Letter From the President – Fall 2018

Dear Friends and Alumni,

This season of Thanksgiving reminds me of my mother who was forever asking us if we knew how blessed we were. The correct answer was, “Yes, mom.” Mom was right to continually call our attention to how blessed we are. We have clean water, food, and shelter. We are clothed and warm. Many of our brothers and sisters around the world, and even in our local communities, lack these necessities. As I count my blessings, I must also ask what I am doing to ease the pain of my brothers and sisters.

Here at Saint Mary, we believe the permanent solution to poverty lies in the liberating and empowering path of education. About 45 percent of our students are classified by the federal government as in financial need and 44 percent are the first in their families to attend college. These students face many obstacles

to completing their degree—foremost, among the challenges, is usually

financial resources.

Your financial support is life changing. Your annual gift allows us to support these students in their quest for a better life. We use your gift wisely and insist the students are doing all they can for themselves. It is best they learn now there is “no free lunch” in life.

It works. Our nurses and teachers are employed and serving their communities. Our history department sent three students to law school this fall. The biology department regularly sends students to medical and physical therapy school. Given a chance, these students blossom as they develop their God-given talents.

We strive to provide the best learning environment possible for our students. As you know, we are in the midst of re-imagining De Paul Library into the Keleher Learning Commons—in honor of our dear friend Archbishop James Keleher. The top floor of the Commons houses our two prized collections—the Lincoln Collection and our sacred Scripture Collection. I am so pleased we will be honoring my friend and former colleague Dr. Bryan LeBeau. Friends of Bryan who know his work and leadership have donated to have the special collections named in his honor. In his years of service as provost and academic vice president at Saint Mary, Bryan launched multiple academic programs and oversaw the creation of our first doctoral program. 

Again, to the thousands of faithful friends and alums listed in our Donor Honor Roll—thank you! Thank you for believing in our mission to educate tomorrow’s leaders. Your generosity is a testament to your unwavering belief in the capabilities of our students and their dreams, to our faculty and their hopes, and to a strong Saint Mary for decades to come.   

Every day, I see the spirit of our founders alive in our Saint Mary family and every day, I’m reminded how blessed we are to be forever Saint Marians.

Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving!

With gratitude,

Sister Diane Steele, SCL, Ph.D., C’83

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