Alumnae rise to the challenge of designing dresses for the inauguration

Fashion design students and recent alumnae participated in a competition to design a dress for the president’s inauguration. She chose two and wore them both.

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Why we stand strong

Mount Mary recognizes the game-changers of the past, alumnae and faculty who have embedded mission into professional work, scholarship and their personal values.

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The game-changers of tomorrow

We place the future in their hands

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Feature Story
Worlds come together

During the week preceding the inauguration of Isabelle Cherney, Ph.D., the Mount Mary campus was filled with the sights and sounds of celebration.

A message from the President

At Mount Mary, we are one community shaping tomorrow’s game-changers. There is deep intentionality in every word, and this issue of our magazine is dedicated to exploring the full impact of this statement.

Campus News
Renovated lounge now a refreshing refuge for busy students

of belonging, Mount Mary University is reconceiving and renovating student spaces.

Alumnae Feature Story
Tradition of change inspires forward-facing vision for our alumnae

With the vision of creating a more inclusive and accessible alum community for all, the formal governing board of the Alumnae Association was officially disbanded as we entered 2023. A preliminary meeting was held with the executive committee of the association to begin discussing the challenges and opportunities of a new structure.

Business school adds HR concentration and shortens pathway to MBA

School of Business will offer undergraduate and MBA students the ability to specialize in human resources management, and has shortened the timeline for undergraduate business students to earn their MBA.

Feature Story
Exhibit entwines threads of art and fashion

This winter, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art mounted a monthlong pop-up exhibit of Mount Mary fashion design work.

Feature Story
Our history of leadership

Timeline of presidents from our very beginning until today.

Alumnae Feature Story
Alumnae rise to the challenge of designing dresses for the inauguration

Fashion design students and recent alumnae participated in a competition to design a dress for the president’s inauguration. She chose two and wore them both.

Living our Catholic Identity
Commitment to environment rooted in faith

Mount Mary is responding to Pope Francis’ call to conversion and action for the environment through prayer, education, action and reflection.

Feature Story
Why we stand strong

Mount Mary recognizes the game-changers of the past, alumnae and faculty who have embedded mission into professional work, scholarship and their personal values.

Feature Story
The game-changers of tomorrow

We place the future in their hands

Feature Story
Creating educational experiences that truly prepare students for the future

Shaping tomorrow’s game-changers is a process taking place among faculty and staff, one lesson and extracurricular experience at a time.

Creo 2022: Watch Prismatic Parallel

To mark the first in-person fashion show in three years, CREO 2022 was a celebratory, salon-style return to live events.

Beloved professor “made Mount Mary a better place”

On October 31, 2022, a beloved member of our university community, theology professor Shawnee Daniels-Sykes, Ph.D., passed away peacefully after a heroic battle with cancer.

Living our Catholic Identity News
An unusual path, a lifelong mission

Andrea Stapleton, Ph.D., finds herself in a unique position as Mount Mary’s first full-time vice president for mission and justice.

Feature Story Living our Catholic Identity University Development
Personal devotion inspires gift to campus

Amid the bustle of traffic along Burleigh Street, a new statue of Mary imparts a graceful, prayerful and feminine presence.

Feature Story
President Cherney has arrived

Starting with her earliest memories, all of her experiences have been leading her to this moment, to this place.

Feature Story News
User Experience Design: This new program really clicks

UX designers are the silent heroes of the internet, building the interfaces that help us humans navigate complex technology.

Feature Story
Students, Sisters, Friends

New group brings generations together

University Development
Providing a new path for student mothers

Today there are over four million parents enrolled in colleges across the country. 70 percent of those student parents are mothers and of that group, 62 percent are single mothers. Attending college with children can present challenges to anyone, but can be especially difficult for those who have little to no support or are parenting on their own.  Studies show that nearly one out of every four people living in a single mother household is living in poverty. But many times, when single mothers try to attend college to better their situation, they are faced with an abysmal lack of support which results in a much higher dropout rate than their non-parenting peers. Mount Mary is working to change this! Single mothers who are hoping to earn their degree and create a better life for themselves and their children are finding new support on campus. One such resource is the newly opened Trinity Woods. Trinity Woods is an innovative living opportunity for single mother students and their children. The intergenerational facility contains 24 private apartments for single mothers as well as an on-site dining plan and five-star early childhood education center, all just steps away from campus.  Having a safe, … Continue reading “Providing a new path for student mothers”

Living our Catholic Identity
Stations of the Cross restored to original splendor

When the Stations of the Cross painted by Mary Leo Hargarten, SSND, first graced Our Lady Chapel in the 1940s, the glow of the brass frames certainly caught the eye of worshippers and drew them to her skillful paintings, inspiring contemplation of Christ’s crucifixion. Her works “have a bright beauty which raised the mind to heaven,” says her 1959 obituary. Hargarten studied art in Munich, then taught and created art at Mount Mary from 1934 to 1955. Her paintings suggest “they are the result of a close union with God quite as much as of artistic talent and training,” her obituary says. “But it is in her Stations of the Cross that the greatness of her soul is best revealed.” In recent years, the frames have blackened with tarnish and her paintings seemed to fade from view. But as Our Lady Chapel’s walls recently brightened with fresh paint and touches of gold leaf, its wooden pews and alter step varnished to a rich brown shine, Facilities Manager Lory Bruder decided the chapel’s restoration would not be complete without polishing the Stations’ brass frames to their original splendor. Last April, Bruder took down and carefully dismantled one Station, loosening screws attaching … Continue reading “Stations of the Cross restored to original splendor”

