Business executive LeAnne Matthews Stewart, the current Chair of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University Boards of Trustees and 1987 CSB alumnus, will deliver the College of Saint Benedict’s commencement address at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 at Clemens Field House on the CSC campus. It will be the first opening ceremony at its traditional venue since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stewart will address CSB’s 2022 class of 373 undergraduate women. Stewart will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his significant accomplishments. The degree is awarded to those who have distinguished themselves through their humanitarian and philanthropic contributions to society.
“This class, and all of our students over the past two years – has adapted admirably to the challenges of the pandemic. I am therefore extremely happy that we can give them the opening ceremony that they have deserved, here on our campus,” said Laurie Hamen, CBS Transition President. “LeAnne Stewart is an accomplished leader and an extraordinary Bennie, and her insights will serve our graduates well.
Today, Stewart is chief financial officer of Axia Women’s Health in Voorhees, New Jersey. In 2021, she was named CFO of the Year by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Stewart graduated from CSB with a BA in Accounting and earned her MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business in 1997. She has served on the CSB Board of Directors since 2005. In 2012, Stewart received the award S. Emmanuel Renner for sharing his wisdom, experiences and financial resources to enable all women to experience the benefits of a CSB education.
Regan Dolezal, a political science graduate with a minor in global business leadership from Woodbury, Minnesota, will be the students’ keynote speaker. She’s a videographer for Extending the Link, an admissions guide, and co-host of a podcast through the McCarthy Center called “I’m Glad You Asked.” Last summer, as part of the John Brandl Scholars program, Dolezal completed an internship for an education-focused nongovernmental organization in Arequipa, Peru called Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru. She recently received an award as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in the Czech Republic for this fall.
Medals of Loyalty, Dedication and Service will be awarded
During the ceremony, the CBS President’s Medal will be presented to two outstanding long-time CBS leaders. Kathy Kurvers Henderson ’85, former CBS trustee, and Susan Palmer, CBS vice president of finance and administration who is retiring at the end of this academic year, will receive the medal for their evidence of extraordinary loyalty, dedication, and service to the college and its mission of teaching the liberal arts in the Benedictine tradition.
Henderson served on the board of directors of Saint Ben for 10 years, until 2021. As a public accountant, she chaired the Strategic Resources and Business Infrastructure Committee and served on the Audit Committee of the Board of CBS. She helped build a strong financial foundation for the college, enabling Saint Ben’s to fulfill its mission with excellence. In 2020, she received the S. Emmanuel Renner Award for being a leader, steward and volunteer in service to CBS.
During his more than three decades at Saint Ben’s, Palmer managed the college’s finances. Starting out as Controller in 1988, she was promoted to Vice President of Finance in 1999 and brought clear vision and strong strategic operational leadership to all things CSB as well as to the college’s top management teams, the firm of the president and the strategic orientation council.