THE URSU.LINES THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF URSULINE ACADEMY NEW ORLEANS
URSU.LINES STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS Academy President
KAREN THOMAS MCNAY
Elementary School Principal KIM HARPER
High School Principal ALICE BAIRNSFATHER
Director of Alumnae CHRISTY JACKSON ZURCHER ’00
Director of Communications SARAH RUSH MILLER
Director of Development JANE ANN FROSCH
Contributing Writers & Photographers
Jessica Baker '04 Dolly Duplantier '82 Mary Block Fonseca ’56 Adam Garin Pat Garin Janice Donaldson Grijns ’62 Kevin Gunn Sarah Gunn Mary Lee Berner Harris ’66 Donn Young 2
what’s inside TABLE OF CONTENTS
4 Welcome Karen Thomas McNay, Academy President 5 Celebrating 100 Years on State Street 6 Beyond Our Borders: UA Students in Guyana, South America 14 Project Africa 17 Heart & Soul: Update on the Ursuline Sisters of New Orleans 19 Forever In Our Memories: Sister Damian Aycock '40 C'44
22 2012 Distinguished Alumna 23 Deb Augustine Elam ’79, Woman of Power 25 Simone Bruni ’89, Prosperous in Pink 26 Remember the Ladies 28 From Ninth Ward to Citizen of the World 30 About Alumnae 46 Skip Class of 2013 Graduation 50 Cor Unum Award 2013 52 Around State Street
ON THE COVER Six students participated in the Academy's Beyond Our Borders Immersion Program, pg. 6
welcome Karen Thomas McNay Dear Ursuline Family, Ursuline Academy enjoys a tradition no other school can boast. The Ursuline Sisters who traveled to New Orleans understood their mission of educating women. With the strength to endure various roadblocks, the Sisters held true to a vision educating women to be leaders in their community. Ursuline Academy continues this mission today by fostering spiritual formation and instilling life-long learning and the responsibility to serve as God calls each of us to share our gifts. The rich educational tradition and the call to serve drew me to Ursuline Academy. Commitment to innovative education is quickly apparent in the Soeur Teresita Rivet, OSU Early Childhood Learning Center, with the development of our youngest students. The addition of the Fitness and Wellness Center gives Ursuline the opportunity to address the complete health of our students in mind, body and spirit. In the end, spirituality envelops the entirety of all the academy provides. However, buildings do not make a school community, it is the people within that bring education and mission to the forefront. Upon my visits, those serving Ursuline as alumnae, faculty and staff, parents, or the Board of Trustees members demonstrated their love and commitment to Ursuline Academy. However, during my initial visit, one of my favorite moments was having lunch with young ladies in middle and high school. In the end, the Ursuline community’s commitment brought a Kentuckian to New Orleans to serve as president. The legacy of St. Angela continues on State Street with the joining of a community together to answer the call to serve others and work as one to instill Serviam in generations of young women to come. In Christ,
Karen T. McNay
About Karen Thomas McNay, Incoming Academy President Karen joins Ursuline Academy after serving as principal of Christ the King School, the largest Catholic school in the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Kentucky, she achieved her Master’s Degree in Education from Xavier University in Cincinnati. Her certifications allow her to serve as both an elementary and high school principal as well as superintendent. She also taught at The Lexington School in Kindergarten and Montessori. While teaching, Mrs. McNay presented at several regional conferences in both Kentucky and Ohio as well as two national conferences of the National Association for the Education of Young People (NAEYC) in New York and Chicago concerning sensory integration tips for teachers. In the spring of 2003, she published an article, “A Question of Choice” in the national magazine “Montessori Life.” She recently presented at the International Symposium on Education Reform (ISER) and the MidSouth Educational Research Association (MSERA) concerning continuous improvement. Karen relocated to New Orleans with her husband Don. She also has three adult children, who are pursuing their academic and professional goals in Kentucky and Ohio.
RE E T
A l0 0 Y E R
O N S TAT E
In 2012, Ursuline Academy celebrated 100 wonderful years on State Street.
The Ursulinesâ€™ fourth location in New Orleans, at which they operated their boarding school and orphanage for girls from 1824-1912, was located on a very large piece of property right outside the French Quarter at the end of Dauphine Street facing the Mississippi River. It was a self-sustaining institution for the most part, as the Sisters established a working farm there as well. In 1910 the U.S. Corps of Engineers made a proposal to the Ursulines to purchase their property stating the dire need for the construction of the Industrial Canal which would connect the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain. The Sisters agreed and began a search for another property. They discovered a piece of property at a very good price in what is now known as the Uptown University area. It was a derelict city dump! Construction began at once and the main buildings were completed by the start of the new school term in the fall of 1912. In September of 1912 classes began on State Street.
MOVING DAY, 1912 Ursuline Sisters board the New Orleans streetcar at Dauphine Street to move to State Street in August of 1912. 5
r u O d n o y e B 6 juniors
.. s ie r to s r ei th e r a h s ts en d tu s Six
Borders GUYANA, SOUTH AMERICA
.. in their own words. 7
ers d r o B r u O d n o y Be ram g o r P n io s r e m own Im r u o y f o e d i s t u o d experience a worl y, Emily vers, Joy Combo niors Holly Cor ju , holiday for an rs s be ra G em di m ar culty and staff aded their M tr fa n bi UA Ro ur s fo xi le ith Along w their eyes. Alam and A Guyana through a Carlson, Lina e hz nc rit rie Ja pe n, re Ex a. La Mac h Americ to Guyana, Sout immersion trip
Famous writer Phillip Pullman once said, “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” Indeed, the art of storytelling is a vital aspect of human relations. It’s the constant motion of memories. The resurrection of lost time. And in a way, it’s a gift. In early spring of 2013, six juniors and four teachers from Ursuline Academy of New Orleans went to Guyana, South America to learn, give and grow. “Beyond Our Borders Immersion Program” is how it was first introduced to us. “Immersion” was the word that really stuck in my mind. This wasn’t just a mission trip. It was a cultural exchange. An intermingling, intertwining, weaving web of ideas. So we went. And I myself can’t sum up everything that happened in a couple sentences, nor in an entire book. We couldn’t bring back endless amounts of souvenirs or materials either. But what we can share are our raw words. And although you probably won’t physically know Guyana like we have, I hope that through our stories, you can see some of what we have seen.
About Our Trip ...
The day my five fellow classmates, four teachers, and I left for Guyana was definitely one of the hardest days of my life. Applying for the trip was easy. The thought of going to Guyana, South America for 12 days to experience life with other people and to learn about a new culture sounded like something I have wanted to do for a long time. I was so excited when I heard I was one of the few girls chosen for the very first Beyond Our Borders Immersion Program. When the time came, I was terrified to leave my family, my home and my comfort zone. I was leaving the country for the first time, without my parents, to travel to an unfamiliar place. My mom knew I needed to go. She knew this is what I always wanted to do and that I would regret not going. Without her encouragement, I would have never had the courage to experience one of the greatest events of my life thus far. Despite all the tears and doubts, I finally gave my parents one last hug and kiss and walked away to go to Guyana. I thank God for the strength He gave me to get on the plane.
! Here we go ture is Our adven gin. about to be 8
“Strengthened by the Word of God and by the communion w ith each other, let us have the courag e to go beyond our borders and, with Angela, be signs of reconciliatio n and hope.”
– 2007 Ursuline Gen
eral Chapter Message
After three plane rides and a long, sleepless night, we finally arrived in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. The Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union welcomed us in their home, which is connected to St. Ann’s Orphanage. After resting and unpacking, the ten of us went to the orphanage. As we observed the afternoon routine of the children, we noticed that they all helped each other with anything and everything they did. The older children especially looked out for the younger children. Even though we were strangers, we were welcomed with a “good afternoon” from every child that walked through the door. The Sisters that worked at the orphanage acted as parental figures for the children. The children called the Sisters “Momma,” which really touched my heart. We went outside with them and played fun games like Red Rover and volleyball. At the end of the long day playing with the children, we went back to the Sisters’ residence to rest.
The small plane to Karasabai!
Shortly after arriving in the loud city of Georgetown, we were already embarking on a new journey. Hardly adjusted to the two-hour time difference, we unenthusiastically started the day at 5:30 a.m. With such an eventful day to come, we did not have any time to spare. After a relatively short drive, we arrived at a transcontinental airport and were introduced to our pilot and small means of transportation, a plane that just fit our group. On the hour-long flight, we had a glimpse of the different surroundings Guyana offered. After the short flight, we had finally arrived to Karasabai and landed at their nonexistent airport, an enclosed strip of grass. Since the people in this small Amerindian village were not accustomed to receiving visitors, the children ran from their schools and families from their homes to greet us. Upon exiting the plane, we were embraced with warm smiles and an upbeat, self-written song. We were introduced to Sr. Divya and Sr. Seraphina, the humble Ursuline Sisters who helped make this trip possible. Our group had an easy transition into Karasabai life with their guidance and support. After settling in our guesthouse and taking a quick tour of the village, we went to the local school. Since it was Mardi Gras in New Orleans, we decided to hand out beads and read a story about the holiday. Then we played outdoor games with the children. At the end of a long day filled with traveling and exploring a new village, we went to bed under the protection of our mosquito nets anticipating what the next day had in store.
Today we returned to the school in the village of Karasabai. We separated into different classrooms to observe the typical classroom routines and offered our assistance to the teachers. I was able to give the students several tips to better their writing skills. Later, we attended Ash Wednesday Mass with the villagers. It was very interesting to observe the similarities and differences between our Masses. I learned that they are almost exactly the same. I also noticed that all of the villagers who attended treated one another as family. I feel blessed to have been welcomed into this loving community.
Day Five Today is Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, we went to the school with paper heart cutouts and yarn, and we made necklaces with the children. They each colored and designed their hearts, and we tied them around their necks. Later that night we joined the villagers for Mass. In the middle of Mass, Ursuline Sisters from India and Belgium arrived in the village. Sr. Divya and Sr. Seraphina washed their feet as a sign of honor and gratitude for their arrival.We remained in the church for the rest of the evening, as the children of Karasabai presented songs, dances and acrobatic performances to welcome the Sisters. We too were obliged to present a song, and what better song is there to perform for Ursuline Sisters than our own Ursuline Alma Mater? We were honored to have participated in such an amazing ceremony.
t of For the res oth the day, b nd children ae seen adults wer e around tharing village we rts! paper hea
Another day under a scorching sun, another day we would soon recall with fond memories. Every morning seemingly starts with the same routine. “Wake up girls!” Ms. Coles would say, although it reverberated more like a scream since the walls in our house are hardly more than paper. She sleeps on the other side of the house, and yes, walls do separate us — but very thin walls. We have about ten minutes to get dressed, brush our teeth, and comb our hair. (Really more like five minutes though, because we spend the first five minutes groaning in our beds, hiding under the mosquito nets that shielded us all night.) Trickling one by one, we eventually gather on the porch, sunscreen applied and water bottles filled. Somehow, though, routine is quickly interrupted as we step off the wooden porch. Every day is a new adventure, and today’s plan wasn’t really my forte. As soon as I found out we were teaching at a nursery, I couldn’t have been more
startled. A nursery? Toddlers are a whole different world. I’m an only child. What if they don’t like me? What if they can’t understand me? “Do you all know your shapes?” I asked while standing by the chalkboard. No response. My stomach contracted; my lungs seemed to halt. I began to draw a figure on the board, hoping, praying, for some response. “Triangle!” a young boy shouted. And immediately, peace was at hand. Children, perhaps, aren’t so scary.
