by MaryAnne Block
Students and staff of the College of St Benedict and St John’s University hosted the film crew of the award-winning Amazon Prime documentary, “The College Tour,” Tuesday-Saturday, Oct. 3-7.
The crew will feature the two colleges in an upcoming “College Tour” TV program, sometime in the spring of 2024. The exact date and time will be announced later.
During the film-crew visits, the campuses were in the full glory of fall foliage, and a quiet air of expectation was apparent at various filming sites.
The Newsleaders interviewed several people on the campuses.
Cory Piper, dean of administration for CSB, said she was aware of how popular “The College Show” has become. When she checked online, she noticed its website listed various colleges and universities planned for upcoming shows, but CSB and SJU were not among them.
“So I emailed them,” she said. “After a few weeks, I heard back (that) they were very interested. Twelve weeks before filming, we were notified we had been chosen, and pre-production began about 10 weeks prior to filming.”
Associate Director of Media Relations for SJU/SCB Michael Hemmesch shared with the Newsleaders an email message he’d sent to students: Students were invited to create a two-minute audition video with their names, majors, and why they love St. Ben or St. John’s. Eight current students and two alumni were selected for filmed interviews.
On Oct. 5, television host Alex Boylan was on campus. A press release stated “The College Tour” shares the story of a single college or university “through the authentic lens of its current students.”
The program producers consider academics, community, learning experience, study abroad, athletics, student clubs and organizations, and more.
Each of the two campuses enrolls about 3,000 on-campus students. While 10 were selected for interviews, the student body also had an opportunity to be filmed at various times. The filming culminated Oct. 7 with a football game between St. John’s vs. Concordia College of Moorhead. The crowd was ready for a good home game. The excitement may have helped the SJU Johnnies win, 42-23.