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BSM Celebrates the Legacy of St. Margaret’s Academy

BSM Celebrates the Legacy of St. Margaret’s Academy
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On Wednesday, Mar. 13, Benilde-St. Margaret’s welcomed back alumnae from St. Margaret’s Academy for the school’s annual Lenten Healing Mass. The women, representing classes from the 1950s and 1960s, were welcomed by President Danielle Hermanny ‘03 and the BSM community with enthusiasm and gratitude for their part in our school’s history.

“BSM has lasted and thrived in no small part because of the strong legacy SMA carried into it: the legacy of community and care for one another,” said Hermanny, noting, “We are not Benilde-St. Margaret’s, without St. Margaret’s Academy. Please join me again in thanking these remarkable women, our fellow alums, for their important place in the history of this remarkable community.”

Among the alumnae from St. Margaret’s Academy are women who became members of the Sisters of St. Joseph, including Sister Cathy Steffens, a member of the SMA class of 1962 and a current BSM board member. She greeted students and guests by noting the school’s long reputation of academic excellence. “My grandmother came to St. Margaret’s (Academy) from North Dakota at the turn of the century because she was interested in the more expanded education the school was known for.”

Sister Cathy also spoke about the Mass of Healing and the importance of healing which comes in different forms, “It might be social, spiritual, or physical healing. Even a kind word can heal. I invite you to think of an opportunity to make healing and kindness a reality for someone else in your life before the end of the day. When thinking of your opportunity to offer healing for others, remember that you can be a presence of light and joy for them.”

Following the celebration of Mass, led by Father Tim Wozniak ‘66, the SMA alumnae enjoyed a reception hosted by President Hermanny and BSM’s alumni relations team. The women shared memories and reflections of their experiences in school and the lasting friendships which endure to the present. For Karen Peters Shull ‘65 and her sister Michele Peters Copperud ‘60, the gathering allowed them to reflect on their family’s legacy and strong connection to SMA and Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

“Our mother graduated from SMA in 1938 along with her sisters,” Shull explained. “It’s the feeling of community which keeps our family connected to BSM.” Along with Shull and Copperud, their five sisters also graduated from SMA. Shull’s three children later followed and are BSM alums. “Now my grandkids are attending BSM and loving it. It’s the caring teachers here, and I can still feel it today - the spirit of discipline through love.”

While on campus, the SMA alumnae were also treated to a special welcome from BSM’s Little Knights who greeted the ladies with daisies in front of the St. Margaret’s Academy doors. The doors, some of the last remaining historic artifacts from the original school and beloved pieces of history at BSM, have spurred much curiosity for our preK children.

As an all-girls school, St. Margaret’s Academy was founded in 1907 near the Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis. Its reputation led to expansions until it outgrew the facilities and moved to a larger campus location near Theodore Wirth Park in 1960. In 1974, St. Margaret’s Academy and Benilde High School merged to become Benilde-St. Margaret’s School.

This year’s visit of SMA alumnae coincided with Women’s History Month, annually celebrated in March. “We are proud to celebrate the women of the past, welcoming them back to our campus as a reminder to our students where the “St. Margaret’s” comes from in Benilde-St. Margaret’s,” said Catie-Scherer-Brakin ‘99, alumni relations & community events specialist.

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About Benilde-St. Margaret's School
Benilde-St. Margaret's (BSM) is a Catholic, co-educational private prep school for grades 7–12 located in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, that draws its over one thousand students from throughout the Twin Cities Metro Area. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

The mission of BSM is to educate, empower, and inspire learners within a Catholic community to lead lives of faith, achieve academic excellence, and contribute meaningfully to a global society.

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