This morning we went on a hiking trip up a nearby mountain. Our designated guides Michael and Nikisha quickly became our new friends. Our hike started off great, but it soon started to rain, making the mountain difficult to climb. Fortunately, we all still made it to the top. From the top of the mountain, we could see Karasabai and a farm on the other side of the mountain. When we reached the farm, we learned a lot about cassava and farinha, major staple crops in Karasabai. Cassava is a root vegetable used to make bread. The juices from the cassava are poisonous, so you have to drain the juice before you can eat it. Farinha is made from cassava. Itâ€™s coarsely ground, cooked in large pans, and added to various dishes. After visiting the farm, Michael took us to his familyâ€™s farm where we had lunch. After returning to the guesthouse, we ended the day with dinner, showers and our nightly reflection.
which comes , ha n ri fa ok co s lp he Jarithza oked over large co is It . ot ro a av ss ca e from th urs. In Guyana, stoves and stirred for ho ed in soups. us ly on m m co t os m is farinha
Today, the group decided to go on a nice walk through Karasabai. This gave everyone the chance to really explore the village and see how people in Karasabai live compared to people in the United States. On the walk, I first noticed four or five young girls retrieving water from a nearby well to use for their laundry. They were doing their own laundry the old-fashioned way, with only a bucket, soap and a washboard. Seeing them work really made me realize how different their culture is compared to mine. In America, young children usually do not wash their own clothes, but in Karasabai, these girls are taught to be independent at a young age. Later on during the walk, I saw the houses people lived in, which were made out of dry mud and straw. Even though the average American would view their lifestyle as poor and impoverished, the people are really not living in bad conditions. They just live simply. They use only what they need. They may not have certain blessings we have in America, like brick houses with air-conditioning, electronics, beds, and electricity, but the people in Karasabai have different blessings that many Americans lack. They have the blessing of community. Everyone in the Karasabai community cares for one another like family. They go out of their own way to help their neighbors and care for everyone, not just themselves.
Typical home in Kar
Today we left Karasabai. We have had an amazing time there and none of us wanted to leave, but we were looking forward to exploring Georgetown. The van ride was very long and uncomfortable because the roads are not cement like we are used to in the United States. Sleeping was completely out of the question. It was also raining, so the roads were very muddy and the air very humid. On the bright side, we were driving through a rainforest. The view was amazing. When we finally entered Georgetown, we returned to the Ursuline convent, where the Sisters greeted us. After dinner, we immediately went to sleep in preparation for another long day.
Being back in Georgetown is strangely comforting. It’s like a transition stage between the rural plains of Karasabai and our city, New Orleans. Today, as we readjusted to the noise of the city — the music, the humming people, the honking cars — we ended up back where we started: the orphanage. The kids at St. Ann’s Orphanage were excited to see us return. They were eager to play, ready to laugh, and insistent upon attention. But more than anything, these girls were easy to please. Amazed by the snap-andappear logistics of the digital camera, two girls presented a fashion show, and I was delighted to be the paparazzi. Sassy poses and pouty lips filled the memory space quickly. The older girls particularly enjoyed a game we at Ursuline pride ourselves in: volleyball. They don’t have a net, and they don’t even have a properly inflated ball. But we still hit that sack of air over a wooden swing set for hours, losing track of scores and time. Homework was tackled too, not as enthusiastically of course, but we persisted, attempting to make some sense of pronouns and fractions. Eventually, the girls winded down, and all our energy was seemingly zapped. The sun too parted from our sight, as we headed back to the convent, ready for dinner and a long night’s rest. We visit Marian Academy tomorrow. All minds open.
ferry as l l a m s a a river on urney through d e s s o r c e W ur long jorgetown. With o f o t r a p a rest to Geo, are awesome UA o f n i a r e h t pictured ica Baker, Sarah t o n t u b , s u rs Jess e b m e m y and Alice t n n u facul G n i v , Ke Coles Gunnher. Bairnsfat 12
We had so much fun w St. Ann’s Orphanage! ith the kids at
Today, I was given the opportunity to visit Marian Academy, an Ursuline school in Georgetown. This experience helped me realize how great it is to attend a school where I can make connections with people all over the world. The school is extremely similar to our Ursuline in New Orleans. Sister Barbara and the other Ursuline nuns still run the school. Their dedication to their ministry is evident by the way they interact with the students. I was surprised to recognize that the people I met were just like my friends and me. We had many similar interests. While I was sitting in on an economics class, the students were trying to convince the teacher to let them practice for their upcoming festival, Mashramani. Mashramani is an annual celebration that commemorates the birth of the Republic. Guyana is composed of many cultural groups. The students were preparing a fashion show to showcase the diversity within Guyana. As the day came to an end, I was overcome with gratitude for Christian hospitality that was shown to us during our visit to Marian Academy. I hope to be able to mimic this kindness in my own actions.
Day Twelve, Final Day
At 3 a.m. sharp, we were awakened by the familiar voices of the Ursuline Sisters. Today was a bittersweet day. We left the loud and sleepless city of Georgetown. It was sad to know that the next day I would not be venturing out on a dirt road with the company of goats and cows in Karasabai. I would not be awakened by the harmonious voices of our teachers. I would not be in the humid city of Georgetown within the walls of the cozy Ursuline convent. Despite the realization of all these things, I was excited to be going home. I wanted to share my stories with my family and friends. My companions and I knew our journey was not over, for our teachers constantly reminded us of this. Our journey had just started. As being a part of Ursuline’s first ever Beyond Our Borders Program, our legacy would lead on. We served as the pioneers for a program that we hoped would continue for years to come. My wonderful experience started from the moment we stepped out of the plane, looked around at the beautiful mountains, and met all of the children who ran from their school to the landing area to meet us. Through serving them and simply getting to know them, I was able to learn a lot about their culture, personalities, and even challenges they faced. The six of us answered St. Angela’s call to go beyond our borders to live out our motto of Serviam. Howard Thurman once said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” The immersion program to Guyana, South America changed my life, and the memories I have will stay with me always.
e s with th d n e i r f aking Academy! m d e v o l We arian M t a s t studen 13
From top, clockwise: Water purification techniques are put to the test in science class; Students learn about traditional African rhythms; Kindergarten students draw pictures for a movie they created on the water crisis in Africa; African instruments enhance music classes; Ndop squares, used in Cameroon to express political resistance or sovereignty, get an Ursuline twist in art class. Opposite page: A student carries 10 pounds of water around campus to experience what many African women endure on a daily basis. 14
Ursuline Academy students joined Ursuline schools around the world to help with Project Africa. The year-long program, which centered on raising funds to construct water wells in Africa, was sponsored by the Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union. By incorporating fundraisers like bake sales, penny wars, and t-shirts sales, UA students were able to raise enough money to fund the building of a covered well and pump, providing clean water for a village in the African country of Cameroon. All of the Academy’s students – from toddlers to seniors – worked together to raise $4,415.12, exceeding their goal of $3,950. Students also concentrated on raising awareness about global water concerns and water conservation. Faculty members took the project a step further by integrating different aspects of African culture, tradition and history into their lessons. In computer class, eighth graders created brochures to inform others of the water crisis in Cameroon, high school art students painted African silhouette paintings, and elementary music students studied African music and dance. Early childhood students learned about water conservation and recycling, elementary English classes wrote letters to children in Africa, and middle school science classes explored water purification techniques by testing homemade water filters. On a special day dedicated to Project Africa, students walked around campus carrying 10 pounds of water to experience a small degree of what many women in Africa endure on a daily basis. They also learned about Ndop, indigo-dyed and waxed cotton cloths used in Africa to express political resistance or sovereignty. Students created their own versions of Ndop. The decorative squares were sewn together to create two large tapestries. One will stay at Ursuline to remind the students of their Project Africa experience and one was presented to Patrice Clifford '53, an Ursuline Sister living in Cameroon. 15
MEET SISTER PATRICE CLIFFORD, OSU ’53
Sister Patrice Clifford, OSU ’53 has lived in Africa for nearly thirty years. She currently resides in N’Gaoundéré, Cameroon with seven other Ursuline Sisters—one from Italy, one from France, one from Mexico and four from Africa. This international community of Sisters was responsible for overseeing the building of a water well in an area near their town. The well is a product of Project Africa, sponsored by the Ursulines of the Roman Union. It is also the well Ursuline Academy chose to focus fundraising efforts on in the 2012-2013 school year. Sister Patrice said the people living in the area around the well are “thrilled” to have “water that is not contaminated and water that is near them,” rectifying two common — and serious — problems in many regions of Africa. They have plans for a second well in a nearby area. The Sisters have also noticed a high rate of visuallyimpaired individuals, strongly suspecting a connection to the consumption of unclean water. They are currently exploring a project that would connect an ophthalmologist to their community. To date, there are not any eye doctors in or around their town. As a teacher, Sister Patrice has been impacted the most by the lack of educational and career opportunities for Cameroon’s young people. “It’s just unbelievable — the educational opportunities here in the States — compared to the educational opportunities in our area and in many
of the areas of Africa. Students in America have all of the possibilities of developing their gifts,” she explained. “The difference is just hard to imagine. There are obstacles all over for young people [in Africa]. … Even working hard will not necessarily make those obstacles go away, which is sad. You see someone who really can do it, really can help the country and the people, but the opportunity for being able to serve is not always there.” She hopes that students here realize and take advantage of the incredible opportunities they have been given to reach their full potential. Life in Cameroon is not easy, but Sister Patrice is proud to call it home. She is especially grateful for many happy contacts with people of the Islamic faith. She believes these contacts are a small but real contribution to world peace. Sister Patrice cherishes all of the friendships she has made over the years and the wonderful people — of various backgrounds and faiths — that inspire her by living peaceful, thoughtful lives in what many Americans would view as lessthan-ideal conditions. Sister Patrice started Ursuline Academy of New Orleans in the 5th grade and is proud to call herself a Lep of 1953. She plans to stay in Cameroon as long as it’s part of God’s will discovered through dialogue between her and her superiors.
our heart & soul
It’s nearly impossible to describe how special the Ursuline Sisters are to the entire UA community. They continue to inspire us, serving as living examples of Serviam and reminding us to embody the Ursuline core values of courtesy, loyalty and courage.
