A Letter from the President
Dear Alumni and Friends,
Music has always been part of our heritage. Among the many bags and bundles the sisters carted up the Missouri to our new home in Leavenworth over 154 years ago were two guitars and a harp.
The harp is still with us, a permanent reminder of how music feeds the spirit, particularly, our spirit. Whenever the sisters gather—whether for prayer, celebration or fun—you can be assured that music will be involved. The sisters’ love of music has been institutionalized in their founding mission, Saint Mary.
The halls of Saint Mary are often echoing with music as the bell choir, the chorale, the band, and individual students develop their God-given potential as musicians. We who were not given the gifts of music are the grateful recipients of their music. Over the years, our students have been blessed with outstanding faculty—Sr. Rose Tomlin, C’34, Sr. Anne Callahan, C’59, and Sr. Dominique Long, C’47 among others. The tradition of helping students realize their God-given talent continues under the devoted care of Dr. William Krusemark and Professor Freda Proctor.
Both Bill and Freda are celebrating major milestones this year. Bill has taught at Saint Mary for 35 years, and Freda for 25. Together, they have 60 years of teaching, mentoring, and training musicians. With their passion and dedication, Saint Mary has been able to re-launch the music major.
This reinstatement of the music major and our McGilley Endowed Chair in Liberal Studies underscores USM’s commitment to the liberal arts. Yes, we are educating more nurses, physical therapists, and health information managers, but all of our students leave here able to think and write creatively and critically with an expansive vision of what is possible and a deep compassion for what is. For the noble task of forming the human spirit and training the human mind still remains best done in the liberal arts.
Peace and blessings to you,
Sister Diane Steele, SCL, Ph.D., C'83