Monday, May 18, 2009

St. John's chooses a new president

The Board of Regents at St. John's University this morning selected the Rev. Robert Koopmann, a 1968 St. John's graduate, to be the school's next president.

The other contenders to be the school's 12th president were the Rev. Timothy Backous and Dennis Beach.

Dan Whalen has been as interim president since Dietrich Reinhart resigned in October with health problems. Reinhart died two months later.

Koopmann takes over July 1. He has been a professor of music at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's since 1975, and served as fine arts division head from 2006-09. For the past four years, he has served on the St. John's Board of Regents, and he served nine years in a previous term on the board.

The native of Waterloo, Iowa, professed as a monk of St. John's Abbey in 1971 and was ordained a priest in 1981.

He is active as a concert pianist both in the United States and abroad. He has released a number of recordings since 1994 and is director of music for St. John's Abbey. Star Tribune

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