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A Century Of Connection: Welle Family’s College of St. Benedict Legacy [VIDEO]

A Century of Connection -- A WJON News SeriesST. JOSEPH — In our third installment of, “A Century of Connection: The College of St. Benedict” series we spoke with one family that has deep roots within the St. Ben’s community.

Karen Welle-Bellmont is one of 19 women from her family to graduate from The College of St. Benedict. If you count the Welle’s St. John’s University alumni they have a total of 42 graduates dating back to 1917.

It’s a tradition that started with Nick and Marguerite Welle. Their son Bob and his wife Jeanette continued that legacy. Jeanette Welle. Jeanette was the widow of a World War Two veteran when she married Bob.

Prior to meeting Bob, Jeanette was raising her daughter Karen as a single mother. Jeanette’s mother encouraged her to go to school and get her degree. She eventually graduated and was the senior class president.

Karen decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and attend St. Ben’s. She graduated with an Elementary Education degree and two minors. Karen helped pave the way for her younger siblings who all attended St. Ben’s and St. John’s.

Margi Welle Sitzer is Karen’s younger sister. She says education was very important to her mother. Jeanette expected her children to go to St. John’s and St. Ben’s.

Karen says if you didn’t want to attend St. John’s or St. Ben’s you would have had to have a good reason.

Margi says her daughter Bridget Sitzer graduated from St. Ben’s in 2008. She also has two other children who graduated from St. Ben’s and St. John’s.

Margi said she encouraged her children to look at other options for college but all three made the choice to go to St. Ben’s and St. John’s.

The Welle family was honored with the Legacy Award in June for their century of dedication and tradition.

See more of our A Century of Connection segments

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