A fall sunset shines over campus on a beautiful fall evening. Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas

In the News: Jerome Benner on Listening to the Community

Jerome Benner, director of neighborhood relations at the University of St. Thomas, recently spoke with The Villager about the importance of listening to feedback from the community and inviting community members to participate in university life.

From the story:

As the new director of neighborhood relations at the University of St. Thomas, Jerome Benner is not at all hesitant to give out his contact information. Nor is he shy about extending an invitation to join him for a cup of coffee on campus or at a nearby shop. Benner believes communication is of paramount importance for positive town-and-gown interaction.

The longtime resident of Highland Park began working from inside the university’s Arches last February. “If anyone wants to know, my office is in Aquinas,” said Benner, referring to the hall just west of the Arches off of Summit Avenue. ...

Benner said, “I really want to bring a greater number of neighbors inside the Arches. There are so many opportunities on campus. We have the Selim Center for Lifelong Learning. We have art exhibits. We have guest speakers. Letting residents know about these in a welcoming way is crucial.”

Benner recently invited neighbors on a Pollinator Path walking tour beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8, under the Arches. Neighbors were also sent an email regarding the start of the school year.