Catching up with the Ursuline Sisters of New Orleans
Here’s what these six wonderful women have been up to lately:
sr. carolyn marie brockland
I am delighted to be back in New Orleans once again. I’m grateful for the warm welcome from so many of you. I am currently sharing Shrine ministry duties with Sisters Donna and Carla, particularly being available to set up for and attend school Masses and funerals. I have resumed helping Thais Carriere, Shrine Sacristan, with weddings and wedding rehearsals. When I can, I also enjoy helping out with tutoring at the Adult Basic Education/GED program at St. Jude Community Center on Rampart St. Dear to my heart is the ministry of spiritual direction, which I offer when asked to do so.
sr. ginger cirone
I am presently working in New Orleans as Director of the Adult Basic Education/GED Program at St. Jude’s Community Center. I enjoy working with these adults who are striving to gain knowledge and improve their life situations. This is quite different from my first teaching experience at Ursuline Academy of New Orleans. From 1964 to 1973 I taught Algebra and Algebra II/Trigonometry to some freshmen and juniors. These early times at the Academy were a “camelot” experience for me. I am also treasurer of our Community and the OLPS Shrine. This is mostly a supervisory position as we also have a bookkeeper who does the daily accounting. In the larger picture of our province, I am presently a member of the Ursuline Central Province Leadership Team and Provincial Treasurer. Because of this, I travel to St. Louis at least one week out of every month for meetings. Luckily, I have Sisters in the community who help me with the GED program and replace me when I am away for meetings.
sr. carla dolce ’50
What is my ministry? Years ago I would have answered this question by giving the names of the responsibilities I had been asked to carry out. Now after years of life experience, I understand that ministry is neither a title nor a sum of responsibilities; my ministry is rather to see and relate to every person as unconditionally loved by God. When I fail, I try to remember that I too am unconditionally loved by God. As Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, I am responsible — with others — to preserve the heritage of the Shrine and plan and secure resources for the future of the Shrine for the sake of the faithful. I also serve as Prioress of the New Orleans community. 17
sr. donna hyndman
During my 60+ years as an Ursuline of the Roman Union, I’ve served in several different ways and in various places: classroom teaching (mostly in high school) in Galveston, Texas; St. Louis, Missouri; Santa Rosa, California; and New Orleans, working as a secretary in the office of a retirement home, in the maintenance department of Missouri Botanical Garden, in a property control office of the State of Illinois, and at the Ursulines of the Roman Union Generalate in Rome, Italy. Now I help in whatever way I can, here in New Orleans, especially at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. These years have slowly taught me that the mission everywhere and in everything is to try to love others as Jesus loves, as God who created us loves, unconditionally; with God’s help, to love as unconditionally and truthfully as I can. I think this is the universal mission entrusted to each and all of us.
sr. regina marie fronmüller
I have been an Ursuline Sister for over 50 years. I went to Ursuline schools all my life and graduated from Ursuline Academy in Springfield, Illinois. I have taught all ages from first grade through college. Since teaching in the art department at Ursuline Academy of New Orleans (1995-2004), the girls have called me “SRM,” which has stuck over the years and is used frequently to sign my paintings. Presently, I’m involved in vocation and volunteer ministry by working with volunteer groups of Ursuline students with St. Bernard Project, Nuns Build, and Ursuline Links. The latter links our students across continents living out our motto Serviam.
sr. magdalita roussel ’62
I graduated from Ursuline Academy New Orleans as a Skip of 1962. I have taught in Missouri, Illinois, Texas and Louisiana. I was a missionary in Cameroon for three years. I am presently caring for my 90-year-old mother.
Together forever and never apart,
maybe in distance,
but never in heart. 18
Patricia Giraldo Ortalano ’77 visited with Ursuline Sisters in Alton, Illinois while on a family trip. Pictured below are: (front row, from left): Sr. Teresita Rivet ’36 C’40, Sr. Marie McCloskey C’36 and Sr. Angela Murphy. (Back row, from left) Sr. Miriam Teresa Graczak, Tricia Giraldo Ortalano ’77 and Sr. Mary Margaret Prenger ’39 C’43.
FOREVER IN OUR MEMORIES: SISTER DAMIAN AYCOCK (1922-2012)
By Mary Lee Berner Harris ’66 Sister Damian Aycock, OSU was born Ida Clothilde “Tootie” Aycock on September 27, 1922 to Fernand Joseph Aycock, Sr. of Franklin, Louisiana and Palmyre Lasseigne Aycock of LaPlace, Louisiana. Having spent much of her young life in Honduras with her family (her father was an executive of United Fruit Company there), she became a boarding student at Ursuline Academy of New Orleans beginning in first grade. She graduated from Ursuline Academy in 1940, attended two years at Ursuline College there, and then entered the Ursuline Order in July 1942. She professed her final vows in 1945. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of New Rochelle in New York and a Master of Education Degree from Loyola University of New Orleans. “Mother” Damian, as she was known prior to the Second Vatican Council in 1965, began her active ministry as a teacher in 1948 in Dallas, Texas, where she’d made her final profession in 1945. She returned to New Orleans in 1950 to serve as the Boarders’ Mistress and Mission Moderator until 1957. Many boarders from that period remember her fondly as one who disciplined them with loving kindness, compassion and encouragement — helping them forget their “homesickness” with her smile, her
sense of humor and her laughter. Her leadership gifts quickly surfaced and she was assigned Principal of Ursuline Academy in Springfield, Illinois in 1957. In 1962, she returned to serve in that same position for the Academy in New Orleans, where she remained until 1967. It should be noted that during this critical period of “equal education for all” reform in the city of New Orleans, Mother Damian steadfastly focused on the objective of the first Ursuline Nuns who arrived to serve the fledgling New Orleans colony in 1727: education, formation of, and service to all young women regardless of ethnicity, religion or socio-economic status. Following the end of the Civil War, the nuns were prohibited by law to practice this rule of inclusiveness, but in the mid-1960s a recommitment was made to accomplishing this goal. Never one to shrink from a challenge, Mother Damian expressed her thoughts about change, “As I look back on the period following Vatican II, I am aware of the tensions and struggles that were present in each community. The Council called for a profound renewal. The struggle to hold fast to values while opening up to the demands of a changing world brought the pain of moving into the unknown and the joy of reaching out to new horizons.” 19
In her own words, “I have felt at home in each of the communities in which I have been fortunate enough to have been stationed, and I am willing to work wherever in the Order that I can be of greatest service.” To her New Orleans community she said, “Sisters, it is with joy that I come to assume the responsibility of my appointment to be your canonical superior, and to live with you as your sister. I come in the spirit of Christ who said, ‘I am among you, not as one seated at the table, but as one who serves.’ ” And so continued her amazing life of service in leadership for the Ursuline communities that benefited from her good fortune:
• 1967-1971: Prioress of The Ursulines in Dallas; • 1968-1972: Provincial Team Member for the Central Province, USA; • 1972-1975: Provincial of the Ursulines’ Mexican Province; • 1975-1978: Prioress of the Ursulines of Kirkwood, Missouri; • 1978-1981: Provincial Team Member for the Central Province, USA; • 1981-1986: Prioress of the Ursulines of Decatur, Illinois; • 1986-1992: Prioress of the Ursulines of New Orleans; • 1992-1995: President, Ursuline Academy of New Orleans (1st President at UA of New Orleans.); • 1995-2001: Prioress of the Ursulines of Puebla, Mexico; • 2001-2004: Prioress of the Ursulines of Iquala, Mexico; • 2004-2008: Director of the National Votive Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, New Orleans
Of her twelve years spent in service in Ursuline communities in Mexico, she said, “Mexico was an experience in fusion of widely different cultural and ethnic traditions, an opportunity for experience as an intermediary between the United States and the rest of Latin America.” How suited was she for that challenge! Her unique management style centered on her ability to motivate and mobilize others into action. In doing so, she was able to empower those under her guidance with a courageous sense of confidence and self-assurance. She did this by telling them to always focus on the goal, and then, she entrusted them with responsibility. Whenever a student or volunteer questioned her/his own abilities to take on a formidable task, Mother Damian would reassure, “Don’t 20 20
Sr. Damian and her sister, Sr. Joan Marie (left), Sr. Carolyn Marie Brockland and Sr. Damian in 1965 (far right)
you worry about it. ... You can do this. ... Our Lady will help you find the tools you need to complete this job, just ask Her for help!” On November 6, 1991 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., the National Catholic Educational Association presented Damian Aycock, OSU with one of the first Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Awards for “making a difference in the lives of students, families and communities.” That year, Sister Damian served as a member of a six-delegate team of the National Congress of Catholic Educators who met with President George H. W. Bush, U.S. Secretary Lamar Alexander, and White House Chief of Staff John Sununu at the White House on November 5 to discuss and to support parental choice in education. In quoting Sister Damian in an interview conducted in 1994 by the "Catholic Times" of Springfield, Illinois, her vision still rings true today: “When I was growing up, the school and our neighborhood was our world. But today, with television, computers and wheels, the world is these kids’ community. The world is their neighborhood and their school. We have to train, to educate our youngsters in world vision. These kids are talking about world issues. They are citizens of the world. We cannot selfishly hold onto what is good for us, because that is to deny growth. Education has changed, but one thing that does not change is holding on to values, because values don’t change. Unless we have [growth of] technology and develop strong liberal arts, society will lose. Only a person who is holistically developed will know how to use technology to his or her advantage. We have to be people of authenticity and integrity. Our students today are so much more knowledgeable of the challenges of the world. We want to make sure they’re equipped.” One of Sister Damian’s favorite quotes is by Dag Hammarskjöld, “For all that has been … Thanks. For all that will be … Yes!”
In September, 2008, Sister Damian Aycock made the decision to move to the Ursuline Queen of Peace Healthcare and Retirement Center in Alton, Illinois with her sister, Joan Marie Aycock, also an Ursuline. On their arrival, with her typical, wonderful sense of humor, she called down the hall to Joan Marie from the doorway of her room, “They do your laundry and cut your toenails here, Joan Marie. We came to the right place!” On July 6, 2012, Sister Damian peacefully died at the age of 89. A note from her sister, Joan Marie, is addressed to Ursuline Academy of New Orleans community: Your messages and expressions of love have meant so much to me. We all know what a great person Sr. Damian was. My sister and I spent about four years together in the Queen of Peace Community, sharing a happy life with Ursulines from various parts of the Province. ... Sr. Damian had loving Sisters near her, praying with and for her, even at times exchanging pleasantries, as she gradually weakened over the course of several days. Her every need was seen to with lots of love by the wonderful personnel who staff the QP facility. Sister [Damian] had a number of health issues, but she was at peace. Her great heart finally stopped beating around 8:15 in the evening of July 6…. I miss my sister, but I would not want her back because she is now enjoying what we all want, eternal life with our loving God. Sister Damian Aycock’s own words and other biographical information were obtained from the Ursuline Convent Archives, St. Louis; the Ursuline Convent Collection, Archives and Museum, New Orleans and Sister Ignatius Miller’s History of the Central Province.
2012 Distinguished Alumna
Marybeth Drown Meacham ’65 Marybeth Drown Meacham ’65 has been named the Ursuline Academy 2012 Distinguished Alumna. The award is given annually to a graduate of Ursuline Academy or the former Ursuline College of New Orleans who demonstrates the core values and ideals of an Ursuline education in all aspects of her life. Since 1986, 44 women have received this honor, making it one of Ursuline’s most prestigious awards. Marybeth attended Ursuline Academy for the entire 13 years of elementary and high school education, continued on to receive a B.S. in Education from Louisiana State University, and completed graduate coursework at the University of Richmond. She has 25 years of expertise in post-secondary, secondary and elementary educational instruction in both school and clinical settings. She resides in Virginia with Charles, her husband of 43 years. Charles and Marybeth have three children — Charles Jr., Richard and Anne. They also have four grandchildren. Just as Marybeth has a strong connection with Ursuline as an alumna, Charles and Marybeth have a special bond as a married couple. They met at 17 years of age and later fell in love. They attended college together and married the summer after graduation at the St. Louis Cathedral. After their wedding reception, Charles drove Marybeth to Ursuline where they placed a rose on the altar before Our Lady of Prompt Succor. Together, they prayed for Her blessing as they entered a new life together. Charles believes that “the rose was laid on a foundation of faith.” While it may seem like a simple gesture, it would be the foundation for their life ahead. This foundation of faith has led Marybeth to accomplish much in her lifetime. She has given herself to many great causes. A substantial amount of service has been given to St. Michael Catholic Church, Marybeth’s church. She has worked with many groups and organizations — House Church, Driving Ministry, Meals Ministry, Bible Study, Haitian Child Support, and Meals on Wheels. From this 22
service and many other examples throughout her lifetime, Marybeth’s son Richard described his mother as having a “generous spirit.” Her other son Chuck added, “She set the example in our family of service first. Serviam. First you serve. Through that you will find fulfillment.” She has also contributed to the Sudanese Lost Boys Scholarship and the St. Michael Building Fund. Since 2005, Marybeth has assisted with Hurricane Katrina Relocation Support. She has made many friends through this program and has helped hurricane victims with job support, housing, and transport. She currently assists with Vocation Cross Ministry and Inclusion Ministry at St. Michael and also serves as the Wedding Coordinator. In her “spare time,” she participates monthly in Tuckahoe Woman’s Club, Stock Club, a book club, and a bridge club. While Marybeth has accomplished a lot through her numerous service groups and projects, there is one accomplishment that deserves great recognition. Marybeth’s daughter, Anne, was born with Down Syndrome. From the moment Anne was born, Marybeth vowed to provide her with a fulfilling life, one with no boundaries, a life where she could have all the same experiences as her peers. Marybeth’s daughter, Anne, is among those who appreciate her courage and determination. Anne said, “It makes me feel special to know that she is there with me.” Marybeth and her husband, Charles, are currently working to establish a L’Arche Community in the Richmond, Virginia area. L’Arche is an international organization which is mostly non-profit in the United States. L’Arche communities enable people with and without disabilities to share their lives in faith and friendship where they live, work, play and pray together. Marybeth’s dream is fueled by her desire to provide Anne and other people with various disabilities a home for life and to help them be as self-sufficient as possible. Marybeth played a key role in initiating Central Virginia Friends of L’Arche. St. Michael Catholic Church in Glen Allen, Virginia is pleased that she has taken on the challenge of being the chairperson for Friends of L’Arche, a Human Concerns subministry. She is working tirelessly to make this dream a reality. This process normally takes five to 10 years. Her dedication and hard work are paying off, the progress is happening faster than expected. Her husband, Charles, describes her as “a remarkable individual whose commitment shines through her words and her actions. By embracing her faith, she has given to others a compelling reason for doing the same.” When the Distinguished Alumna Award was bestowed upon her, Marybeth said, “Ursuline means everything to me.”