Then and Now
A look at art-making through the years

When artists Jordan and Josh Anderson came to Mount Mary to lead its art programs more than a dozen years ago, the couple waded into a creative stream that began when Sister Stanisia established the Art Department in 1929. An important artist, Stanisia Kurkowska, SSND, (1878- 1967) helped define an American Catholic art, with its own icons and style. A prolific painter of portraits and murals, the renowned artist created altarpieces for three historic Chicago churches. Through the years, notable artists infused new talents and perspectives. Mary Augustine Hatch, SSND, (1896-1974) inspired colorful murals in Mount Mary’s dining hall with her abstract paintings. Internationally regarded Mary Leo Hartgarten, SSND, (1935-1956) painted Stations of the Cross for Our Lady Chapel (see page 8), as well as for St. Theresa Church in Appleton. She used an innovative technique of mixing tempera and oil, painting on metal, to create brilliant colors. Mary Remy Revor, SSND, (1914-1998) created “elaborate textiles … printed with colorful patterns and textures from batik, linoleum block and silkscreen techniques,” says American Craft magazine. Her “method of silkscreening was taught when we joined in 2008,” and her silkscreen wall hangings and tapestries still add colorful touches all over campus today, … Continue reading “A look at art-making through the years”

Student Spotlight
Learning to lead, Mount Mary Style

A commitment to children and an interest in healthy food have been strong themes throughout Jamy McClain’s life, but it wasn’t until she came to Mount Mary that her personal mission sharpened into focus. Her passion for food equity began during her second year at UWM during a food sustainability course that covered issues such as food equity, community and big agriculture. Today she is earning her M.S. in integrated nutrition and dietetics at Mount Mary. “That class was the first thing in my life, besides music, that I felt my heart was in.” After being at UWM for a few years, she took a break from school and began working at a gym. There, she sometimes assisted clients with making meal plans and one of her colleagues had mentioned how she would be a great dietitian. She began researching programs and found Mount Mary. Since coming to Mount Mary, McClain has immersed herself into campus activities, everything from student government and cross country to joining – and eventually leading – the communications club, Empowering Voices. “I’m making it a place to have discussions about what is going on within the community and the world,” she said. She currently works … Continue reading “Learning to lead, Mount Mary Style”

Women's Leadership Institute
Brown shares multiple perspectives as nurse and cancer patient, author and mother

Visiting Fellow Theresa Brown engaged the Mount Mary community in discussions about American health care and more during a week-long visit in March. Brown is a registered nurse with a doctorate in English, a frequent contributor to the New York Times and author of three books drawing on personal experiences in health care. She speaks nationally on topics like nurse-to-patient ratios, health care reform, bullying by physicians and nurses, and the importance of end-of-life care. Her talks and writings are informed by her experiences as an oncology nurse, a hospice nurse and a cancer patient. Mount Mary’s Women’s Leadership Institute brought Brown to campus through the Council of Independent Colleges’ Visiting Fellows Program, which brings prominent leaders to participate in substantive dialogue with university communities. During her week at Mount Mary, Brown met with students and faculty, and a variety of classes, from nursing and occupational therapy to English and psychology. She delivered a public keynote focused on healing the health care system and joined Mount Mary employees to reflect on mission. Here are a few highlights from her visit During her keynote, Brown described the state of American health care, where during the crisis of the COVID pandemic, sick … Continue reading “Brown shares multiple perspectives as nurse and cancer patient, author and mother”

Feature Story
Uncovering hidden treasure

Packed in rooms under Notre Dame Hall, shelved in boxes and hung on racks, lie 10,000 hidden gems – garments, hats, shoes and jewelry designed by the brightest fashion luminaries of all time, along with illustrations, playbills and newspaper clippings telling the back story. Without a full-time curator for a number of years, faculty and staff have tenderly cared for the collection between their regular duties, but this treasure trove remained largely out of sight, until now. A prestigious grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) set work in motion. With two-year funding for a curator, professional photographer, student interns and new equipment, the fashion archive digitization project begins. Important fashion artifacts are revealed in high-quality 360-degree images, uploaded to a website and accessible to students, scholars, artists, designers and anyone else from around the world for research and inspiration. Meanwhile, each precious item is cataloged, tended and mended,its storage upgraded. “We have an incredible collection of 20th century garments and accessories that is important historically and valuable financially,” said Dean for the School for Arts & Design Bob Schwartz. “This grant gives us the opportunity to catalog and preserve it better, digitize it and make it … Continue reading “Uncovering hidden treasure”

Feature Story
NEW Exercise Science degree prepares students for action

Students in Mount Mary’s new exercise science program will not have to wait until graduation to work as health and wellness professionals. The program, which opens in Fall 2022, will prepare students to become nationally certified group fitness instructors, personal trainers and/or exercise physiologists by the end of their second year. “With three certifications built into the curriculum, students can earn income and gain real-world experience,” said Cindy Kidd, an exercise scientist and faculty member with the program. Students will get to work hands-on using state-of-the-art equipment in the soon-to-be renovated Caroline Hall Gym and Fitness Center. Additionally, the university is establishing a biometrics laboratory in Notre Dame Hall, which will serve not only the exercise science program but other science and health care programs on campus. The program emphasizes wellness for diverse populations allowing students to be well rounded in a range of different disciplines. Given the broad spectrum of disciplines, the field of exercise science has a great future job outlook. “Careers in exercise science have great income potential and are in demand in clinics, hospitals, fitness clubs and wellness centers,” said School of Natural and Health Sciences Dean Cheryl Bailey. “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts … Continue reading “NEW Exercise Science degree prepares students for action”

