By Ellen Jordan
The year 2008 marks the 150th anniversary of Minnesota becoming the 32nd state in the country. To mark this celebration, Minnesota is looking for communities that exemplify the anniversary theme, “Exceptional people in an exceptional place.”
Cities representing the state’s diverse geography will be chosen as “Capitols for a Day.”
Winona is one of the community finalists under the “Driftless Area” category. This category includes the communities of Caledonia, Minnesota City, Reads Landing and Lake City. Larger communities such as Rochester are also included.
Saint Mary’s University students are pleased with the nomination. Senior Jenny Pater said, “I think it’s exciting that the town I go to school in is being acknowledged by my state and is receiving positive recognition.”
If Winona does receive this honor, it will bring awareness and publicity to the town. Some students, however, are hesitant about this attention. Senior James McEhlerne said, “It would be an honor, but I don’t think the town itself would be able to hold up to it. The town itself is too small for such a big award.”
With the nomination comes competition. Freshman Carlee Hanninen said, “Although I do think that it is good that the town of Winona has received the nomination, I think that there are other cities in Minnesota that are more worthy and have more landmarks that should be given more consideration.”
There was no winner indicated at press time, but students can see the award’s progress at http://www.mn150years.org.