DEB AUGUSTINE ELAM ’79, WOMAN OF POWER
Deb Elam received the National Urban League’s “Women of Power” Award at a luncheon in July 2012. Presenting the award are League Board Chairman John Hofmeister, League President Marc Morial, and CBS News correspondent and luncheon co-host Michelle Miller.
By Dolly Duplantier '82 There’s no doubt that Ursuline graduates come from a long line of strong and powerful women. Just look at the definition of power: the ability to act or produce an effect. Then, think about every act of kindness accomplished through Ursuline’s mission of Serviam. We often think of power in terms of physical strength and control, but it’s much more than that. It’s power in the sense of faith and commitment and the ability to help those in need. It’s also about having a positive influence on others, being able to take risks, and affect change. From the very beginning, the Ursuline Sisters channeled that power to influence culture and learning by providing an exceptional education for its women. Now some 286 years after the Sisters founded Ursuline Academy of New Orleans, their graduates are being recognized for their power to make a difference. This past summer, Deb Augustine Elam, Merry Mac of 1979, was one of 11 “Women of Power” honored at the National Urban League Conference in New Orleans. The award honors the most accomplished and successful women in the civil rights, government, entertainment, journalism, sports, and corporate sectors. They are among some of the brightest influencers and innovators. Recipients are exceptional women who strive for excellence in their chosen fields and are devoted to community service, education and diversity.
For Deb, to receive the Women of Power award in her hometown was truly special. “Marc Morial, former Mayor of New Orleans and president of the League presented the award,” she said. “Senator Mary Landrieu, an Ursuline alumna, was also a presenter. Given that my mother and my daughters were there to really see what the power of being a woman can be, to see other women recognized with me for being successful in their fields means more than just about every other award I’ve ever received.” Deb has always had high expectations for herself. “I thought I would be successful at whatever I got into. I didn’t have a clear vision of what that would be, but I always thought that I had the combination of intellect, tenacity and leadership to push and be successful at whatever my chosen field of endeavor would be,” she explained. What she “got into” started over 25 years ago when she worked as an intern for GE while in graduate school. Now she holds the title of Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. Headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, she leads efforts globally to ensure that all GE employees have an opportunity to contribute and succeed. At a time where most people jump from one company to another, Deb stayed with GE and was promoted to larger human resources roles within a number of divisions and companies. In 2006, she was appointed an officer of the company, making her one 23
of the most senior women in GE. She also holds leadership roles in GE’s African American Forum and the company’s Women’s Network. Most recently, she was instrumental in facilitating the opening of a GE software development center in New Orleans. The St. Charles Avenue center employs about 65 people and will eventually ramp up to about 300. In her “spare” time, Deb gets back to New Orleans as often as she can. Her role on the Ursuline Academy Board of Trustees brings her home several times a year. She is also on the board of advisors for Working Mother Media, Multicultural Women's Initiative and a member of Jack and Jill of America, The Links, Inc., and the Fairfield County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In addition to the “Women of Power” award, Deb received the prestigious White House Projects’ EPIC (Enhancing Perceptions in Culture) award and the BRAVA award given by the YWCA of Greenwich, Connecticut, to women who excel professionally and give back to their communities. In March of 2005, she was named one of 25 Influential Black Women in Business by “Network Journal Magazine.” She is also a member of the National Black MBA Association and the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), an organization of the top African Americans in corporate America. Reflecting on her recent accomplishments and her years at Ursuline, Deb said three things helped define who she is, both personally and professionally. First and foremost is Ursuline’s concept of Serviam and her deeprooted commitment to serve. “I think there’s nothing greater than whatever you do professionally than trying to reach back to mentor, to coach, and to help young people” she said. “I will serve. It’s giving back to one’s community, giving of one’s self in an authentic way. It just brings joy to the soul.” Helping young people is the focus of much of her volunteer work today. She aligns her discretionary time in terms of service with opportunities where she can learn something and where she believes she can make a contribution that would be valued. Deb still remembers what she did for her service hours at Ursuline. “I worked for an organization called Operation Mainstream. It was basically teaching adults to read. It was extremely rewarding. I really enjoyed that and I think they enjoyed having the Ursuline girls come in.” 24
Another aspect that made a huge impact on Deb while at Ursuline was playing volleyball for four years and basketball for two years. “I think playing competitive sports for women, in particular, is huge,” she said. “Studies have shown that a large percentage of women who played competitive sports are very successful professionally. Why, because we learned how to win and we learned how to lose. “ Student Council improved her leadership skills. Being president of her freshman and junior class helped prepare her to take on leadership roles professionally and personally. “It really gave me an opportunity to learn and practice leadership at a very young age,” she said. Every student has standout teachers, those that motivate you to do your best. Deb credits three of her teachers for being a positive influence. Sr. Ruth Marie Call is at the top of the list. “She pushed you, but you really learned. You learned how to learn in her class. You learned how to be prepared. You never showed up for her class not prepared. Because the consequences were not good!” Sylvia Probst was her English teacher. “Every time she spoke, it always seemed that it was very thoughtful, very knowledgeable.” Pat Taylor was Deb’s coach. She taught her about the team — being a team, playing as a team and thinking as a team. “I just loved her,” she said. “She just really exuded what I would call esprit de corps.” Deb appreciates her Ursuline education even more now. She encourages current students to really enjoy their high school years. “The Ursuline experience is an academic education and a spiritual foundation,” she explained. “It’s about developing as a leader, as a female, as a young woman. I think all of that is invaluable. I think the more you go through life, the more you realize just how invaluable and how special it is. Not that I didn’t appreciate it then, but I certainly appreciate my Ursuline experience now.” It’s amazing that what occurs in a few short years can have such an impact on one’s life. For Deb, those years created a foundation for a love of service, learning and leadership — a very powerful combination indeed.
SIMONE BRUNI ’89, PROSPEROUS IN PINK
By Mary Block Fonseca ’56 Simone Bruni, a graduate of Ursuline’s class of 1989, is “pretty in pink,” but using this very feminine color in her business has helped Bruni become prosperous in pink. The color wasn’t part of her life during the two years she tutored in the Desire Project immediately after graduation from Loyola. Nor did it become part of her daily environment during the 10 years she was involved in convention planning with a local company. It was shortly after Hurricane Katrina that pink became important in her life. “When I saw that removal of their ruined properties was what my neighbors needed most,” recalled Bruni, “I took the first steps into the demolition business.” She decided to call her company Demo Diva and used $250 worth of hot pink car magnets, yard signs, and business cards to get started. As a communications graduate of Loyola University, Bruni knew a good bit about marketing. “I knew I had to do something to brand my business, and get it recognition in a male-dominated field,” said Bruni. “Since at first I was marketing primarily to women, using the color pink was an easy decision.”
In the beginning, Bruni obtained demolition contracts from homeowners and subcontracted the work to crews who also worked for other contractors. During the first two years her crews demolished two houses a day, every day. She was the company’s only employee, so in addition to doing the paperwork, she had to check on her crews to make sure they were doing jobs correctly. “Two years later, I decided I was in this business to stay, so I bought my first excavator and my dumpsters and had everything painted hot pink,” she said. The pink equipment is a wonderful advertisement for Bruni’s business as people spot them all around town and know they could only belong to the Demo Diva. From the beginning, whenever the job underway permitted, Bruni hired men from the New Orleans Mission to work as construction laborers. “We give them a pink Demo Diva tee shirt, hard hat and safety vest and they are so proud to be wearing them and doing something constructive,” said Bruni. “I started my business to help my community,” she explained. “I had very little self confidence at first, but the community has given back to me by hiring Demo Diva. Now I am very confident that I’m where I belong.” Bruni says the lasting friendships, plus the refinement 25
and appreciation for tradition she acquired during her years at Ursuline, helps her as she meets people from every walk of life in her business. She is often asked to address organizations and uses these opportunities to network for her company. Recently she was asked to speak to a group from Japan who had come to New Orleans to learn how the city recovered from Katrina. They asked to meet an entrepreneur and Bruni was chosen to speak to them. Soon she will be going to Japan with a group of people from New Orleans on a reciprocal visit.
Though Demo Diva stills demolishes the occasional flooded-out home, the business has morphed into a multi-faceted company that does commercial demolition, architectural salvage, and site preparation. But now the work is done by Bruni’s own crews. “I have some employees who are very loyal and have been with me for several years,” Bruni noted. She spends three days a week visiting job sites and uses the other two for networking and growing her business. Her assistant handles obtaining permits and doing other paperwork necessary to start a demolition. The company has already entered the Mississippi Gulf Coast market and hopes to eventually expand to other South Louisiana cities. Soon hot pink excavators and dumpsters may color Baton Rouge, Lafayette and other areas of the state. When they do, the community will know that the Demo Diva has arrived. 26
Remember the Ursuline Academy held the 5th annual “Remember the Ladies” event during Women’s History Month. The junior class transformed into modern and historical female figures influential to gaining equal rights. After preparing a research project and presentation, the students were required to impersonate not only in costume, but also by speaking to their parents, teachers and peers as their chosen subject. Students were judged on creativity, costumes and set design, overall knowledge of their figure’s life, and on their understanding of the impact she had on her country or community. Through this interactive experience, students bring history to life while gaining appreciation for the amazing women who paved the way for young women today. The Academy chose the name “Remember the Ladies” to memorialize the words of Abigail Adams, who wrote to her husband John Adams in 1776 to urge him to keep the rights of women in mind while the Founding Fathers were in the midst of establishing our country.
Junior Gabriella Leonovicz — decked out in a pink hard hat, pink shovel and logo t-shirt — chose Demo Diva and alumna Simone Bruni '89 as her inspiration for the project. Simone surprised Gabriella by stopping by “Remember the Ladies.”