Values In Action

As we move into the future, Mount Mary embodies the SSND spirit From the very beginning, the School Sisters of Notre Dame established Mount Mary as a place to support women for whom an education was not always easily accessible. In Mount Mary’s earliest days, this meant assisting families, often first-generation immigrants, who dreamed of making a values-based education a reality for their daughters. Alumnae often share stories about the family sacrifices made to attend Mount Mary, and the support that helped families achieve their hopes for a better future for their daughters. “Time and time again I hear stories of gratitude, for opportunities that were otherwise out of reach,” said Marilyn Kesler, SSND, a planned giving officer for Mount Mary who meets regularly with alumnae. With the renewed presence of the SSNDs on campus, Mount Mary and the SSNDs continue to inspire one another in moving the mission forward. Ministering to new groups Over the years, Mount Mary has changed to become more diverse in nearly every perspective – racially, socioeconomically and religiously – and through it all, SSND values have been a steady guiding light. Today, as Mount Mary ranks among the most diverse institutions in the Midwest, … Continue reading “Values In Action”

Alumnae Profile
Mount Mary’s sixties folk group shares an unbreakable bond

When Mount Mary’s Class of 1967 gathered five years ago for their 50th reunion, The Whispering Winds hadn’t planned to perform. But deep down, they knew they would.  They stepped into the hall of Alioto’s Restaurant for a quick rehearsal, then offered a few songs to their appreciative classmates.  “We couldn’t help it. It’s what we do and who we are.” Clara Schneider Locher Mount Mary’s celebrated folk singers of the Class of ’67 burst into song whenever they are together just as they did as undergraduates. Even more than for their songs, the foursome is remembered for their enduring love. In the 55 years since they graduated, Ellen Shreffler Ostrand (“Shreff”), Judi Thomas Gosenheimer, Pauline Tollenaere Petterson (“Paulie”) and Clara Schneider Locher celebrate each other’s babies and grandbabies, promotions and retirements. They comfort each other in tragedy and sickness, and join voices every opportunity they find.  Today they are scattered across the country. Shreff lives in Phoenix, Clara in a rural community in Kansas. Paulie in Oregon and Judi in northern Wisconsin. Their mentor, Miriam Cecile Ross, SSND, lives in Milwaukee. Ross, an associate professor of music from 1960-1970, hopes this quartet will be remembered “for who they are, … Continue reading “Mount Mary’s sixties folk group shares an unbreakable bond”

A grateful farewell to President Pharr

Whether interacting with students, pitching in on campus cleanup days or welcoming alumnae back to campus, Christine Pharr, Ph.D., engaged in her work with legendary enthusiasm. “It has been a pleasure for me to collaborate with Dr. Pharr, particularly as partners with Milwaukee Catholic Home in the creation of Trinity Woods on the Mount Mary campus. Her enthusiastic approach to building up the University and creating a sense of unity, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been remarkable and appreciated by all who have interacted with her. All of the SSND community hold her in prayer and wish her many blessings as she enters into the next phase of her life’s journey.” Debra M. Sciano, SSND Provincial Leader, School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province Breaking ground This fall alone, the university experienced record breaking new student enrollment, and Trinity Woods, Mount Mary’s three-way partnership with the School Sisters of Notre Dame and Milwaukee Catholic Home, opened in late 2021. Mount Mary has experienced significant programmatic growth, such as the Compass Year program for undecided students. This first-year program designed to help students explore career paths and identify a major has grown over 300 percent since it began three … Continue reading “A grateful farewell to President Pharr”

Mount Mary welcomes largest incoming class since 2000

This fall, 190 first-time undergraduate students stepped onto campus, the largest incoming class in the school’s history, and to say the students at Mount Mary are beautifully diverse is an understatement.

Grants in Action

Mount Mary awarded $7.8 million in federal grants in 2021

Hispanic-Serving Institution designation opens opportunities for all students Two major federal grants have been awarded to Mount Mary since August, a $4.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education and a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Voices of Leadership

Projects showcase student learning

Mount Mary’s annual Voices of Leadership is not only an event that brings to campus a groundbreaking woman leader, it provides an opportunity for vibrant student learning at the same time.

Powerful impact

Immersive programs for high schoolers provide powerful experiences

Without any knowledge of the college experience, young people might wonder whether a college degree is worth the time and expense.

A place for all

Mount Mary’s inaugural vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion shares her vision of a welcoming environment for all

In every email that she sends, Julie Landry signs off with three simple words: You belong here.  Landry established Mount Mary’s first Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion shortly after she joined the campus community on June 1, 2021.

Leaving Elm Grove

School Sisters of Notre Dame make their way to a new home

By Mariel Kreuziger, SSND We, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, will be moving soon to Trinity Woods on the Mount Mary University campus. We look at this move full of emotions—eagerness, anxiety, a new venture, a call to mission and sadness and loss—to name a few. 

Sacred space receives new light and new life

Our Lady Chapel, refurbished over the spring and summer, glows with renewed spirit.

Muslim prayer space supports mission to nurture spiritual well-being for all

The Muslim Prayer Room, located adjacent to the Place of Peace interfaith center on campus, is a private setting that can accommodate 8-10 students. It opened in September.

New purchasing policy reflects commitment to minority- and women-owned businesses

Mount Mary has recently instituted a new policy that will support and develop relationships with Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).

Restructured MBA program increases options

Some updates to the MBA program will make it easier for non-degree-seeking students to pursue graduate-level professional development.

From assimilated to liberated

Langen passes along understanding of cultural heritage

Today, Linda Langen ’10, ’18, embraces her personal identity as an active member of the Oneida tribe, attending general council meetings in Green Bay and serving on a tribal advisory board. Professionally, she works as a school counselor in Milwaukee, supporting children in their own journeys.

