Saint Mary's University
In 1912, the cornerstone for Saint Mary’s University was set atop Terrace Heights in Winona, overlooking a vast expanse of scenic farmland and a vibrant and developing industrial community. The vision of Saint Mary’s founder, Winona Bishop Patrick Heffron, centered on providing a quality, faith-based education for young men in Winona.
Throughout the past 100 years, Saint Mary’s has transformed from a single multi-purpose school into a diverse educational network with nearly 6,000 students – extending from the undergraduate campus in Winona to the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs (with offerings in Winona, the Twin Cities, Rochester, Apple Valley, Minnetonka, Oakdale and more than 100 off-campus sites throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin – and as far away as Kenya and Jamaica).
Saint Mary’s is a private, Lasallian Catholic institution guided by the De La Salle Christian Brothers since 1933. The university is nurtured and guided by Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the patron saint of education and the founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.
A hallmark of Lasallian education is individualized attention to students and accessible and relevant education. This is continually felt and witnessed throughout the caring community of faculty, staff and students.
As we move forward into the next century, Saint Mary’s looks back on the many people and organizations – including the Winona Area Chamber – who have played a vital role in its growth and development. Saint Mary’s has a long history of leadership relationships with the Chamber, as many members of the SMU community have served in executive roles. Additionally, Saint Mary’s benefits from being a part of a strong Chamber membership through programming, communications and advocacy.
Saint Mary’s is looking forward to a second century of growth, progress and educational excellence. Saint Mary’s will continue to be a pioneer in finding new ways to adapt higher education to the needs of its learners and the needs of society. SMU’s mission remains constant: to prepare tomorrow’s leaders for ethical lives of service and leadership.
As we look forward to the next 100 years, we are proud to be an education partner in this community!
Winona State University
The origins of Winona State University can be traced to the earliest days of the State of Minnesota. Although still a part of the nation’s western frontier in 1858, settlers were rapidly populating the newly formed state. The Minnesota Legislature determined schools would be required for the state’s children and teachers would be needed to educate those students. Lawmakers passed an act calling for the establishment of a state normal school to prepare teachers.
When the citizens of Winona learned of the opportunity to be the home of the first state normal school, they raised $7,000 in money and land nearly overnight. Because of the community’s overwhelming support, Winona was quickly selected as the site for the first teaching training institution west of the Mississippi River.
The Winona State Normal School held its first classes in 1860. As the school opened its doors, it began sending newly trained teachers out into the state to help meet the educational needs of its citizenry.
Throughout its history, the school’s mission and goals have evolved to reflect the times and needs of the region and nation. In 1921, the normal school became the Winona State Teachers College, authorized to grant bachelor’s degrees. Another name change to Winona State College in 1957 reflected an expanded mission with the addition of bachelor of arts, master of science and associate in arts degrees. In 1975, the institution earned full university status.
Winona State has grown into a vibrant university structured in five colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Science and Engineering. Enrollment, including the Winona and Rochester campuses and adult education and outreach programs, totals almost 8,900. Undergraduate degrees are granted in more than 100 areas of study, while 32 graduate programs are offered, including the Doctor of Nursing Practice.
A comprehensive university that prepares students to be skilled, responsible and active citizens, Winona State is recognized nationally as a leader in higher education. The university’s innovative programs encourage active learning opportunities and respect for diverse ideas. Its incorporation of contemporary technology into the learning environment offers students many advantages in today’s rapidly changing world.
Winona State is as committed today to providing a future filled with opportunity as it was when it was founded more than 150 years ago. With a clear vision of quality education, the university continues to fulfill its contract to improve the lives of the people of Minnesota, the nation and the world.
Minnesota College-Southeast Techical
With a mission to educate for employment, Southeast Technical has had a close, symbiotic relationship with the local business community since the college’s founding in 1948. Graduates of our 90+ academic programs receive hands-on training in numerous fields and enter the workforce ready for success on day one. Ensuring that our programs remain relevant and responsive to workforce needs is a high priority, which is why the college’s longstanding membership in the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce has been of such value.
Through our Winona Area Chamber of Commerce membership, Southeast Technical has made connections with area business leaders that have enriched our graduates’ educational opportunities and career prospects. Whether through equipment sharing, providing internship opportunities, participation in program advisory committees or donations to the college’s foundation, area businesses and business professionals have helped make college education more accessible, affordable and valuable for Southeast Technical students. And just as area businesses have touched Southeast Technical, many college staff members have served on a variety of Chamber committees and on the Chamber Board, including Southeast Technical President Jim Johnson’s term as Chamber President in 1992.
So what’s in Southeast Technical’s future and how can partnering with the college benefit members of the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce? Just like other Chamber members, Southeast Technical is adapting to an explosion of technological advancements. As manufacturing, nursing, auto repair, electronics and other career fields become more high-tech, students at Southeast Technical will stay ahead of the curve by receiving training on the latest state-of-the-art equipment. To our business partners, this means Southeast Technical graduates have the hands-on training and technical skills that your business requires. Southeast Technical also has a full slate of Liberal Arts and Sciences offerings to ensure that graduates are well-rounded, critical thinkers who will excel in any work environment.
With 80 percent of Southeast Technical graduates staying in the region and contributing to the local economy, Southeast Technical and the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce have a shared interest in advancing each other’s goals. Addressing the challenges of yesterday and today have made us strong partners and this relationship will continue long into the future as we strive to develop healthy and thriving communities through a strong business climate.