FROM NINTH WARD TO CITIZEN OF THE WORLD
Alumna Janice Donaldson Grijns reflects on her childhood, her Ursuline education, and opening an animal sanctuary in her father’s memory.
By Janice Donaldson Grijns ’62 My early childhood, from the mid 1940’s to the early 1950’s, was in the Ninth Ward, on Burgundy Street, in a double shot-gun house: my parents, my brother and I, and dog Lulu Belle on one side, and my beloved grandmother and great-uncle on the other. My great-aunt and godmother and her family lived down the block. Another great-uncle lived nearby, and two houses away was the Happyland Movie Theatre. I thought life was fairly wonderful, and that was before we had the modern, glamorous term of “Bywater.” Tennessee Williams has said that home is where you hang your childhood. My childhood hangs in the Bywater, on Burgundy Street between Louisa and Clouet. I often go to that double shot-gun house, now boarded up since Katrina, which originally belonged to my great-grandmother, and I just sit on the stoop. We later moved to Lakeview when I was ten years old, and although I have kept my late parents’ house, rebuilt since Katrina, I don’t hang my childhood there. I attended the local Catholic parish school, where I was bored to death. I educated myself at the local library. My mother fortunately allowed me to attend 8th grade at Ursuline, but as my brother was at Jesuit, I was warned that she could not pay for two private schools. My mother considered education important only for boys, and started plotting my marriage to anyone she thought was wealthy or potentially so when I was barely 16, in sophomore year. She once advised me to elope at that time. I was fortunate to sit a day-long exam at the end of 8th grade and to win a scholarship to Ursuline Academy. From that moment on, all of my education, including graduate school, was done on competitively-won scholarships. 28
I also worked every summer from age 14. Additionally, on weekends I was a fashion model in a number of department stores as well as on some television programs until age 17. I kept busy all the time: “Still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait,” as Longfellow advised. When I was a tiny little girl with copper red sausage curls, my mother said that my brother would go to university. I had no idea what “university” was, but I defiantly said that if he was going, then I was going. My brother once defined me as someone who will never back down from a challenge. I think he understood me better than I did myself. My mother did not applaud any of my academic achievements. I am the last generation of suppressed women, women who were raised to be wives. It must be fabulous today to be a young woman who feels it is her right to achieve according to her abilities and interests. At the end of ninth grade, I was honored at assembly for having the highest average in the entire school. I still have the letter of congratulations from Mother Mary Margaret, Principal. Until then I had not really sought to be first in everything; it was something I achieved without particular effort. However, after that assembly, it became almost an obsession, resulting in dreadful life-long insomnia. I achieved first place in nearly everything by what Milton called in “Paradise Lost” “the indomitable will,” and with very little sleep. I was trying to compensate my parents for everything they felt they had missed in life. My mother’s father left her when she was a small child, and my father’s mother abandoned him when he was only four. He was raised on a plantation in southern Georgia as a foster child where he was very harshly treated and beaten, and where the
only goodness, kindness and affection he ever knew came from the farm animals and the dogs. At age 13 my mother sent me to Soule Business College to learn typing. I was the only child there, and I received my diploma as first in my class. Thereafter, I worked every summer as a clerk-typist. The only exception was the summer when I was 19, which I spent as a student at the University of Laval in Quebec on a scholarship. When I graduated from Ursuline as valedictorian in 1962, I was offered a 100% four-year scholarship from the intellectual powerhouse of University of Chicago. I had never traveled anywhere before, except a Catholic Student Mission Crusade retreat by bus to Notre Dame University. When I visited University of Chicago alone, I was terrified by the coed dorms, so I scurried back to Sophie Newcomb, Tulane University. My happiest year was the year I spent studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, after several months at the University of Dijon in Burgundy. At Tulane I graduated also as valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, with honors and distinction in French, recipient of the Italian Government Medal, and won a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, which guaranteed me a 5-year Ph.D. fellowship to the university of my choice. I postponed my fellowship at Columbia University, where I was designated a faculty fellow, to go to The Netherlands with my new husband. He was a lawyer there, and at that time a man’s career superseded his wife’s. I studied languages at the University of Leiden, and worked as a translator in five languages for a multi-national company in Rotterdam. Fortunately, when I reapplied I was again awarded my fellowship with a living stipend. At Columbia I specialized in French Literature and Romance Philology, especially the l8th century philosophers, Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau. My brother became a professor of philosophy at George Washington University in D.C. We were the first of our family to go to university. After having two sons, we moved to London. There I taught English, French, European Literature, and English as a Second Language at the American High School. Then with the dramatic flourish and panache of a Cyrano de Bergerac, I produced twin sons on my birthday. After their birth I taught evening classes in the Dutch language at the London School for Continuing Education. Upon our return to United States in 1978, we moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, which is only 30 minutes from New York City. Because I had four young boys and wanted to be near them and their school, I began working as a real estate broker in luxury properties, and invested in real estate on my own behalf. Eventually, I had an unusual specialization handling historic, international properties, such as famous chateaux in France and Austria. Again, my knowledge of languages was a key factor. The tragedy of Katrina and the fear that the unique culture of New Orleans could disappear brought me back to my roots. Since 2005 I have joined every organization
I could think of in New Orleans. I have written for the Preservation Resource Center’s book “New Orleans’ Favorite Shotgun Houses;” I am a patron of the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival; I am a member of the Historic New Orleans Collection where my writings on Katrina and on the Ninth Ward are in the permanent collection; I am also a member of Friends of the Vieux Carre and the Women’s Opera Guild, which I joined in honor of my father, as he was the project manager for the Mahalia Jackson Concert Hall. Today I am very involved in book discussion groups and seminars at my literary club, the Lotos Club, in New York City and for the Alliance Française in Greenwich. In London, where I also have a home, I am an active member of the Anthony Trollope Society, a member of the Carlton Club and of the Garrick Club. I was introduced to Trollope at Ursuline Academy, and this great 19th century writer has remained a life-long interest. Presently, my most important activity is developing the 48 acres of beautiful pasture land in Washington Parish which I helped the Humane Society of Louisiana purchase this February. The shelter, which rescues neglected and abused hooved animals, is named in perpetuity for my late father The Enoch J. Donaldson Animal Sanctuary. Obviously, I was thrilled when our new Pope chose the name of St. Francis, who is also the protector of animals. My father’s last words to me were that I had been the only joy in his life. No one can ever feel worthy of such high praise. He had the most cruel and harsh life I know of personally, but he was brave, kind, generous, and intellectually gifted. His name must live on for his grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, and for the thousands of animals we shall save in his name.
The Enoch J. Donaldson Animal Sanctuary
I started my life in a shotgun house in the Ninth Ward. Today I live in Greenwich, Connecticut; in the Chelsea area of London; and in the rebuilt house of my late parents in Lakeview, New Orleans. However, echoing Tennessee Williams’ expression, I hang my childhood in the 3100 block of Burgundy Street. I go there to be near my loved ones in spirit, and I often sit on the stoop of a boarded-up double shotgun house. As Voltaire said, I am a citizen of the world, but I never forget the house and the neighborhood where I hang my childhood.
Top row, from left: Logan Allan Grush, Braxton Emory Jimerson, Lucy Jane Kottemann, Adeline Rose Welch, Seth Michael Pitts, Brooks Robert Cleveland, Alice Cecilia Peart, Weslynn Sage Magner Middle row, from left: Cooper Crawford Landry, Luke Michael Buchert, Mckenzie Lane Murray, Amelia Redmon Reaves, Abigail Victoria Melle, Louis Byrne Levine, Stella Ai Vy Shelton, Ann Catherine Schilling Bottom row, from left: Elijah Fulton Baker, Margaret Amelia Farmer, Kaylee Elizabeth Lang, John Benjamin Kelley
Alumnae: BABIES 30
Paul & Lesli Habans Cleveland ’88 a son, Brooks Robert
Gaven & Amelia Farmer Reaves ’99 a daughter, Amelia Redmon
Michael & Iris Travis Welch ’00 a daughter, Adeline Rose
Cornell & Christen Crawford Landry ’95 a son, Cooper Crawford
Hank & Erica Sage Pitts ’02 a son, Seth Michael
David & Rose Nguyen Shelton ’95 a daughter, Stella Ai Vy
Michael & Katie Jardine Buchert ’00 a son, Luke Michael Eric & Britton Drumm Grush ’00 a son, Logan Allan
Paul & Lisa-Marie Schmitz Baker ’98 a son, Elijah Fulton
Dani & Vanessa Bridges Levine ’00 a son, Louis Byrne
Ryan & Erika Szabo Luening ’03 a daughter, Riley Rai
Robert & LaShondra Hilliard Jimerson III ’99 a son, Braxton Emory
Bret & Heidi Bostick Murray ’00 a daughter, Mckenzie Lane
Jeffrey & Angela Demma Melle ’06 a daughter, Abigail Victoria
Ryan & Malinda Majeau Kelley ’99 a son, John “Ben” Benjamin
Richard & Kathryn Ashley Peart ’00 a daughter, Alice Cecilia Mary
Kaitlyn Magner ’07 a daughter, Weslynn Sage
Matthew & Shannon Pritchett Kottemann ’99 a daughter, Lucy Jane
Kevin & Katherine Garrison Schilling ’00 a daughter, Ann Catherine
Sgt. Kristoffer Robert & Elizabeth Piehl Lang ’08 a daughter, Kaylee Elizabeth
Spencer & Corinne Kattengell Farmer ’03 a daughter, Margaret “Maggie” Amelia
Cherie Bourgeois ’99 and Chad Stouder (4) Wendy Farrelly ’76 and David Barrett (10) Maria Bruno ’81 and Lon Hunter
Monique White ’99 and Gary Ballier III (12)
Cara D’Antoni ’90 and Mark Laforet (8)
Christy Jackson ’00 and Eric Zurcher (11)
Emery Van Hook ’94 and Kristian Sonnier (16)
Tiffany Owens ’00 and Christopher Prasad
Kathryn Fulton ’96 and Chris Eden
Hillary Goodwin ’01 and Humberto Jaime (14)
Monica George ’97 and George Riggs (5)
Régine René ’01 and Jean Philippe Labrousse (9)
Ashley Jordan ’97 and Tim Riley
Juliette Dupleix ’02 and Mitch Vander Meersch
Alumnae: MARRIAGES 32
Melissa McBeth ’03 and Dustin Kuhn (13)
Meghan Speakes ’05 and Frank Edward Collins III (3)
Katie Vollenweider ’03 and André Roques, Jr. (6)
Kelly Smith ’06 and Terrance BaileI (7)
Emily Klibert ’04 and Thomas Moore
Madeline Foster ’07 and Connor Perry Martinez (1)
Brittany Nicholas ’04 and Brandon Phillips
Beryl Kline ’07 and Cameron Plaisance
Jodie Joseph ’09 and Jeremy Evans (15) Amanda Pierce ’04 and Troy Desselles (17) Amy Johnson ’05 and David Ponson
Spring Richardson ’05 and Arnold Mercadel Jr. (2)
Amelie “Puffy” Prados Cressend began writing a patriotic song during WWII. She presented it more than once to popular music professionals. While they thought it was good, they were unable to use it. After many years, Puffy was going through old papers and happened upon it. She decided it was still good and she would try one more time. This time, she presented it to the military, particularly the Marine Corps Band. After a couple of months, they called Puffy to tell her they liked it and they wanted to keep it. They later invited Puffy and her family to a private concert at the Marine Corps base where they played it for the first time. This private concert can be seen
Mary Lynne Block Fonseca has served as President of the ACCESS Advisory Board since 2009 and is presently serving as Co-President of the Board. She also writes occasional articles for “AAA Southern Traveler” and “Louisiana Cookin’” magazines. Mary Lynne was recently selected, along with seven others, as an East Jefferson General Hospital Auxiliary Great Lady. The women were chosen based on their outstanding volunteer service in the Greater New Orleans area.
