Sister Mary Reap, IHM, Ph.D.
Sister Mary Reap, Marywood's tenth and longest-serving president, fostered a legacy of progress, characterized by significant growth and an ongoing commitment to excellence that earned Marywood national accolades as one of the premier Catholic universities in the region. A graduate of Marywood, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, Sister Mary earned her Master of Arts in Spanish from Assumption College. Certified in elementary and secondary education, she received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the Pennsylvania State University. Highlights of her remarkable 19-year tenure include achieving full co-educational status; dramatic campus expansion through the construction or renovation of 24 facilities; a substantial increase in financial commitments from all donor constituencies; Marywood's emergence as the leading provider of graduate education in Northeast Pennsylvania and the first regional institution offering doctoral degree programs; the transformation from college to university status in 1997, and, in 2003, an academic restructuring of the University into four Colleges.
Sister M. Coleman Nee, IHM, M.A., M.S.
Sister M. Coleman Nee began her administration at the start of what was to be a change-filled decade at Marywood. Sister Coleman earned her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees at Marywood, in addition to holding a Master's degree in Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame. Further studies at the doctoral level were followed by courses at Marquette University and the University of Arkansas, partly funded by a National Science Foundation Fellowship. The Motherhouse, which had been a monument of the campus from its beginning, was entirely demolished by a tragic fire on February 22, 1971 -- the site later commemorated by the Marywood Memorial Commons in 1975. Tragedy aside, Marywood's degree programs throughout the decade continued to gain approval, and new academic offerings were developed on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Sister Coleman continued her decisive leadership of Marywood in the 1980s, culminating her term with a then-unprecedented 18 years of service as President.
Sister M. St. Mary Orr, IHM, Ph.D.
Sister M. St. Mary Orr held the distinction of being a member of Marywood's first graduating class of 1919. She earned her master's degree at Catholic University and a doctorate from Fordham University. She also served Marywood as Dean of Students and as Chairperson of the Psychology Department. Among her credentials, she was a fellow in the American Psychological Association, a Diplomate of the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology, a charter member of the American Catholic Psychological Association, and a registered clinical psychologist of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During her presidency, three much-needed facilities were constructed: Madonna Hall, a student residence; Emmanuel Hall, a faculty residence; and Nazareth Hall, a student union. In 1965, she began an eight million dollar capital campaign to secure further campus expansion and build Marywood's endowment.
Sister Eugenia Kealy, IHM, Ph.D.
Sister M. Eugenia Kealy held a doctorate from the Catholic University of America and was an early member of Marywood's Department of Philosophy. In 1950, she launched Marywood's first fund drive, with a goal of two million dollars and four new campus buildings -- Alumnae Residence Hall (renamed Immaculata Hall in 1954); Good Counsel Science Hall; Rosary Field House; and Assumption Hall. This period in Marywood's history is recalled as an era of growth, both in the construction of physical buildings and in the demonstration of academic excellence. During this decade, Marywood became a charter member of the Foundation for Independent Colleges, attained continued accreditation from Middle States, and developed a number of new degree programs.
Sister Sylvia Morgan, IHM, Ph.D.
Sister M. Sylvia Morgan, prior to her presidency, had taught all the science courses offered when Marywood first opened in 1915, and she had become the first chairperson of that department after its faculty increased. She was admitted as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1934. A convert to Catholicism, she had attended St. Cecilia's in Scranton, eventually earning her doctorate at the University of California. Under her presidency, Marywood continued to broaden its teaching services. Students' energy, galvanized by World War II, centered on many activities concerned with peace and the betterment of life throughout the world. By 1945, more than 2,000 students had earned degrees from Marywood. Before she left office, Sister Sylvia also oversaw the redesign and adoption of the official Marywood seal -- a design that persists to this day.
Mother M. Marcella Gill, IHM, M.A.
Mother M. Marcella Gill, who served as President in an interim capacity following Mother Josepha's death, made a significant change to existing presidential tradition at the end of her term. Since Marywood had grown in size and scope, she felt it no longer feasible to have one person act as both Mother Superior of the Congregation and as President of Marywood. Once the two roles were declared separate, elections were held in 1943, resulting in Mother Marcella serving as Congregation Superior, while Sister Sylvia Morgan took the helm as President of Marywood.
Mother M. Josepha Hurley, IHM, M.A.
Mother M. Josepha Hurley, through the extensive management skills she gained earlier in establishing and supervising a number of IHM elementary, secondary, and catechetical schools, kept Marywood on a sound fiscal course throughout her nine-year term -- no easy feat during the Depression Era. During her term, the interior of the Rotunda was completed -- a project that had been deferred since 1924. Artist Gonippo Raggi was commissioned to paint the murals that still adorn this local historic landmark.
Mother Mary William Craig, IHM, A.B.
Mother Mary William Craig became Mother Superior and President of the College, upon the death of Mother Casimir early in 1929. Born in Lackawanna County, Mother Mary William had taught in IHM missions in Oregon and Idaho before returning to the Scranton area. Hers was an interim term as President, concluding in August 1931, but, by the end of those two years, Mother Mary William had guided Marywood through the earliest, most critical years of the Depression and had overseen the finishing touches on Mother Casimir's final project, O'Rielly Hall (presently known as Regina Hall).
Mother M. Casimir Murray, IHM, A.B.
Mother M. Casimir Murray reinforced in the 1920s the two-fold mission that had energized the IHM Congregation since its inception: the acquiring and sharing of spiritual and secular knowledge. Throughout the decade, Sisters were sent to earn degrees at prestigious universities. During her term, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted Marywood the right to credit all its standard courses toward permanent certification of teachers (1920-1921), Marywood earned charter membership in the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (1921), received approval from the American Council on Education (1922), and the Regents of the State of New York recognized all Marywood degrees (1922). Near the end of her term, total enrollment reached 500.
Mother M. Germaine O'Neill, IHM, A.M.
Mother Germaine, as Mother Superior of the IHM Congregation when Marywood College was established, was designated as the "President and Treasurer" of the College. Well in advance of the 1915 school year, she drew up the first catalog and selected the name "Marywood" for the institution. It was under her presidency that Marywood's charter was secured and further progress was made to provide quality advanced education for the teaching Sisters.