Feature Story Living our Catholic Identity University Development

Personal devotion inspires gift to campus

By Mount Mary University

Posted on December 8, 2022

Where campus meets community, Mary stands as oasis of peace

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

This summer, the new statue replaced a grotto of the Sacred Heart that could no longer be repaired. The new statue of Mary, carved in Europe from pristine white marble, was a gift from Maripat (Young) Dalum ’63 and her husband, Tom.

Friends and family surrounded Maripat Dalum ’63 (center) during a dedication ceremony presided by the Rev. Richard Mirsberger (third from right).

It was given, Dalum said, in thanksgiving for her family’s many blessings and as a gift for others.

“She waits for us to call upon her, to help us in our need,” she said. “May we all, especially the students, turn to our spiritual mother, our role model, our guide and our counselor in supplication and thanksgiving.”

“Not only will the statue of Mary be a sign of these hallowed grounds, it will bring great joy, too.”

Vice President for Alumnae and Donor Relations Pam Owens

The Dalums worked with Pam Owens, vice president for Alumnae and Donor Relations, and Fine’s Gallery in Bonita Springs, Florida, to depict a Blessed Mother with great care.

“I wanted her to have a crown of roses on her head, the symbol of true love and sacrifice,” Dalum said. “Her arms and hands should be open and welcoming. At the top of her bodice should be the Holy Spirit, the sign of wisdom, which we hope to instill in all the students.”

Dalum’s family and the Rev. Richard Mirsberger from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee came to campus in July for a prayer ceremony blessing the statue.

“The first time I met Maripat, I was moved with her great devotion to Mary, and when this opportunity arose, I thought how lovely it would be for her to honor the Blessed Mother by gifting a statue to her alma mater,” Owens said.