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Welcoming our new president

June 19, 2018

News Presidents Update


Mary Ann Remick, chair of the Board of Trustees, has appointed a Presidential Transition Team to assist Rev. James P. Burns, IVD, Ph.D., as he familiarizes himself with the needs, goals, culture, and charism of Saint Mary’s University. A primary focus of the team will be to facilitate a collaborative and inclusive transition process for Father Burns that will acquaint him with the university, its employees, students, benefactors, alumni, and the communities which it serves. These individuals were appointed to the team:

  • Lynn Albee, assistant dean for the Graduate School of Education
  • Brother Francis Carr, FSC, former trustee
  • John Domanico, trustee
  • Marilyn Frost, trustee
  • Tim Gossen, vice president for Mission and Student Life
  • Roger Haydock, trustee
  • Audrey Kintzi, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations
  • Bobbi Kochevar, past president of the Alumni Board
  • Ann Merchlewitz, executive vice president and general counsel (chair)
  • Joseph Tadie, associate professor of Philosophy

The team is pleased to announce these welcome sessions for Father Burns have been scheduled:

July 9
9 to 11 a.m.
Faculty and Staff Reception
Twin Cities Campus

July 9
3 to 5 p.m.
Faculty and Staff Reception
Winona Campus

July 11
3 to 5 p.m.
Winona Community Reception

July 27
3 to 5 p.m.
Rochester Community Reception

Aug. 7
3 to 5 p.m.
Twin Cities Community Reception

You are welcome to attend any and all of these events. Event locations are being finalized, so additional information will be sent out in the very near future. We will keep you updated on the work of the Presidential Transition Team.


As we anticipate the arrival of Father Burns, please welcome him with prayer. Add a personal welcome to Father Burns.

Prayer for Father Burns

Let us remember … That we are in the holy presence of God.

God, in this time of transition for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, we seek your blessing and guidance. We lift up Father James Burns as our next president, may he rely on your wisdom and direction. In the light of our Lasallian Catholic tradition, guide him with a love for this place, for our history and purpose, and for our people.

May he come with an open heart and a clear, prophetic vision — full of faith and dedicated to service, community, and scholarship. Guide him with strength and conviction, wisdom and courage, humility and cooperation. Above all, may he be a model for our students and community dedicated to our mission to “awaken, nurture, and empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership.”

We pray for our community — students, educators, staff, alumni, and friends — that as we enter this time of transition we do so with anticipation, hope, and a desire to embrace God’s plan for the future. We ask for the grace to warmly welcome Father Burns into our community and “together and by association” live fully the tradition of Lasallian education.

We look forward to what lies ahead. In the legacy of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, we rely upon your providence to always give abundantly both in our challenges and successes. We call upon you each step of the way and place this process in your hands as you shape Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and our call to be prophetic in all that we do.

We pray all these things through our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Saint John Baptist de La Salle … Pray for us.
Mary, Patroness of our University … Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts … Forever!