by Dennis Dalman
Three days of special inaugural festivities will precede a big welcome for Mary Dana Hinton, the College of St. Benedict’s new president.
Hinton, the 15th president in the college’s 100-year history, will be inaugurated starting at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21 with an open-to-the-public Inauguration Eucharist in the Sacred Heart Chapel on the monastery grounds. The actual inauguration will take place from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Benedicta Arts Center. Hinton will give a speech entitled “Celebrating Our Collective Brilliance.” The inauguration is open to the public, but registration is suggested. Call CSB to register, 320-363-5060.
Events leading up to the inauguration include the following:
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, there will be a talk given by Eric Chenoweth in Room 204 of the Gorecki Center on the CSB grounds. Chenoweth’s speech is entitled “Lighting the Darkness: Exploring Alternatives to Violence.” She is associate professor and director of the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Chenoweth is widely recognized as an expert on political violence and alternatives to it. Her talk is free and open to the public.
At 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, there will be an Illuminated Run and After-Party for students, faculty, staff and families. It will take place on the CSB campus. All runners will be given a set of glow gear that includes glow jewelry and paint. Registration is requested. Call 320-363-5060.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, the Okee Dokee Brothers, a folk-music duo with back-up musicians, will perform a free concert at the Benedicta Arts Center. One of the members of the Grammy-award-winning band is Joel Mailander, a 2008 graduate of St. John’s University. Mailander and his musical teammate, Justin Lansing, grew up in the Denver area. Both love the outdoors and write songs about it, which they love to share with children and parents. Their Grammy-winning album, Through the Woods, is a CD designed to awaken the wonders of nature in children.
From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., also Saturday, guests and students will be invited to enjoy games and a barbecue on the CSB Mall. That, too, is free. After the mall festivities, there will be a football game starting at 1 p.m. in Clemens Stadium, Collegeville, when the SJU Johnnies will play Concordia-Moorhead. Bus transportation will be available between CSB and SJU. Also at 1 p.m. there will be a Blazer soccer game at CSB.
From 7-9 p.m. Saturday night, visitors will be able to listen to musical performances by students, along with s’mores, at the Darnall Amphitheater just outside the Benedicta Arts Center. Also from 7-9 p.m., there will be tours of the CSB campus, and participants should meet at the Hospitality Center, Room 120 of the Gorecki Center.
From 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21 there will be coffee available all day at the Hospitality Center. From 8-10 a.m. there will be more tours of CSB starting at the Hospitality Center.
The Grammy-winning Okee Dokee Brothers are Justin Lansing (left) and Joel Mailander, who is a 2008 graduate of St. John’s University. The musical buddies, who were raised in the Denver area, write clever, tuneful songs about the wonders of nature for children and parents.
Mary Dana Hinton was named the new CSB president July 1.
She earned a doctorate in religion and religious education from Fordham University in New York City, a masters’ degree in child psychology from the University of Kansas and earlier a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.
Most recently, she was vice president for academic affairs at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. She has also been vice president for academic affairs, as well as a faculty member at Misericordia University in Dallas, Penn.
She began her career as an elementary school teacher while still an undergraduate.
Hinton’s book is entitled “The Commercial Church: Black Churches and the New Religious Marketplace in America.” The book involves African-American religious history, religious education, strategic planning and leadership.
Hinton also wrote a study on the relationships between food and religion, about how religious practices often inform food choices.
She has been a member of several national boards such as the Association of General and Liberal Studies, the Religious Education Association and the Mid-Atlantic Council of the American Academy of Religion.
Hinton said her enthusiasm for leading CSB stems from her personal experience with women’s residential education at St. Mary’s High School in Raleigh, N.C. and her liberal-arts education as an undergraduate student at Williams College. She has also had many professional relationships on Catholic college campuses and has a strong dedication to combining a spiritual approach to liberal-arts education.
Hinton and her husband, Robert Williams, have three children: Hallela, Hillel and Hosanna. The family will live in the Renner House, CSB’s presidential residence in St. Joseph.
Mary Dana Hinton will be inaugurated Sept. 21 as the 15th president in the 100-year history of the College of St. Benedict.