A Letter from the President – Holiday 2016

Sister Diane Steele Sister Diane Steele, president of the University of Saint Mary

Dear Friends and Alumni,

As I continue to bask in Christmas joy and ponder the mystery of God among us, my heart overflows with gratitude for all the blessings the Saint Mary family has enjoyed this past year. We continue to build and remodel to accommodate our growing student body, so we can provide them with the excellent Saint Mary education that shapes minds and hearts for life. We are building a new biology lab as the old space can no longer accommodate the growing number of majors. Our library, now the hub of campus activity, has a new active learning center—thanks to a $68,000 grant from Steelcase Education.

Our students have succeeded not only academically, but also on the field, on the track, and at the Olympics! And I am most proud of them. I am even more proud that our students are catching the spirit of charity that fuels the heart of our school. They are learning to serve, not because they are told to, but because they have found the joy in giving. Our nurses headed to Mexico over Spring Break, our science club raised over $1,000 to purchase water filters for Peru, and Nishimwe Maria-Goreth, a junior born in Burundi, has started a 501(c) to raise money and provide school supplies for the children in her home village.

Sometimes we find God among us most clearly in times of pain and loss. This fall, we lost one of our own to violence. Marcus Mondaine was a quiet, humble basketball player, a first-generation student who had overcome multiple challenges to be on pace to graduate in May. His violent death hit the campus community hard. We gathered together to pray, to cry, and to hold each other. As I walked among the grieving students, I felt so often the presence of God among us—watching them take care of each other. Such a painful loss invites us to look again at what is important and what it is we strive for in life. I am grateful that here at Saint Mary we not only prepare students for a career, but we prepare them for life—teaching them the value of community and service sustained by faith. This holy season, I pray we might all seek God among us.

Blessings to you,
Sister Diane Steele, SCL, Ph.D., C’83

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