Letter From the President – Summer 2019

Dear Friends and Alumni,

The 94th class of Saint Mary graduates crossed the stage to receive their diplomas on May 4, and now, the Saint Mary alumni family has 426 new members. Now, there are 426 more men and women in our world who, grounded in faith, have the knowledge and skills to help shape the future with particular care for their brothers and sisters in need. Their Saint Mary education has prepared them to read the signs of the times through the lens of the Gospel. Teachers, accountants, nurses, and physical therapists—whatever their path—they will all walk the Saint Mary way, with integrity, excellence, and faith.

Graduation also forced us to say farewell to two faculty who served Saint Mary so long and so well—Dr. Bill Krusemark and Dr. Nancy King. Retirements are always bittersweet—but after 41 years, I can’t think of a person more deserving than Bill. He was one of our finest and most dedicated faculty members, and if dedication and devotion was measured in hours, Bill was exemplary. And Nancy—a master teacher and a natural leader will be dearly missed. Nancy dedicated 28 years to our incredible mission, and in that time, she touched so many with her love for laughter, for life, and for God. Bill and Nancy are living, teaching embodiments of the Saint Mary mission. We are so grateful for their years among us.

Saint Mary has always strived for excellence whether in the classroom, in the lab, or on the field.

• Our Bachelor of Science in Nursing students surpassed the national first-time pass rate for the NCLEX-RN.
• Chemistry Program Director Dr. Masa Watanabe, along with two bright USM scholars, earned an opportunity to participate in the highly-competitive U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Visiting Faculty Program in Berkeley, Calif. this summer.
• Of just 74 schools across the country to earn the “Five-Star Champions of Character” distinction with gold status by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Saint Mary was one.
• The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of the nation’s six regional accreditors for institutions of higher education, reaccredited the University of Saint Mary for a 10-year period—the maximum possible number of years awarded.

The future is bright, and we will continue to excel helping our students realize their God-given potential. We are so blessed! Gracious God, grant us grateful hearts.


Sister Diane Steele, SCL, Ph.D., C’83

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