Donor-funded President’s Emergency Fund aids students in times of need

Vonisha Guy wanted to stay in school. As a single mother of five, she knew getting her degree in social work from Mount Mary would help her provide for her family. Life was already a juggling act with MMU classes, working second or third shift and her kids’ schedules. Then COVID-19 hit.

Despite delivery challenges, programs for young leaders continue to resonate

This year, the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) at Mount Mary had to make adjustments in order to maintain impactful programming for young women. While some things needed to pivot, they searched for ways to remain true to their mission.

Remembering S. Ellen Lorenz, SSND

Honoring the life and legacy of one of Mount Mary’s most influential educators

Often described as a humble master educator, outstanding mentor and excellent role model, S. Ellen Lorenz, SSND, was a source of great inspiration to colleagues and students during her five decades of service and  leadership within the Mount Mary community.

Margaret leads the way

Tourguide uses many platforms to engage with new students

Margaret Dishaw is virtually everywhere, making new students feel welcome, whether they’re on a campus tour or building a network of friends online.

Friends for life reconnect through Mount Mary

For many years, Anne Salamun Huff kept in touch with other members of Mount Mary’s Class of 1942 as a volunteer class delegate, writing annual letters filled with news and updates.

Leading Lady – Rita Burlingame-Toppen

Wellness practices take individuals from functional to thriving

To heal after an injury, finding the right treatment can be difficult. Sometimes, it may take many months or years of seeking care to find the right combination of modalities to ease pain and return to well-being.

Celebrating an era of leadership

Board of Trustees Chair Cathy Buck reflects upon years of growth

Although she’s never studied or worked here, Cathy Buck possesses a powerful understanding of what binds her to Mount Mary, personally and professionally.

Mount Mary to offer first-ever PH.D.

Two major programs are under development, both with significant implications for the future. A four year, on-campus nursing program will open in fall 2021 (see next page), as will a Ph.D. program in Counselor Education and Supervision.

2020 CREO Student Exhibition

The School of Arts and Design is proud to share the work of our talented seniors. Each year, students from Graphic Design, Interior Design, Studio Art and Art Education spend their last semesters preparing for a two-week exhibit of their work and host a reception for hundreds of visitors.

2020 Voices of Leadership: Student Projects

Bringing a nationally recognized speaker to campus has a greater purpose than the lecture itself. The speaker and her ideas become a launching point for deep on-campus learning.

Last fall and this spring, a number of classes engaged in projects around the concept of personal power, set forth by Nilofer Merchant, author of “The Power of Onlyness.”

Trinity Woods: A Community Takes Shape

Progress continues at a rapid pace at Trinity Woods, the intergenerational housing community and innovative three-way partnership between the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Mount Mary University and Milwaukee Catholic Home.

Our quest for equity

In times of hardship and uncertainty, it’s invaluable to have a cornerstone to revisit, both as a source of strength and as a vision for the future. As racial inequality, social injustice and the oppression of marginalized communities continue to occur across the nation, we return to our foundation.

Now more than ever, our core values of competence, community, compassion and commitment have been the guideposts in remaining true to our mission and relevant in an ever-changing world.

Women’s Leadership Institute

Mount Mary was honored to welcome Visiting Fellow Eleanor Clift to campus, virtually, the week of October 5 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

Through legacy giving, Fidelis Society members remain forever faithful

At Mount Mary, the idea of “giving back” is woven deep into the fabric of our mission. Students here learn so much more than academics, they learn to be leaders, to build integrity and to move through life with compassion. Many who leave this campus carry the teachings and wisdom they’ve developed at Mount Mary with them for the rest of their lives.

Student Spotlight: Evita Evers puts words into action

From her time as a freshman in 2016 through her senior year in 2020, presidential elections have bookended Evita Evers’ college experiences.

While she recalls being “highly and emotionally involved in 2016,” she became a driving force in 2020, spearheading multiple campus initiatives to engage students, designing and installing a large banner in
Notre Dame Hall, and orchestrating a pledge drive.

From the President

We are making history! They say that history is told through the lens of the author and certainly we know that to be true based upon historical records where many uncomfortable truths are omitted. As I reflected upon the last eight months while preparing for this magazine, I am struck by the multitude of perspectives that this magazine will present about our current situation and yet I wonder what perspectives we are missing. In these challenging days we are searching to ensure we are part of portraying the truth.

Nursing Program Expands

The need for nurses with BSN degrees is urgent. The Institute of Medicine targeted a goal of 80 percent of all RNs having BSN degrees by 2020. In Wisconsin, only 47.5 percent have their BSN or higher.

Mount Mary University is now accepting student applications for a four-year, fully on-campus degree program for women to begin next fall.

Alumnae Spotlight: History Alum Pays it Forward

Marjorie Rucker ’00, executive director of The Business Council Inc., is transforming the economic and social landscape for marginalized populations in Milwaukee — and beyond.

Then and Now: Take a virtual stroll across campus, no matter where you are

Would you love to revisit campus today? You can see your old haunts and check out our new spaces using our new virtual campus map. The project was completed earlier this spring due to the pandemic, when alumnae, prospective students and visitors weren’t able to come to campus in-person.

Leading Lady: Anne Kahl

Mount Mary’s vision is to educate women to transform the world in partnership with local, national and global organizations. And Anne Kahl, executive director of the Leadership Institute and corporate partnerships, plays an important role in fulfilling that vision.

Coronavirus and campus adaptations

On March 13 campus closed abruptly in compliance with the city’s order. But we never stopped engaging with one another. Through spring and summer, our learning community switched gears and faculty and students transitioned to fully online.