Adele Allain DiGiovanna visited Volterra, Italy and to her surprise, she met Ursuline New Orleans alumnae while having lunch. Of the five women she met, all were Sioux like herself! After showing the ladies her Our Lady of Prompt Succor prayer card, a chorus broke out to the "Hymn to Our Lady of Prompt Succor."
Members of the Skip Class of 1959 went on a cruise! Cruisers were Cathy Cassagne Benedict and her husband Jim, Susan Ducasse Aparicio, Charlene Blanchard Shelton and Kathryn Eberle Wildgen. They had a blast!
1960 on YouTube. The name of the song is “Keep America Free.” It was presented publicly at a convention that same night at the D-Day Museum.
Marguerite Rombach Hathway celebrated her 90th birthday with lots of family and friends. Ms. Hathway is still active at Ursuline and currently serves as the College Representative on the board of the Ursuline Alumnae Association.
Flora Jean Grau Kraus was featured in "Poets & Writers Magazine" for her work with senior citizens. She is the author of the poetry collection “Riverbend.” "Poets & Writers" has co-sponsored her readings at local nursing homes and public libraries since 2008.
About Alumnae 34
Anne Ryan Leonhard is a chef/instructor at the New Orleans School of Cooking. One of her colleagues, Harriet Robin, was asked to appear on NBC’s “Steve Harvey Show.” Harriet said she would only go if Anne would accompany her. The pair flew up to Chicago three times to appear on three different shows. The first show was grandma’s recipes, the second was fondue, and the third was shrimp & grits. They were treated like queens and had a great time! Anne said, “Mr. Harvey is a fantastic individual. Word is that we will be back next season. He calls us his Golden Girls. Hope it comes to be.” Karen "Kay" Crais Briuglio and Sam Briuglio celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Latrobe's on Royal Street on October 28, 2012. Sam and Kay renewed their vows in the
Carriage House then hosted a small reception in Latrobe's Grand Ballroom. The couple's three children and five grandchildren served as attendants. The Briuglios have lived in Metairie for 50 years.
Debbie Jefferson Schmitz is the Cancer Care Navigator at East Jefferson General Hospital, which is a Certified Member of the MD Anderson Cancer Network. Since 2002, she has been dedicated to caring for and supporting breast cancer patients from testing, to diagnosis, and through recovery. In 2008, her role expanded to include outreach to patients with all types of cancer. She goes
Dr. Elma Ireland LeDoux, Associate Professor of Medicine at Tulane University Hospital, received the Tulane President's Award for Excellence in Professional and Graduate Teaching for her continued commitment to educational excellence at the graduate level. Elma received a $5,000 cash award and a special medallion designed by Professor Emeritus Franklin Adams. Senator Mary Landrieu was presented “The Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award” by USA Maritime. She was recognized for her support of the industry, including her efforts to increase funding for port and waterways maintenance.
Deborah Armbruster recently won the 2012 Stars of Excellence Award for Revenue Management with Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Interstate Hotels & Resorts is a 400 hotel management company with hotels worldwide. Only 24 of the top producing sales, catering and revenue managers receive the award annually. This is the third time in four years that Deborah has received the award as Revenue Manager of the 111-room Dauphine Orleans Hotel. She has been with the Dauphine since 1992 and Revenue Manager since 2007.
1975 out in the community to talk about the facility and the MD Anderson relationship, the navigator program, and different health topics. She visited Ursuline during the 2012-13 school year to accept a check on East Jefferson’s behalf. Ursuline Academy students raised $8,000 for the East Jefferson General Hospital Oncology Infusion Center through the school’s annual Pink Volleyball Game, t-shirt sales and concessions. Pictured are (from left) 2012-13 High School Principal John Gabriel and Student Council President Hannah Sensenbrenner presenting the check to EJGH Foundation CEO Carolyn Chassee and Cancer Care Navigator Debbie Schmitz ’70. When asked about her visit, Debbie said, “It was such a pleasure and honor to return to UA. I am so proud of those young women for their community and health care enthusiasm.”
Poppy Tooker Mouledoux wrote a foreword for "Madame Begue's Recipes of Old Creole New Orleans," which was re-issued in the fall of 2012 by Pelican Publishing. It was originally issued in 1900 and has been out of print since 1937. For the new edition, Poppy wrote a foreword that placed the historic Creole culinarian — whose restaurant, Begue's, was the city's greatest tourist attraction in the late 19th century New Orleans — in 21st century context. She also revised the original recipes to be accessible for the 21st century home cook.
Poppy's next book, "Louisiana Eats!" will be published in the fall of 2013. "Louisiana Eats" is based on favorite food stories and characters featured on her NPR affiliated radio show by the same name. Currently, Poppy is hard at work on the Tujague's Cookbook, archiving the stories and recipes of New Orleans' second-oldest restaurant.
each night on the economy, government, education, healthcare and the environment, and include breaking news. The show will incorporate contributions from six correspondents reporting from around the United States. Kim is the president of The Bondy Group and a former CNN executive producer.
Maureen McKay Poché is pleased to announce the birth of her granddaughter, Adair Therese Poché, born to Kevin and Rachel Songy Poché on January 24, 2013. Adair is also the great-granddaughter of Mary Alice Toso McKay ’46 and niece of Celeste Poché ’06.
Gwen Thompkins is featured on “Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins” on WWNO 89.9 FM, 90.5 and WWNO1. Gwen is a veteran NPR Reporter. She interviews local musicians and explores the music of New Orleans from classical to zydeco.
Deb Augustine Elam was one of 11 chosen as “Women of Power” at the National Urban League Conference in New Orleans. Deb is the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of General Electric.
Shirley Kruebbe Chamberlain relocated to Cary, North Carolina after Hurricane Katrina. She is currently the Project Manager for a Food and Beverage Demonstration grant in Smithfield, North Carolina. She is proud to report that this grant will be changing the lives of 60 dislocated workers in the area. The students receive classroom instruction as well as “hands on” training in the Cyber Café which is open to the public. In addition to the culinary training program, they assist with employment once the student is fully trained. Shirley says that it “has been an amazing opportunity working with the two things that I enjoy — food and people.” Shirley has been married for 27 years and has two sons, one working on a masters degree in social work at North Carolina State University, and one studying sports medicine at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Kim Bondy was a panelist at the New South Journalism Symposium presented by "The Oxford American” magazine at the Historic New Orleans Collection’s Williams Research Center. She spoke on “The Life and Death of a Great American Newspaper: Reorganizing of the Times-Picayune.” She currently serves as senior executive producer for “America’s Tonight.” The hour-long current affairs program will present in-depth segments
About Alumnae 36
Jackie Calamari Gilkeson is excited to announce that her first grandchild was born on New Year’s Day. His name is Edward Joseph Dingeman V.
Ashley Bonner Fike provides risk management services to schools, colleges, cities, towns, counties and jails across the nation, helping entities to do the right things and to serve their communities better. Ashley attributes her success to Miss Sylvia Probst. She explains, "Miss Probst was one of the instrumental figures who helped plant and cultivate the seed of the Ursuline spirit that continues to grow within us. This is a beautiful legacy that she has left behind, and one which I am grateful to have. Her passion and problem-solving talent afforded me the opportunity to receive one-on-one instruction in French III from Sister Pierre Landry, which paved the way for me to subsequently major in French in college, with other minors in languages and social work."
Ingrid Scheeler Gendrault and her husband, a French psychoanalyst and native of Cannes, France, have opened a non-profit aikido dojo, where they train university students in the Japanese martial art aikido. Nicole Martin Franks, M.D. was promoted to Associate Professor in Emergency Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. She has also been named Chief Quality Officer at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia.
Shannon del Corral performed in a world premiere event, the last original composition of the late Wardell Quezergue who has produced the Dixie Cups, Professor Longhair, Dr. John and numerous others. Shannon worked with him in the summer of 2011 to record a demo of the piece they performed in the premiere. She describes the music as a “brilliant mixture of jazz and classical instruments with a New Orleans heartbeat throughout.”
guide located in the back of “New Orleans Magazine.” Aislinn resides in Gretna with her husband Tom who is managing partner of Sun Ray Grill on the West Bank, and their two children, Kinkaid, 7, and Vivienne, 2. Aislinn is pictured with Ursuline Academy High School choir members before they began filming a WYES special on local high school choirs.
Aimee Genin Long graduated in 2012 from Our Lady of Holy Cross College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Management. She started a Master’s program in August 2013 at the University of New Orleans in Health Care Management.
Tiffany Zeno was nominated for a New York Regional Emmy, her fourth Emmy nomination to date. She won an Associated Press Award for best newscast in Indiana a couple of years ago. Tiffany is currently a producer for WNBC/News 4 New York.
Aislinn Pares Hinyup is in her thirteenth year at WYESTV. Following her college internship during membership pledge drives at WYES, she was hired as an auction associate. She was then promoted to associate producer on WYES’ well-known local documentaries and as director for their weekly programs, "Steppin' Out" and "Informed Sources." For the past eight years, Aislinn has
Michele Arms has been working with a group of people to open a new school. The school is named Launch Expeditionary Charter School and it opened in the fall of 2012. Michele serves as Principal. The school opened with its first class of 6th graders and grew to 700 students in grades 6-12 in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Michele said that the students and families of Bed-Stuy are in desperate need of quality school options. To help them, Michele partnered with NYC Outward Bound to create an Expeditionary Learning School where students will develop the academic skills and strength of character necessary to thrive in college, contribute to their communities, and excel in their careers. Cherie Melancon Franz was chosen as the 5th Annual “Nola Baby & Family” Mom of the Year. Cherie was nominated by her husband, Art. Art says that “she’s able to balance all her responsibilities, be an inspiration to others, and yet always put her children first.”
been promoting WYES events, programs, auctions and outreach initiatives as their promotion manager. She is also the Managing Editor of "DIAL12," WYES' program
Dana Gourrier played Cora in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” She has also earned the role of Helen Halloway in Lee Daniel’s highly anticipated film “The Butler” where she plays Lenny Kravitz’s wife alongside Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. Dana shot the new HBO Series “True Detectives” (written by Nic Pizzolatto and directed by Cary Fukunaga) with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.
Monica George Riggs has been employed by the State of Louisiana as a probation and parole officer since 2005. She is serving as the 2013 National Vice President of the United States Junior Chamber, a leadership organization for 18- to 40-year-olds. She is assigned to Arkansas, California, Illinois, Mississippi, Montana, Washington, and is also cross-assigned to Louisiana.
Tamica Lee Smith (pictured left) recently joined WWL-TV as a traffic reporter.
Shelley Curren Stearns is a pastry chef for John Besh. She is also a full-time student, working on a Business Administration degree in hopes to one day open a restaurant of her own with her husband.
Megan Dawson was inducted into the Pearl River Community College Sports Hall of Fame. Megan was an All-State and All-American player at Pearl River Community College from 2002-2004. She then attended William Carey College and obtained AllConference Honors.
Ashley Schexnayder (pictured on the far right of the first row) graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Twentyone students were elected to
About Alumnae 38
membership in The Order of the Coif, a national honorary law fraternity that elects students from the top ten percent of the senior class. Inductees were honored in a separate ceremony at the Law Center prior to commencement.
