served on the CHUM Director Search Committee. Chris is a member of the Duluth-Superior Friends Meeting (Quakers) Peace and Social Concerns Committee

Chris is one of the co-founders and serves on the Basa Village Foundation Board of Directors and on the Education Committee. After traveling to Nepal and staying in the mountain village of Basa, Chris became interested in helping the villagers accomplish self-determined projects. Chris' primary focus has been the education of the children of the village.

Basa Village Foundation is an organization dedicated to helping the remote Nepalese village of Basa improve living conditions by assisting in the development of hydroelectric systems, improving sanitary conditions, providing clean water, contributing medical supplies, aiding in the construction of local schools and providing school supplies, all while maintaining respect for the culture of the village and region

On days off he has visited schools to talk to students about running, the importance of healthy lifestyle, exercise, and nutrition. Chris lives his life enthusiastically with strong commitments. He buys locally-grown food because it helps others in our area sustain their lives and promotes a better environment. His home is earth friendly with a solar-panel hot water/heating system. He has converted his small yard to gardens and fruit trees and has dabbled with bee keeping, all in an effort to become more sustainable. He lives his beliefs in a quiet unassuming manner.

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Previous Award Winners