Campus reopened bit by bit in summer, and in fall we petitioned the city to reopen, based upon stringent cleaning and social distancing protocols in place. This was approved and life returned to campus.

Letter from the editor, Kathy Van Zeeland

I’m writing this note at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and so far, the only certainty in the situation has been, well, uncertainty.

Then & Now: Campus has always tapped into technology to learn languages

In 1958, a new language lab was installed on the Mount Mary campus, and the process of learning a world language was transformed.

For this alum, pizza and research pair well together

It all happened so quickly. Emily Boutcher ’18, had intended to study dietetics when she transferred to Mount Mary in 2016. She had not been here long when she learned about food science, a new program at the time.

From undecided to unstoppable

Taylor Robinson is a first-year student at Mount Mary and is part of the first group to go through the Compass Year. She describes her experiences here.

News Science Students
Virtual reality

At the touch of a button, the world opens up

The walls of the classroom are white, and so are the tables and chairs that face a large screen. Like a blank canvas, it is designed to transport students well beyond its walls using virtual reality (VR) technology.

Making Milwaukee ready to work

New campus initiatives align with regional efforts to increase college graduation rates

Plugging the leaks in Milwaukee’s talent pipeline is an effort being waged across the region, and Mount Mary is engaging in community initiatives and developing strategies within the institution to support more students.

Leading Lady: Nan Metzger

Meet the leading lady behind Mount Mary's study abroad programs

As a teacher, world traveler, trained counselor and director of international studies, Nan Metzger draws on a variety of experiences and skills to enrich students’ academic journeys through study abroad programs.

Creating leaders to shape the future of fashion

Celebrity designers and social media influencers have skewed the public’s impression of fashion. Ashley Brooks explains how her students learn what really matters.

From the president: Mount Mary Strategic Plan Flies Forward

The strategic plan that was approved this past summer is moving forward at a swift pace. Read a brief overview of the work being done in each of the categories of the strategic plan.

Chapel re-envisioned as a shared place of peace

Christ King Chapel, located in the lower level of Notre Dame Hall, has been redesigned as a shared interfaith space that students of all backgrounds and faith traditions can enjoy.

The right to vote

Celebrating 100 years

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, granting women’s right to vote. As we celebrate this landmark milestone, we reflect back on the women of Mount Mary exercising their right to vote—from the early years within the School Sisters of Notre Dame to the students of today.

A Place to Call Home

SSNDs to move into an intergenerational housing complex at Mount Mary

The School Sisters of Notre Dame, whose presence and leadership have powered the spirit of Mount Mary, are returning to campus for good.

Thrive 2025: our plan for the future

For a plan to be truly strategic, it must take us from the status quo to a new and different state. The Strategic Plan delivers, and will sustain our vision through 2025.

Imagine a blueprint that will not only envision a future, but one that outlines the steps that will help us reach this new place.

Fresh for the Future

Get an inside look at the new spaces on Mount Mary's campus

To best support Mount Mary’s vision for the future, several spaces across campus have been re-envisioned. These refreshed spaces will create new learning possibilities for current students, opportunities for the community to stay informed and engaged in campus events, and visually reflect Mount Mary’s mission and identity. From a virtual reality room to a new gallery-style space in Notre Dame Hall, take a glimpse of these exciting new changes to campus.

Founding Mothers: Reflecting upon the SSND legacy in Elm Grove

The year was 1855 and Mother Caroline Freiss, who had come to Milwaukee five years earlier, was searching the countryside for additional land to support the order’s growing mission.

In school and out of prison

Fania Davis shares strategies for restorative justice

Social activist and civil rights attorney Fania Davis visited campus Oct. 7-10 to share her practical knowledge of restorative justice with students, faculty and the community.

Notre Dame Hall Redesign

Every building has a story. See how a refreshed Notre Dame Hall communicates our community's past, present and future.

After a busy summer of construction, a renovation that lies at the very heart of our campus is complete.

Then and Now: Light of Learning

This Mount Mary tradition celebrates a rich history and a growing future

Two traditions have bookended students’ academic journeys at Mount Mary for over 85 years, the Investiture and pre-commencement ceremonies. Each ceremony shares a connection, a lantern that contains a candle symbolizing the light of learning.

Student Spotlight: Antoneisha Jones

Scholarship student believes “failure isn’t an option”

Ever since she was young, a middle child with six siblings, Antoneisha Jones has displayed an extraordinary sense of independence. When she set her goal to be the first member of her family to graduate from college, she knew it would take effort – 60 hour workweeks are typical – and massive determination.

Art Business Faculty
Leading Lady: Barbara Armstrong

Balancing art and business

As a business owner, architecture project manager and contributing writer on the leadership forum of, Barbara Armstrong, M.S., was an established thought leader before she left her field to join Mount Mary.

Alumnae Events
Art Show Volunteers Celebrate Milestone Year

This fall, the Starving Artists’ Show celebrated its milestone 50th show, a testament to the driving force behind the operation, the Alumnae Association and volunteers.

Leading Lady: Wendy Weaver

Colorful past inspires her work with undecided students

Wendy Weaver, who spent a number of years guiding tourists safely through the wilds of Alaska, is accustomed to taking on new challenges at Mount Mary with the same effervescent spirit and can-do attitude.

Creating a place for women-centered philosophy

The women philosophers of Mount Mary are transforming the field, enlarging the canon of known philosophers and teaching philosophy in a style that is inclusive of all people.

