Tori Sanders, The Circuit
Amy Minnis ’84 was publicly thanked Friday, Oct. 26 at the Board Meeting dinner in honor of all her contributions to the Benedictine College community.
Minnis’ husband, Stephen D. Minnis, ’82, was selected as President of the College in 2004 and since then, the entire Minnis family has served the college in a variety of ways.
When the family made the move to Atchison, Minnis gave up a teaching job in Kansas City. She was asked to be an adjunct professor at the college and taught several methods courses, including math, science and language arts.
Minnis also developed the theology methods course for the education department.
“I saw that our kids were coming to this Catholic school and leaving without any training on how to teach a religion class,” Minnis said.
She encourages and trains teachers to prioritize their religion lessons, and has also worked with a friend to provide brief training for the school sisters of Christ the King.
“If there’s any subject that they need more than anything, it’s religion,” Minnis said.
She serves students as a resource teacher at St. Benedict’s Catholic school as well.
Shortly, after the family arrived on campus, there was an increase in the care for the grounds and various buildings on campus.
Minnis was behind much of this transformation, and said that one of her first jobs was the Haverty balcony.
“I said, ‘we’ve got to clean this place up,’” Minnis explained.
The first additions were the flower boxes that line the balcony, and she said they later brainstormed to add the hanging baskets along the main drive.
When her kids were younger, she would take them for a walk around campus with a watering can and a ladder, and they would work together to take care of the flowers.
The garland that decorates the ‘Benedictine College’ sign at the entrance of campus can be attributed to Minnis as well.
While the college has since hired a professional horticulturalist to oversee the landscaping on campus, Minnis is responsible for much of the transformation that students enjoy today.
Students often see the Minnis couple walking the sidewalks of campus. This is when they say their rosary together, and then turn to discussions of campus and other improvements happening around Benedictine.
These walks have fostered discussion about grotto placement, Raven Memorial Park and other new additions to campus.
Minnis discussed her gratitude to be a part of the Benedictine community, once as a student, and now as a leader that many students look up to. She appreciates the opportunity to learn from both donors and students.
“It makes me a better person, because I see what they’re doing, and how generous and charitable they are,” Minnis said. “It makes me want to be like that.”
As family has always been her number one, she’s grateful for the opportunity to send her kids to Benedictine as well – that they could be in a place where they could study abroad, go places and dream.
The faith of all students is something she finds impressive.
“I’ve learned from the students – I want to grow up to be like you,” she said jokingly.
She admires the way Benedictine graduates seek out opportunities to be challenged, and are excited to make a difference.
“I try to set a good example for others,” she said, summing up her intentions as ‘First Lady’ of the college.
It is certain that many changes on campus can be attributed to her willingness to help and improve Benedictine.