Fine Arts Hall of Fame Inductees
The Mount Marty University Gregorian Fine Arts Association (GFAA) is proud to announce this year’s Fine Arts Hall of Fame inductee class and ceremony. These individuals were chosen by the current GFAA advisory council based on their passion, dedication, and service to the arts at Mount Marty and the surrounding community.
To learn more or to nominate future inductees, contact Shannon Viereck.
Congratulations to the 2023 Fine Arts Hall of Fame Inductees!
Dixie (Sims) Church was born and raised in central Kansas. Community involvement and the arts have always been important to Dixie. At the age of 8, she started taking piano lessons and by 12 she was playing in church and for school activities. After moving to Yankton, her first memories of Mount Marty include area community concerts in Marion Auditorium. Since then, she's become a staple of the Mount Marty and Yankton Fine Arts community. She plays for sing-alongs at Avera Majestic Bluffs and you can find her playing in the lobby of Sacred Heart Hospital every Tuesday. Dixie has accompanied many Mount Marty and Yankton Public Schools productions, concerts and recitals. She even made an on-stage appearance in MMU's 9 to 5 show in 2018. She also focuses on passing on the art of music to future generations as she's been teaching voice and piano lessons for over 65 years. Dixie has two children, a son and daughter and she is very proud to say her daughter-in-law is a Mount Marty alum.
S. Leonarda Longen, OSB
S. Leonarda Longen, OSB, a master calligrapher, was a member of the Benedictines of Sacred Heart Monastery, Yankton, SD. She received her Masters in Art from Notre Dame University and studied under renowned teachers as Father Ed Catich, Lloyd Reynolds and Illumination under Donald Jackson. She began her teaching career at Mount Marty High School in 1934. She continued teaching at Mount Marty University until 1982 where she shared her book Manual of Calligraphy, which featured four different writing styles. She corresponded with artist friends, Lauren Ford, Ade Bethune, Dorothy Day, and Maria von Trapp. S. Leonarda loved nature and shared her photographs and calligraphy with many.
Dick Reddy is a graduate of Brown Institute of Broadcasting in Minneapolis, MN with a First Class radio-telephone license, FCC. He graduated with a BA from SDSU in Speech and a MA in Speech Communication. He worked at Mount Marty from 1970 through 1983 in the Oral Communications Departments. While serving at Mount Marty he judged many speech and theatre contests, as well as making the MMC radio station an effective presence on the campus. As a professor, he was a mentor who inspired and encouraged his students who appreciated and respected Dick’s willingness to help them. Dick’s teaching career also includes Yankton College, Southeast Technical Institute and USD Mass Communications Department. His volunteer and service activities are extensive. He is married to Nancy L. Law Reddy and they have 3 children: Quicksilver (Tammy), Matthew (Jodi) and Geoffrey (Amanda). Dick and Nancy, now retired, live in Watertown, SD.
S. Cynthia Binder, OSB
Sister Cynthia Binder is a Benedictine sister of Sacred Heart Monastery. She is native of Yankton, SD. She entered Sacred Heart Monastery in 1952. She received her BA in French and Spanish from Mount Marty College and a MA in French and English from USD in Vermillion. She taught at Mount Marty High School and College, only recently retiring from the University after 58 years. She taught French, English, Spanish, German, Business Communication, and Literature. In later years she added courses on the history of film and other topics related to film. In 1967 some of the college faculty started a program to take students, locals and anyone interested to Europe during the summers. Later on, this adventure happened during Interim, then Christmas or spring break. In 1984 she began tutoring at the Yankton Federal Prison. When the college was able to work out an educational program for the men, she taught English Comp and Literature, later bringing the History of Film class and other film courses to the prison. Along with all of these involvements, she also shared foreign films with the Gregorian Club members (now GFAA) for 16 years. A very talented woman, S. Cynthia, though retired, is still busy helping out at the monastery reception desk and sews gift bags for the monastery gift shop. She also shows movies to the sisters and continues to assist in tutoring foreign students who are living at the monastery while attending MMU.
2022 Sister Madonna Schmitt, OSB H’45, ‘59, Jim and Marilyn Nyberg (Patrons of Arts), Virgil Petrik (Theatre Faculty 1988-1995), and Judi (Schmidt) O'Connell H’59, ‘63
2021 S. Jane Klimisch H’38, ‘41 (posthumous award), S. Jeanette Klimisch H’38, ‘41 (posthumous award), Jack Lyons (Music Faculty 1966-1998), and Eugene Brinkmeyer (Music Faculty 1975-2004, founder of Gregorian Club)