Women’s Leadership Institute

Expands academic programming, brings restorative justice leader to campus

For more than 45 years, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows (WWVF) program offered through the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) has brought prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the United States for substantive dialogue with students, faculty members and the local community. The Women’s Leadership Institute at Mount Mary University is excited to bring this prestigious program to campus for the first time in fall 2019, made possible in part through endowments established by Virginia Cornyn ’62 and Nancy Cheski ’65.

Freshman puts herself on fast track to nursing career

Nursing 1-2-1 student strives to reach her goal of helping children sooner

Yesenia Mata has wanted to be a nurse ever since she experienced for herself the positive effect a good nurse can have on their patients.

“Just seeing how much of an impact a nurse can have on a child’s emotions in a setting that isn’t desirable makes me see how much of an impact I could have,” said Mata, who went through a series of surgeries as a child.

From calling to career

How a unique program enables professionals to become teachers

Heather Strosin ’17 had worked in the corporate world before becoming a paraprofessional at the Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language, where she discovered her calling to work with children who have special needs.

New role, familiar face

Lisa Breitsprecker, Senior Development Officer

Lisa is an experienced fundraising professional with a head for data-driven results and a heart for the intentions of donors.

Giving Thanks to the Keeper of the Bell

Community reflects upon the work and legacy of Sister Georgeann

With an almost superhuman ability to be practically everywhere on campus at once, walkie-talkie in hand and keys jingling at her side, S. Georgeann Krzyzanowski ’66 has been a constant force for over 40 years.

Planning the CREO Show

16 weeks. One show. A million details.

At the very start of the semester, the fashion merchandise management students realize they have a life-changing experience ahead of them. From that moment in January, students in the Fashion Show Coordination class learn about the huge undertaking that will consume their hearts and minds for more than 15 weeks, culminating in the CREO fashion show on May 10.

The Compass Year

Taking Students from Undecided to Unstoppable

Students who enter college undecided about their major face many challenges, including the fear of wasted time and money, as well as parents who aren’t sure they want to invest in education without an end game in mind. To address this issue, Mount Mary University has created the Compass Year. The program will begin in fall and will assist students in their search and keep them on track to graduate in four years.

The Strength of Our Stories

Sharing personal narratives helps students find their calling

It is one of the most powerful and personal questions a person can ask of another: How did you become who you are? The question is only seven words, yet the answer draws upon a lifetime of experiences. In order to help our students through the self-discovery process, members of the faculty, staff and administration are learning to express the stories of their own personal journeys.

Downtown Designers: Mount Mary’s alumnae set the vision for the city’s newest spaces

When Colliers International moved into the newly constructed office at 833 E. Michigan St. in downtown Milwaukee, the real estate firm wanted a space that could depict its status in the community — and in the world.

Student Essay: How I Learned To Write For Others

Mount Mary student Julia Wachuta shares her experience working on the longform journalism project on suicide prevention in Milwaukee.

Reaching Beyond the Now

Strategic Planning Will Bring Mount Mary to a New and Different Place

As Mount Mary enters the last year of the 2016-2019 strategic plan, it is time to consider our way forward into the future.

Faith in the Unfamiliar

Theology student Madeline Banach journeyed to Spain to walk El Camino de Santiago, a major Christian pilgrimage route of 500 miles.

Even though her journey was cut short due to an injury, Madeline gained valuable lessons of humility and gratitude. “There occurs a shedding of the old self, which provides space for the new self to emerge and grow. In this vulnerability, one becomes humbled and this, in turn, provides an openness to receiving the gift of grace. I became so very humbled on this journey, and from that daily experience of humility flowed such gratitude for the many blessings of the Spirit,” Madeline shares.

Faculty News
Campus Pays Tribute to Beloved Professor

Remembering Professor Maureen Leonard

Students, faculty and staff gathered for a memorial service this summer for biology professor Maureen Leonard, who passed away unexpectedly on July 5. Leonard had been a member of the faculty since 2009.

Faculty Students
Mount Mary assists dozens of local organizations with creative problem solving

Organizations present real-world challenges, and Mount Mary community members use their newfound skills to listen and brainstorm solutions.

Through design thinking, a strategy for addressing challenges creatively and responsively, members of the Mount Mary community have applied this skill to serve some 40 Milwaukee area organizations.

Transforming Science Education

Meet the Leading Lady Lynn Diener

Lynn Diener, professor and sciences department chair, can prove to students that science and creativity are not exclusive to one another. And with an office full of colorful 3D models and past student projects, the evidence is conclusive.

Pioneering art therapist says program has helped focus and inspire her work

Jessica Stallings has an impressive list of credentials: she is an award-winning researcher, clinician and leading expert in the application of art therapy with individuals with autism spectrum disorders. She is a Mount Mary student, too.

Sisters come together to create the Luxem legacy

In 1942 she was known as Sister Mary Ignatia, Mount Mary’s registrar, but to the three Luxem sisters she was “Aunt Mamie.” Every summer the girls would travel from Indiana to visit their aunt, and those fond memories began the sisters’ lifelong commitment to Mount Mary.

As mentor relationship matures, the learning goes both ways

Educators don’t set out to be mentors. We teach. But there are times a surprising connection is made between teacher and student. Sometimes that turns into a decade, or even a lifetime, of friendship and support, encouragement and life stories. There may be shared Christmas cards or social media posts — a quick note celebrating a life passage, perhaps a Ph.D., a career change. Before long, that teaching relationship has shifted and we’ve fallen into a mentoring relationship that feels an awful lot like friendship.

Costa Rican Black Bean Soup Recipe

Try Amelia's recipe for Costa Rican black bean soup, Sopa Negra.