Christina Quintana recently wrote a musical (book and lyrics) with composer Brett Macias. The musical, â€œGUMBO,â€? had an industry reading at the Theater of the Riverside Church in New York City in March 2013 and its professional demo is currently being recorded. The piece is a vibrant take on the Orpheus/Eurydice tale that explores the mythos of Hurricane Katrina through the heart and music of the Crescent City.
Jami Lacour graduated from Louisiana State University in May 2011. She was accepted to Loyola Law School. She completed a paid internship with the Jefferson Parish District Attorney last summer. Lindsey Williams is pictured with Sr. Teresita Rivet in Alton, IL. She stopped in for a visit with her former teacher while on vacation. Lindsey attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA and received a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering. While in college she was an active member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority, Society of Petroleum Engineers, and the Pi Epsilon Tau Petroleum Engineering Honor Society. Lindsey worked as a summer intern for Swift Energy in Port Sulfur, LA during 2010 and for Chevron in Midland, TX in 2011. She currently works for Chevron as a reservoir engineer in Houston, TX.
Sarah Schaff was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than ten years ago. Sarah learned about the Dogs4Diabetics Program in California one year after graduation. She described it as “her perfect calling, to work with animals as well as people and help others that have not been as fortunate in being able to control their health.” She graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and Technology. She was accepted into a four month internship where she spent her days caring for and training 13 dogs. She was then offered a fulltime, temporary job to stay on as an assistant trainer. She began working for a non-profit that trains service dogs for mobility work as well as diabetes alert dogs. Sarah plans to move back to New Orleans and build a career path based on her experience. Her goal is to help owner-trained service dog teams function to the best of their ability and uphold the reputation of service dog standards.
LET’S STAY IN TOUCH! We would love for you to keep us in your loop! Please contact the Office of Alumnae at 504.861.9114 or email@example.com with updates, accomplishments and news of any kind. We collect information to be published in "The Ursu.Lines" year-round. Please let us know about births, deaths, marriages and any newsworthy information. We would also love to hear about your awards, achievements, careers, etc.
Anna Landry was selected by the University of Georgia to study Avian Biology for three weeks in the National Wildlife Refuge and La Selva Research Center of Costa Rica. Jennie Lacour completed her first year of college at the University of New Orleans and was on the Dean’s List. She is majoring in Biology. After she graduates, she hopes to attend Louisiana State University School of Allied Health Professions and get her doctorate in Physical Therapy. Jennie is also the lead singer in a local up-and-coming band called “The Tributaries.”
Stephanie Clogher-Fullmer ’89 Katherine Rolufs AMH ’94 Lauren Fuchs ’98 Vicki Bernard Roberts AMH
Alumnae Carolyn Eble Levy ’36 Juanita Pfister O’Dwyer ’37 Eloise Carey Braud ’38 Nancy Pecoraro Donahue C ’38 Betty Skelly Cordes ’39, C’43 Patricia Early Sipos ’39, C’43 Sister Damian Aycock, OSU ’40, C’44 Doris Karter Cerise ’42 Ines deGruy C’42 Dr. Gene Catherine Hassinger ’42 Maria Patron Stamps ’42 Audrey Wetzel Schuppert C’43 Betty Perez Carrere ’43 Camille Edwards Guarisco C’44 Winifred Stiegler Flanagan C’48 Carmen-Edilia Villasmil Bidwell ’48, C’52 Alice Lanusse Deano C ’49 Mary Ann Vigo Cousin ’49 Bernice Heyd Hymes C’50 Carmen Suarez Smedley ’52 Sylvia Foote Glezen ’56 Lynn Englisbee Johnston ’56 Courtney Kuntz Conlin ’57 Kay Mary Cambre Frey ’59 Rosemary Winters Landry ’65 Mary Jane Capella Silva ’69 Zoe Duplantis Ringenberg ’80
Mother of Gertrude Beauford ’54 Kathleen Lilly Hart ’63 Stephanie Guarisco Brown ’66 Deborah Schell Macaluso ’66 Linda O'Dwyer Smith ’66 Vivian Davila Anderson ’67 (DEC) Kathleen Guarisco Schaub ’68 Barbara Cerniglia Smith ’69 Celeste Bassich Meunier AMH ’69 Anita Davila Craig ’71 Lillian Cerniglia Higgins ’71 Lynn Clanton Choptovy ’74 Mary Laforet Richardson ’76 Lorraine Kachler Duke ’78 Ann Webb ’78 Denise Kachler Agnew ’79 Rita Dabadie ’81 Justine Clanton Gueno ’81 (DEC) Elizabeth Finney Donze AME ’82 Maureen Brennan Gershanik ’88 Leslie Clanton Harden ’90 Kya Owens Moller ’93 Tiffany Owens Prasad ’00 Father of Mary Majella Beck Barras ’65 Patricia O’Leary Crane ’66 Mary Tripp Norman ’67 Susan Loehr ’68 Rosary Beck Camburn ’69 Marie Alida Tripp Hanemann ’69 Carol Loehr Munster ’69 Dolores Tripp Breaux ’71 Ann Webb ’78 Dawn Flettrich Rolfes ’80 Allison Castay ’82 Callie Metzinger MacKenzie ’82 Paula Diodene McCaskell ’83 Maureen Brennan Gershanik ’88
In Memoriam 40
Melissa Steudlein Adolph ’92 Kya Owens Moller ’93 Crystal Towns-Allred ’94 Tiffany Owens Prasad ’00 Kelly Jane Towns ’05 Husband of Jeannette Tauzy Gisevius ’37 (DEC) Annette Ruckstuhl DoskeyWilliamson C’48 Mary Joan Menard Moore ’49 Emily Anfosso Scott ’55 Mary Virginia Tormey Circe ’57 Kathryn Eberle Wildgen ’59 Jean Yvette Riviere Schmidt ’60 Wanda Connelly Herron ’64 Cynthia Dauner ’74 Maria Bruno Hunter ’81 Robin Clark Pigg ’83 Leslie Thiele Lynch ’01 Nancy Gooch Wogan AME (DEC) Daughter of Mary Lynne Bologna Clogher ’59 Son of Agnes Pirolle Hunley ’40 (DEC) Margaret Muldrey Gaudry C’42 (DEC) Amy Michelli Garsaud ’51 (DEC) Lisa Lachin Landry ’74 Sister of Lucille Livaudais ’27 (DEC) Elcy Eble Daussat ’34 Mary Eble Eastin ’34 Lucille Eble Champagne ’38 (DEC) Sister Joan Marie Aycock, OSU ’42 Janet deGruy Kohler C’44 Jaunita deGruy Troy C’47 Gloria Patron ’47 (DEC) Penelope Bernard Delery ’50 Addy Suarez Silva ’50 Barbara Bernard O'Meallie-Wilson ’51 P. Bernard ’53 Dorothy Englisbee Mitchell ’58
Barbara Englisbee Swoop ’60 Regina Elms Keever AME ’66 Julie Capella Vanderbrook ’68 Kay Capella McKissack ’71 Michele Bernard Mehrabadi ’72 Sarah Druen-Wagner ’76 Erin Clogher Sparcello ’85 Brother of Sister Bernadine Mumme, OSU ’28 (DEC) Ursula Mumme ’36 (DEC) Sister M. Sebastian Vizard, OSU ’39, C’43 (DEC) Sister Damian Aycock, OSU ’40, C’44 (DEC) Miriam Mumme ’40 (DEC) Sister Joan Marie Aycock, OSU ’42 Inez Perrier Grieshaber ’44, C’48 Marie Louise Perrier Hardy ’48 (DEC) Joan Perrier Perret ’53 Kathleen Brierre Burney ’55 Honorable Nancy Amato Konrad ’59 Mary Ellen Hunley ’68 Anne Hunley ’70 Dawn Flettrich Rolfes ’80 Grandfather of Kate Hotard ’99 Jennifer Fiegel ’04 Angela Demma Melle ’06 Brianna Bell ’08 Jenna Gray ’11 Aimee Trosclair ’11 Taylor Hux ’12 Great Grandfather of Evan Cuccia ’11 Katherine Stahel ’12 Grandmother of Shelley Ferro ’78 Jolene Ferro Songy ’85 Aimee Bernard McCarron ’02 Meredith Schafer ’05
Kristine Cerniglia ’06 Kendall Schafer ’07 Anne Cerniglia ’08 Mallory Schafer ’11 Marjorie Rawle ’12 Sister-in-law of Marjorie Forstall Eble ’34 (DEC) Martha Guedry Skelly ’39, C’43 Patricia Finney Daniels ’46 Gretchen Kuntz Elms ’59 Patricia Giglio Patron ’64 Brother-in-law of JoEva Picone Flettrich ’55 Jackie LaGraize Doskey AMH ’58 Jeril Ann Connelly Ferrara ’66 Poppy Tooker Mouledoux ’75 Lisa Boudreaux Broekman ’82 Elizabeth Glaser Broekman ’85 Mother-in-law of Karen Heausler Cordes ’70 Patricia Melius Fabacher ’71 Mary Teresa duTreil Chabaud ’75 Marcie Heine O’Dwyer ’86 Father-in-law of Allison Stern Clement ’70 Mary Kay Caire Faust ’73 Aunt of Margaret Ann Morgan Newman ’55 Donna Rees Gerstner ’64 Janet Bordes Stafford ’66 Helen Franz Eshleman ’77 Karen Franz ’84 Diane Franz Scheets ’85 Christina Taulli Zollinger ’87 Kathleen Swoop Prados ’88 Dana Corona Michell ’05 Uncle of Carol Ann Gisevius Waguespack ’59 Joan Gisevius Johnson ’61
Jane Gisevius ’61 Joan Doskey Vairin ’61 Betty Ann Doskey Vairin ’63 Helen Franz Eshleman ’77 Karen Franz ’84 Diane Franz Scheets ’85 Allison Hansen Mullis ’91 Ashley Hansen Springgate ’91 Casey Magee Maenza ’00 Madeleine Mouledoux ’05 Heather Doskey-Arthur ’09 Tabitha Dalgo ’12 Elora Doskey ’12 Great Uncle of Katherine Canseco ’09 Great Aunt of Charlotte Gerstner Bernal ’87 Rochelle Gerstner ’90 Mary Elizabeth Donovan ’08 Katherine Canseco ’09 Clare Donovan ’09 Nephew of Thelma Mae Mouledoux Trapolin ’33, C’37 Rita Kron Muldrey C’40 (DEC) Niece of Joanne Bologna ’62
AME Associate Member, Elementary AMH Associate Member, High School AMC Associate Member, College DEC Deceased HM Honorary Member
If your name, or the name of an alumna to whom you are related, does not appear here, please call the Office of Alumnae at 504.861.9114 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sioux of 1957
37 Class of 19
Rebelles of 1952
Sioux of 1957
Skips of 1962
Alumnae: REUNIONS 42
of 19 Sioux
Skips of 19 77
Macs of 19 82
of 198 Sioux 7 92 Skips of 19
f 200 7 Skips o
Sioux of 20 0
Alumnae: REUNIONS 44
the first skips At the end of the 1955-1956 school year, the freshman class was presented with the unique opportunity of creating a new class mascot. (Due to undocumented reasons, it was decided that their big sister class would not be passing down the "Leprechaun" name.) The Class of 1959 rose to the challenge and came up with many ideas. They narrowed their choices down to two: “Munchkins” or “Skipperettes." They, of course, chose the latter and officially became the Skipperettes of 1959. 45
SKIP CLASS OF 2013 Ursuline Academy, founded 1727, conducted its 286th commencement exercise May 18, 2013 in the school’s auditorium. Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor and special correspondent, delivered the commencement address to the 86 young women graduates. O’Brien has been an active supporter of the Academy’s scholarship program for the last five years. The ceremony began with an invocation by Sister Carla Dolce, OSU '50, Prioress, Ursuline Sisters of New Orleans. Ursuline's Dean of Students Karen Mortillaro '89 served as Mistress of Ceremonies, while High School Principal John Gabriel presented awards and diplomas to the graduating seniors. The valedictory addresses were delivered by Samantha J. Adams, Olivia C. Stricklin, and Rachel M. Stuckey, the students who earned the highest cumulative averages during their high school career. Samantha Adams, a resident of New Orleans, is the daughter of Samuel and Karen Adams. She plans to attend Tulane University where she will study Bio-Medical Engineering. She received the Tulane Distinguished Scholar Award and Tulane TADA Award as well as scholarships from 46
