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McCollum Statement on Inauguration of ReBecca Roloff As St. Catherine President

November 14, 2016
Statements For the Record

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor and congratulate Ms. ReBecca Koenig Roloff, who was inaugurated as the 11th President of St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota on October 11, 2016. Throughout her career, Ms. Roloff has earned the respect of her peers and colleagues by her extraordinary leadership abilities, quickly rising through the ranks of every organization she has been a part of, and leaving legacies of success along the way.

The first time that ReBecca Roloff set foot on the campus of St. Catherine University, she was a teenage prospective student. Growing up in Dickinson, North Dakota, she had never met a female doctor, engineer, or lawyer. However, when she arrived at St. Kate's as it is known, she was astounded to see that the entire institution, from the administration to the professors, was led by highly educated professional women. The impact on Ms. Roloff was both immediate, and long lasting. She went on to graduate cum laude from St. Catherine University in 1976 and later earn a Master's of Business Administration with distinction from Harvard Business School in 1982.

Beginning her career as a grain merchant for Cargill, Ms. Roloff moved up to senior management positions at Pillsbury and later became senior vice president of Global Financial Advice and Systems at American Express Financial Advisors in Minneapolis. In this role she oversaw the $90 million core business and transformed the sales systems used by over 10,000 advisors.

Ms. Roloff's success in business was coupled with a growing desire to serve in a position with a broader mission to impact the community. She was named Chief Executive Officer of the Minneapolis YWCA, a role where she would directly work to empower women and girls and achieve success by breaking down barriers of class and race.

Ms. Roloff's sharp business acumen, passion for social justice, and impressive credentials were qualities that put her at the top of a national search by the University of St. Catherine Board of Trustees when they were seeking the candidate to be named the 11th president. As an alumna of St. Kate's, Ms. Roloff deeply understands and embodies the institution's foundational principles of advancing women's education through the Catholic traditions of intellectual inquiry, social justice, and liberal arts. As a fellow alumna myself, I have no doubt that she will bring her deep passion, intelligence and leadership to this position. The faculty, staff, and especially students of St. Catherine University will benefit from her caring guidance and stewardship of the institution that thrust her on to the path that would eventually lead her back home.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratulating Ms. ReBecca Koenig Roloff, the 11th President of St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.