An appetizer or light meal, Sopa Negra, or black bean soup, is a classic Costa Rican dish, and can be found throughout Latin America . This meal provides a quick, healthy and simple way to experience another culture’s food!

Alumnae News
Consider three fresh strategies for giving without affecting your cash flow

Mount Mary alumnae and friends consistently describe how their Mount Mary experience changed their lives. Many alums say they wish they could do more to support the students of today, but they aren’t sure if they can, or know how to give more while staying within their budget.

A world of insight

Jeannette Ingabire of Rwanda Possesses a Global Perspective Influenced by the Culture of Her Home and Mount Mary

Jeannette’s background, combined with her Mount Mary education, has shaped her understanding of community service.

Alumnae News
New Food Science Program Bears First Fruit

Meet the Leading Lady Anne Vravick

Three years ago, Anne Vravick ’05 was part of a group proposing the idea of a food science program to Mount Mary’s leadership team. It’s been a whirlwind ever since for Vravick, the primary faculty member in the program, teaching Food Science Nutrition, Food Regulatory Standards Food Chemistry I and II, Intro to Food Engineering and Food Processing.

The Case for Common Ground

When 750 people packed inside a church on Milwaukee’s South Side to hold a structured, respectful exchange with the city’s chief of police, they not only proposed safety solutions for the neighborhood, they displayed the power of coordinated action.

Mount Mary Makes Room For History

School Sisters of Notre Dame Open North American Archives at Mount Mary

A newly remodeled space in the lower level of Bergstrom Hall now houses the documents that detail the legacy of courage, leadership and vision of the SSNDs in North America.

Entrepreneur translates her love of languages into business success

  When Brita Kuhrmeier Schumacher ’99 went to Korea to teach English to kindergarteners, she made an astonishing discovery herself: Students there could speak Korean, Chinese and English perfectly, because most elementary schools incorporated foreign language in the curriculum. She returned home a year later, determined to bring this same experience to elementary school children in the United States.

Events News
Mount Mary Welcomes 12th President, Christine Pharr, Ph.D

Meaningful Moments and Highlights from the Inauguration

In a ceremony that drew strongly upon themes of community, Mount Mary University officially installed its 12th president, Christine Pharr, Ph.D., on April 20.

Technology keeps Mount Mary’s fashion program on the cutting edge

More than ever, technology informs and enables the creative vision of students.

In today’s world of fashion, it takes more than technical skills and creativity to become a designer. Students need a high degree of technological proficiency to work, create and operate the industry tools of today.

Decades later, math professor continues to influence Wisconsin educators

From the Summer 2017 special edition of the Wisconsin Teacher of Mathematics, dedicated to Sister Mary Patronia Van Straten. Sister Petronia Van Straten began teaching at Mount Mary in 1947, served as chairman of the math department for over 20 years beginning in 1965, and continued to teach up until her death in January, 1987. She died just short of 40 years of service at Mount Mary. “Her influence helped to shape the Mathematics Department at Mount Mary College … and mathematics education within the United States.”

Alumnae Business News
Silent No More: Kubly Works to Lift the Stigma of Depression

Personal acts and philanthropic gifts support mental health, particularly for students

Just the other day at Barnes & Noble, Billie Kubly ’57 struck up a light conversation with the salesclerk.  The clerk asked, how many children do you have? Without hesitation Billie answered, “Seven – but one died of depression.”

News Science
Virtual reality turns mathematics up, down and sideways

Technology unleashes potential for bringing math and science to life

One of my most interesting teaching experiences involved observing how Carl, a blind student, perceived math concepts differently than sighted students. What I learned from this student many years ago continues to influence my teaching.

From the President: Dr. Pharr

Mount Mary is a gem that glows brightly from lives transformed. You, our alumnae and our friends, carry our message into the world.

Dear Mount Mary Alumnae and Friends, As a way of getting to know the University, I have chosen to spend the majority of my time meeting the people who know it best: the faculty and staff, students, board members, alumnae, donors and community members. My meetings have been both rewarding and insightful. As I complete my first four months as President, let me share some of my learnings with you.

News Science
Finding your path in purpose and career

How undecided majors become equipped with knowledge

“What’s your passion?” This deep question makes a lot of women uncomfortable, said Jena Mahne, career counselor at Mount Mary University. And that’s why she starts her career exploration class with the following declaration: We have a dysfunctional belief about passion.

Business News Science
The Future of Food

Mount Mary's new program increases our expertise in the science of food

What’s for dinner? That is an exciting topic – lunch and breakfast are, too – with Mount Mary’s brand new program in food science and the opening of a completely renovated food lab.

News Science
Andrea Petersen: Water Science Research

There are three good reasons why Andrea Petersen is almost always wearing a lab coat around Mount Mary’s Gerhardinger Center.

There are three good reasons why Andrea Petersen is almost always wearing a lab coat around Mount Mary’s Gerhardinger Center.

Business News
Fidelis Society

A look at the women who have planned their legacy

Inherent in all of us who have been educated in the tradition of the School Sisters of Notre Dame is the desire to leave something behind, a legacy and heritage of the things we care about deeply.

Leading Lady: Tanya Keenan

English adjunct and Director of the Caroline Scholars Program

A member of the English faculty since 2011, Keenan has recently been named director of the Caroline Scholars program. Passionate about social justice, Keenan appreciated the directorship as an opportunity to cultivate bravery by acting as a role model for the Scholars.

Transforming the world, one friendship at a time

Pat DeGroot, '64, traveled thousands of miles to support Stella Maris, a boarding school for girls ages 6-20 in Nsube, Uganda. And that's just one continent. She's been transforming lives across three continents.

