As of June 11, 2010, Sister Joan Braun has a new title—Nonagenarian. She celebrated this 90th birthday at dinner that evening with with her Community and special guests Eugene and Beverly Stelman.
Sister Joan Braun (sitting) with her sisters both familial and in Community, Sister Mary Carol (middle) and Sister Grace Marie But new titles are a lifelong habit of Sister Joan’s. The earliest was that of teacher, St. James School, West Duluth, 1943-47. Next, librarian and instructor, College of St. Scholastica, 1947-66. From 1966-71 she was a student in library science and art history at the University of Michigan, receiving a Ph.D. in 1973. Then came the title of Academic Dean at The College of St. Scholastica (CSS), 1973-76, which included Acting President 1974-75 and Vice President of Academic Affairs 1975-76. These years of tumultuous change were followed by relative calm as Professor in the Humanities Division of CSS from 1976-1981. In 1981 a new CSS President Dan Pilon appointed her Dean of Faculty where she served until 1987 and then as director of the Emeritus Program through 1989. In 1990 a historic event took place: The Benedictine Sisters built Stanbrook West, the first campus building ever constructed solely for their own use. Sister Joan planned and then directed its Spiritual Resource Center until 2002.
One of Sister Joan’s titles began on September 15, 1938 when we met as freshmen at The College of St. Scholastica and has maintained until today—dearest friend.
By Sister Margaret James Laughlin