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All-School Reunion: We are family

Moms and daughters part of throng who celebrate June 28-30 at CSB

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July 1, 2013

Moms: Tanya Carlone '90 and Mary Schmelzer '90 (green shirt)
Daughters: Megan Carlone '17 (purple shirt) and Amelia Schmelzer '17

The College of Saint Benedict's All-School Reunion was a family event for some among the alumnae who returned to campus June 28-30. Mother/daughter and sibling arrivals were common among the roughly 1,450 people who came to celebrate during CSB's Centennial, "A Century of Connection."

For all the alumnae, the reunion weekend promised a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate 100 years of women's education and the sisterhood of Saint Ben's.

The All-School Reunion attracted Bennies from around the world, from 38 states and seven countries (including one graduate from Australia), and from ages ranging from one 96-year-old to seven 18-year-olds, who will begin college life in August at CSB.

Among the attendees were Tanya Carlone '90 and her incoming first-year daughter, Megan, and Mary Schmelzer '90 and her incoming first year-year daughter, Amelia.

It turns out that Tanya, an economics major, and Mary, an interior design major, lived on the same floor in Corona Hall as first-year students, and then were roommates for their sophomore and junior years.

Tanya owns Mainstreet Automotive in Lakeville, Minn., with her husband. Mary is the executive director of the Northfield (Minn.) Chamber of Commerce.

On June 28, they turned the clocks back for one night and shared rooms in Corona Hall with their daughters. Of course, they had to pop some popcorn, sit in the lounge and reminisce.

"I think they (our daughters) were mainly laughing at us," said Tanya when talking about the experience.

Yet her daughter shared a slightly different perspective. "I just thought it was so fun to see them interact with each other," Megan said.

It's clear that these young women share some of their mothers' ambitions. 

Amelia graduated from Northfield School of Arts & Technology, a charter school, and plans to major in global business leadership. She's already well on her way to a successful business career, with experience running two small businesses around miniature food that she makes for dollhouses out of clay.

Megan attended Lakeville South High School and is passionate about music. She plays the flute and plans to double-major in music education and elementary education.

Both daughters say that neither of their moms pushed them to choose Saint Ben's. "Every person I have met is so personable," Megan said. "It just feels like home."

Amelia described attending the reunion with her mom and Tanya as "awesome" and is "so excited for school to start."

Neither mom had attended a CSB reunion before this year, but really enjoyed the camaraderie they experienced.

"There really is a Bennie connection that could be felt throughout the weekend," Mary said.

They were already busy making plans for when they'd come back to Saint Ben's to visit their daughters to attend a Fine Arts Programming event and visit an old haunt: Bo Diddley's in downtown St. Joseph. 

Reunion at a glance

  • Roughly 1,450 people attended the All-School Reunion June 28-30;
  • 260 attended the Blazer Hall of Fame to honor six athletes, one team and the Blazers' No. 1 fan;
  • About 575 stayed in the residence halls on Friday night;
  • The Benedicta Arts Center's Escher Auditorium was filled to capacity (more than 1,000 people) for the kick-off Saturday morning;
  • About 675 stayed in the residence halls on Saturday night;
  • About 760 attended the gala dinner, where 40 Bennies and an extended family of Bennies and Johnnies were honored;
  • Over 625 people concluded the weekend by joining the sisters to celebrate Mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel;
  • CSB launched a mobile app in honor of the centennial year. CSB Connect is a way for alumnae all over the world to participate in the centennial year. The app is available in both the Apple Store and on Google Play.

Read the media coverage from the All-School Reunion