Fr. Matthew Kiess, OSB, a priest, professor and pastor, was "Mr. Science" at Saint John's. He taught chemistry for 48 years and was department chair for 40 years. Nearly all Saint John's graduates who went on to medical school in the middle decades of the twentieth century would have had Fr. Matthew in the classroom. He also undertook experiments in soil rebuilding; water analysis for city water systems; and electro-plating and polishing chalices for Saint John's Abbey and area parishes.