Pat DeGroot began her week in Israel. That Monday, she wrapped up a three-month volunteer stint as an administrator at an archaeological park in the Negev Desert.

A rose blossoms in Israel

For anything to grow in the desert, it must be watered. But the irrigation system at the 55-acre Tamar Biblical Park always seems to be in need of repair.

For anything to grow in the desert, it must be watered. But the irrigation system at the 55-acre Tamar Biblical Park always seems to be in need of repair.

Alumna makes a world of difference

Follow along as we trace the story of Pat DeGroot, ’64, across three continents

How will I make a difference? The question that challenges all young Mount Mary students, and it follows us through our lives as we grow, engage and shape our personal legacies.

Art News Science
Professors encourage DIY science labs

Pair believes creativity in the science is cultivated through experimentation

Is science a creative pursuit? To help students understand the connection between science and creativity, two professors at Mount Mary are foregoing conventional lab projects, in which students follow directions and get anticipated results, in favor of student-created experiments.

Art News Science
Retiring professor leaves rich creative legacy

All the while, he has worked hard to inspire students while making music and creating art.

Dr. Bruce Moon’s 16 years at Mount Mary has been marked by milestones including numerous presentations and published books, in addition to a pioneering spirit that led to the creation of the Doctorate in Art Therapy Program — the first of its kind in the United States.

Art Business News Science
Rise up

How we stand up to Milwaukee's greatest challenges

Championing change in the face of profound social and economic challenges requires a fortitude of spirit.

In Memoriam

We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.

Art Business
Springing up everywhere

Creative initiatives flourish all over campus and Milwaukee

Five years ago, President Eileen Schwalbach set Mount Mary’s Creative Campus into motion.

Erica Marion: Student Profile

When Erica Marion was 6 years old, she told her parents she wanted to be a doctor. Now completing her junior year at Mount Mary with a major in biology, her options have expanded beyond medical school.  

Meet incoming president Dr. Christine Pharr

Dr. Christine Pharr, a higher education administrator with more than 20 years of experience, will become the 12th president in July.

Art News
Service learning where Milwaukee needs it most

Connecting academic skills to genuine community needs

Sandrea Smith, justice major, knew she wanted to help educate people about crimes and legislation concerning violence against indigenous women.

Sandi Keiser: Reflections on teaching fashion

Mount Mary’s pioneering fashion program had been in existence for just over a decade when Sandi Keiser joined the ambitious department.

News Science
Practical Science, Promising Future

As food makes its way from farm to fork, there are critical links in the delivery system that require a generous portion of science, including ensuring freshness, quality and safety.

Art News
Interior Designer Jamie Fink ’03

Mount Mary alumna is a HGTV star and interior designer on the rise

Could you describe yourself in 25 words? Jamie (Gumieny) Fink, ’03 can. Fink has the distinct ability to keep things simple, despite her growing accolades in the world of interior design.

A win for one, a win for all

Campus spirit is more than sporting blue and white

Her body in full swing, Adrianna Nester draws back her elbow, extends her arm and connects with the volleyball. Spike. Point Mount Mary.

Art Events
Write on, Milwaukee

This year’s Publishing Institute offered inspiration through one-on-one sessions with agents and presentations by successful writers

There’s nothing like a great role model to help one strive for achievement, and it’s no different for the local community of Milwaukee-area writers.

Growing more than food

Gardening has always been a hobby for Ncais, but when she was exploring internship opportunities, it became a calling

Gardening has always been a hobby of Ncais Vang, and when she was exploring internship opportunities, it became a calling. Ncais, a sociology major and nutrition minor, has a deep interest in creating healthy communities.

Art Events News
Starving Artists’ Show sees increased attendance

Even after 47 years, this annual favorite among arts lovers still generates the same level of enthusiasm and anticipation

Mount Mary University’s Starving Artists’ Show took place Sept. 11 on campus. And even after 47 years, this annual favorite among arts lovers still generated the same level of enthusiasm and anticipation.

Arches writer receives “Pulitzer Prize” of student journalism

Associated Collegiate Press awards Termeria Taper prestigious award

What is the spirit of feminism on an all-women’s campus, during an election year when the first woman is running for president? Student reporter Termeria Taper tackled the issue in her story, “F*#!nism: Not a Dirty Word” for the student publication, Arches. These awards are often referred to as the Pulitzer Prizes of student journalism.

News Science
$2.6 million federal grant establishes Mount Mary’s Succeed Scholars program

The Succeed Scholars Program will provide 25 scholarships annually to Clinical Mental Health Counseling master's students

In late October, Mount Mary held its official welcome for the 25 graduate students in counseling known as “Succeed Scholars,” a program put in place through a significant award by the federal government. The Succeed Scholars Program is funded through an award from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and will provide 25 scholarships annually for four years to students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s program.

Future Forward, Ever Faithful

This is the timeless legacy of Eileen Mihm Schwalbach

Seated behind the desk of her office, Mount Mary President Eileen Mihm Schwalbach is ensconced in not only the rich 103-year history of the institution, but how her time leading the community has intersected with a foundation first laid by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Culture and Couture: Hmong Fashion

Mount Mary's Hmong designers integrate and celebrate ethnic styles

Fashion design students Panyia Xiong and Beth Yang feel exhilarated by what took place at this year’s Fashion Week in New York City.

News Science
The first step: internship offers chemistry major a look into her future

Natasha Tang is ready to achieve her dreams of a career in pharmacy

Natasha Tang, ’18, learned to read a prescription, code a label, research patient profiles, locate medications on the pharmacy shelves and operate a cash register. All this, on her very first day of her internship.