Arizona State University, Auburn University, Colorado School of Mines, Dartmouth College, Louisiana State University, Loyola University New Orleans, Presbyterian College, Spring Hill College, The University of Alabama, University of Notre Dame, as well as the TOPS Honors Award. Olivia Stricklin, a resident of Belle Chasse, is the daughter of Gregory and Celeste Stricklin. She plans to attend LSU Honors College and major in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. She received the LSU Academic Scholars Resident Award in addition to a scholarship from Tulane University and the TOPS Honors Award. Rachel Stuckey, a resident of Metairie, is the daughter of James and Terri Thibodeaux Stuckey '81. She plans to attend the University of Virginia where she will study Foreign Affairs. She received scholarships from Louisiana State University, Tulane University, The University of Alabama, Villanova University, as well as the TOPS Honors Award. Marcelle E. Meyer, a resident of New Orleans, was the salutatorian. Marcelle is the daughter of Brooke Meyer of New Orleans and George Meyer of Metairie. She will attend Fordham University where she will study Political Science. She
received the Fordham University Semifinalist Scholarship and scholarships from Loyola University Maryland, Loyola University New Orleans, and American University, as well as the TOPS Honors Award. The following students were ranked, along with the valedictorians and salutatorian, in the top ten of the graduating class: Ashley L. Dorner, Amanda L. Granier, Anna K. Hugel, Gabrielle C. Mendy, Amira A. Muhsen, and Anne M. Vullo. The two highest honors awarded by Ursuline Academy were bestowed on Hannah F. Sensenbrenner and Rachel M. Stuckey. Sensenbrenner received the Courtesy, Loyalty, Courage (CLC) Medal, awarded by the high school faculty to the student who exemplifies those three virtues. Stuckey received the Sedes Sapientiae Medal, awarded by the high school faculty to the senior whose scholarship, achievement and loyalty have been outstanding and consistent. The 86 graduates earned a total of $7,859,824 in scholarships. The remaining graduates include Bailey R. Adams, Emily A. Alimia, Elizabeth K. Allison, Casey A. Ancar, Kimberly J. Babin, Carmen A. Benitez, Kailyn M. Benoit, Madeline
R. Berry, Renee J. Bonnaffons, Carly M. Brothers, Julia E. Burch, Emma O. Castay, Esther F. Castay, Grace E. Chambers, Emily A. Chauvin, Nikki A. Chrisman, Paige E. Cotton, Natalie B. Cusimano, Lillian D. Custodio, Alaina J. Darensbourg, Gabrielle D. Davis, Rachelle E. Drygalla, Cydney N. Evans, Olivia M. Fabacher, Kara J. Fitzsimmons, Sarah J. Flettrich, Hayley T. Giroir, Lauren E. Hansen, Taylor D. Hellmers, Shelby E. Hudson, Macy N. Jackel, Akendra D. Johnson, Megan T. Johnson, Alexis N. Julia, Rachel V. Juneau, Lydia A. Labatut Davies, Kennedi J. Lavigne, Arielle M. Lewis, Caitlin I. Lingoni, Joy A. Love, Mary E. Maher, Lindsey G. Marcel, Saya P. Menzies, Michelle E. Meyer, Emily M. Miceli, Chelsea N. Miguez, Kortney R. Miller, Megan A. Mineo, Alyssa M. Mobley, Meredith A. Morphy, Sydney M. Morris, Brianna E. Morrison, Gabrielle M. Mortillaro, Claire M. Oswald, Eddrina M. Owens, Alexandra R. Powajbo, Rachel M. Rabalais, Ana M. Ramsey, Alexis L. Richard, Halie R. Rodrigue, Lauren E. Saizan, Megan M. Schmidt, Hannah F. Sensenbrenner, Alexis C. Shackelford, Savannah A. Short, Courtney M. Simon, Arielle T. Sims, Rachel M. Songy, Kailan L. Steel, Morgan E. Taylor, Sarah E. Tyson, Stephanie M. Valerio, Farrah T. Veal, Alexandria M. Vicari, Alexia C. Wilson, and Mallory L. Wollfarth.
LEGACIES Legacies are graduates who have a mother and/or grandmother who is an alumna of Ursuline. Pictured (back row, from left) are Odessa Burch-Pilié ’51 (Julia Burch), Angela Fulton Castay ’74 (Esther and Emma Castay), Ethel Seiler Fitzsimmons ’50 (Kara Fitzsimmons), Verna Satterlee Landrieu ’50 and Madeleine Landrieu Sensenbrenner ’80 (Hannah Sensenbrenner), Monica Ben ’87 (Alexis Shackelford), Jolene Ferro Songy ’85 (Rachel Songy), Terri Thibodeaux Stuckey ’81 (Rachel Stuckey). Longevity awards are presented to graduating seniors who have attended Ursuline Academy since kindergarten or before. Pictured (from left) are Rachel Songy, Mary Maher, Rachel Rabalais, Taylor Hellmers, Olivia Fabacher, and Morgan Taylor.
SKIPS OF 2013 Graduates of the Class of 2013 were accepted to the following universities and colleges: American University Arizona State University Auburn University Baylor University Boston College Clark Atlanta University College of Charleston Colorado School of Mines Columbia University Cornell University Dartmouth College Davidson College Delgado Community College DePaul University Dillard University Elon University Faulkner State Community College Fordham University Georgetown University Guilford College Hofstra University Illinois Wesleyan University Louisiana State University
Loyola University Chicago Loyola University Maryland Loyola University New Orleans Manhattanville College Marymount Manhattan College Memphis College of Art Nicholls State University Ohio University Our Lady of Holy Cross College Pepperdine University Prairie View A&M University Presbyterian College Randolph College Saint Louis University Seton Hall University South Louisiana Community College Southeastern Louisiana University Southern Methodist University Southwestern University Spring Hill College St. Edwardâ€™s University St. Johnâ€™s University- Queens Campus Texas Christian University
The Catholic University of America The University of Alabama The University of Alabama at Birmingham The University of Chicago The University of Georgia The University of Memphis The University of Southern Mississippi Tulane University University of California, Los Angeles University of Colorado University of Louisiana at Lafayette University of Louisiana at Monroe University of Mississippi University of New Orleans University of Notre Dame University of South Carolina University of Virginia University of West Florida Vanderbilt University Villanova University Wake Forest University Washington University in St. Louis Xavier University of Louisiana
The 86 seniors in the Skip Class of 2013 earned a total of $7,859,824.00 in scholarships.
Pictured, from left: Valedictorians Samantha Adams, Olivia Stricklin, Rachel Stuckey; and Salutatorian Marcelle Meyer 49
AWARD 2013 ine B l e d a M
What does it mean to you to be in the 286th graduating class of Ursuline Academy of New Orleans? Being a part of Ursuline history is mostly what it means to me. It is a rare thing to be able to go to a school like this. My family is not from New Orleans and they all â€” parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles â€” went to big public schools. Their senior classes were huge and after they left school
Madeline Berry '13 was selected as the 2013 Cor Unum Award Recipient by the Ursuline Alumnae Association. The award is given to one senior each year. Candidates are judged solely on their love for Ursuline Academy and their honest expression of what the Academy means to them. Members of the Ursuline Alumnae Association Board (pictured below) presented Madeline with the award at the Alumnae Induction Ceremony following Baccalaureate Mass.
for the last time, that was the end of it. They have no connections to their schools later in life and I think that is very sad. For me, it is totally different. Graduation will not mean the end of my time here. I will never really leave Ursuline because we all become part of it forever. It has become part of who I am as a person. My picture will hang in the halls with all of the other girls throughout the years and I know I will always belong here.
TRADITION The Senior Skips continued the tradition of the Boat Sailing Ceremony in May 2013. They sailed the official Skip boat across the pond to their little sisters, the First Mates, signifying the passing on of the Skip name. 50
In what ways do you feel your Ursuline education has prepared you for the world in which we live? First of all, I feel my education itself is strong and I feel confident starting college with a good background. But I believe that other things I have learned are just as important. Working with different people on different things — student council meetings, Rally, sports teams — taught me to compromise and to work with others. That is pretty simple but because this is such a small school, I also learned the important skill of not overlooking people. I found out that even the most quiet girls have something to add. Becoming comfortable working with people and learning that everyone has value will help me in the future. Name the most significant value you learned from Ursuline Academy. For me, the most significant value I learned is the importance of taking advantage of all opportunities that are given to me. The reason that I chose Ursuline in the first place is because I love to join in, get involved, and be part of things. Ursuline gives us all opportunities to become involved in so many things. I started out on the 8th grade developmental volleyball team, then ended up on the soccer team for five years. I decided to try being a student council representative and now am class treasurer. At Ursuline we all have the chance to go to Close-Up, and I took that opportunity and had a great time, got closer to my classmates, and learned so much about other people. Rally is another way that Ursuline offers opportunities to be leaders and to work together. This year, after three long years of working on mascots and getting second place, the
mascot we built in my garage finally helped us win first place. I also have been able to be on the Skips volleyball team every year and we won this year also. It may not seem like much, but helping the Skips win Rally taught me so much about myself and working hard and never giving up. Ursuline also gives us opportunities to start new things. Last year, I asked the golf coach if he would start a developmental team because I really wanted to learn how to play golf. He agreed and then helped me so much that now I am on the varsity golf team and just played my second real match. I also like sailing, and this year I got elected president of Ursuline’s first sailing club. Next week I get to act as a Senior Retreat leader. There are no limits here as to what you will be given a chance to do, and I don’t know of another school where all of these opportunities are just there, waiting to be either created or taken advantage of. I really believe that seeing opportunities and learning to take them is the most important thing I have learned here. What one word describes Ursuline and why? Welcoming. I feel so at home here and always have. The best thing about Ursuline is that there is room for everyone.
“I feel so at home here and always have. The best thing about Ursuline is that there is room for everyone.”
SISTERHOOD The Ursuline Alumnae Association held a luncheon in honor of the Skips of 2013. The seniors dined in the courtyard and formed teams to compete in a scavenger hunt around campus.
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1) Pet Blessing 2) Blessing of the Herbs 3) Open House 4) Early Childhood Outdoor Classroom 5) La FĂŞte 285 Patron Party 6) Alumnae Homecoming
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7) Santa's Workshop 8) 198th Eucharistic Celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Prompt Succor 9) Toddler Mardi Gras Parade, 10) Easter Egg Hunt 11) "Peter Pan" 12) Members of UA's first Sailing Club 13) 7th Grade Promotional Exercise 11
ACADEMY Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID New Orleans, LA Permit No. 806
2635 State Street · New Orleans, Louisiana 70118 · www.ursulineneworleans.org · 504.861.9150 56