Marywood Medalists

Marywood University bestows its highest honor, the Presidential Medal, on individuals or groups whose lives and work exemplify the mission of Marywood, with a particular focus on education as empowerment and service as a vehicle for social justice. These are the stories of leaders with bold hearts⁠—people who have achieved their full potential to live as conscientious citizens in a pluralistic society.

Presidential Society Dinner Honors Alumni Benefactors

At its recent Presidential Society Dinner in the historic Rotunda, Marywood University recognized its major benefactors for their support and commitment.

As part of this evening of recognition, Pia Ferrario, New York, N.Y., vice chair of the Marywood Board of Trustees, was awarded the Presidential Mission Medal and was inducted into the Saint Alphonsus Society.

In addition to Ms. Ferrario, Daniel and Kathleen Damico Mezzalingua ’60 and the Pascucci Family Foundation were inducted into the Saint Alphonsus Society, which honors benefactors whose lifetime commitments to Marywood have reached or exceeded $500,000.

Benefactors Honored at The Presidential Society Dinner »

The Presidential Mission Medal

The Presidential Mission Medal is bestowed upon exceptional individuals who exemplify the Marywood mission:

Marywood University, sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, roots itself in the Catholic intellectual tradition, the principle of justice, and the belief that education empowers people. The University integrates an enduring liberal arts tradition and professional disciplines to create a comprehensive learning experience. Our undergraduate and graduate programs promote academic excellence, advance innovative scholarship and foster leadership in service to others. Within a welcoming and supportive community, Marywood challenges individuals of all backgrounds to achieve their full potential and make choices based on spiritual and ethical values. Marywood University prepares students to seek sustainable solutions for the common good and educates global citizens to live responsibly in an interdependent world. Medal recipients shall be servant leaders who embrace a commitment to Marywood's core values of Catholic identity, respect, empowerment, service, and excellence.

Each recipient’s fidelity to Marywood’s mission and core values, articulated through their generosity of time, talent, or treasure, shall inspire others to serve and advance Marywood’s commitment to excellence and empowerment through education.


Barbara A. Cawley '63

Throughout her life, Barbara has been inspired by the loving example of her parents and her close bond with her siblings. As a family, they celebrated their Irish heritage, shared their talents in the performing arts, and lived their Catholic faith every day, including praying the family rosary each night after dinner. The Marywood spirit is central to who Barbara is. The IHM Sisters have been a part of her life for most of her life. Barbara was taught, mentored, supported, guided, and counseled by the IHM Sisters in Catholic grade school and high school, and this continued through her college days and professional opportunities at Marywood. She never imagined that her professional career would have her so thoroughly engage in the field of education and community service, including as a teacher, college administrator, volunteer, writer, and performer, but Barbara has been blessed to be all of those things.

Mary Ellen Coleman (H)'68

From her family foundation, Mary Ellen was well prepared to become what she is today: a woman of considerable professional achievement, including a long, successful career in the out-of-home media industry and highly effective leadership in numerous charitable, civic, and professional organizations, some on a national level. Her passionate involvement with Marywood spans several decades, and her devotion to this university and to its students has been energetic and constant. Wherever her career or numerous charitable causes took her, Mary Ellen’s heart continued to draw her back to Marywood. Her accomplishments in the field of education, specifically at Marywood, include serving for nine years as Director of Development, another nine years as a member of the Board of Trustees, and, presently, more than ten years as an advancement and alumni engagement consultant. In addition to Mary Ellen’s professional expertise and community influence in support of Marywood, she has contributed generously of her own personal resources to advance our mission and core values.

Further reading on The Presidential Mission Medalists»

The Sweeneys exemplify philanthropy in action, and the cause of education is at the top of their agenda. They are faithful benefactors of several regional educational institutions, including Marywood University. Together, they established several scholarships to provide educational access and a world of opportunities to generations of grateful students.

Further reading on The Presidential Mission Medalists»

The newly established Presidential Mission Medal was presented for the first time at the recent Presidential Society Dinner. Dr. Henry has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the mission of Marywood University by giving generously of her time, energy, talents, and personal resources to the advancement of the University.

Further reading on The Presidential Mission Medalist »

Marywood Centennial Medalists

While each has distinctive gifts and talents that they bring to Marywood University, this group has, collectively, moved mountains to ensure the strength of Marywood’s future. They have given a significant amount of their time and their resources to support and advance the Bold Heart Centennial Campaign on behalf of Marywood University.

The head of our sculpture and three-dimensional design programs, Bob has been a Marywood CASE Professor of the Year and the recipient of the Award for Distinction in One’s Discipline. Additionally, he is a past recipient of the Murray Award for Research and Development. A man of great faith and boundless artistic talent, he has once again shaped these two gifts into one inspiring creation: the Centennial Medal. The significance of its design is best illustrated through the words of the artist himself, who observed, “The spiral form of the medallion is based on the continuum of academic excellence, scholarship, and service, in the IHM tradition, which is multiform and deeply etched.”

These remarkable women, representing 100 years of leadership at Marywood, each, in her own distinctive way, transformed obstacles into opportunities, setting Marywood’s course for continued growth and success.

Mother M. Germaine O’Neill IHM, A.M. (1915-1919)

Mother Germaine, as Mother Superior of the IHM Congregation when Marywood College was established, was designated as the first “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 Sisters who were teachers.

Mother M. Casimir Murray IHM, A.B. (1919-1929)

Our second President, 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 Mary William Craig IHM, A.B. (1929-1931)

Mother Mary William Craig, our third President, 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’Reilly Hall (presently known as Regina Hall).

Mother M. Josepha Hurley IHM, M.A. (1931-1940)

Our fourth President, Mother M. Josepha Hurley IHM, kept Marywood on a sound fiscal course in the post-depression years and declined an “invitation” in 1937 to merge with St. Thomas College, later the University of Scranton, because she was unwilling to jeopardize either Marywood’s individuality or its solvency. During her term, the interior of the Rotunda, a local historic landmark, was completed.

Mother M. Marcella Gill IHM, M.A. (1940-1943)

Mother M. Marcella Gill, who served as our fifth 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, so the two roles were declared separate.

Sister M. Sylvia Morgan IHM, Ph.D. (1943-1949)

Sister M. Sylvia Morgan, our sixth president, was the first full-time President of Marywood. She was admitted as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1934. She engaged in scientific research during extensive periods of study at the College of New Rochelle, Fordham, Notre Dame and American University and developed lab manuals in biology and chemistry.  She earned her doctorate at the University of California. Sister Sylvia guided Marywood through the war years and oversaw expansion in enrollment and in program development.

Sister M. Eugenia Kealy IHM, Ph.D. (1949-1961)

Our seventh president, Sister M. Eugenia Kealy launched Marywood’s first fund drive and oversaw construction of 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 M. St. Mary Orr IHM, Ph.D. (1961-1970)

Sister M. St. Mary Orr IHM, our eighth president, held the distinction of being a member of Marywood’s first graduating class of 1919. 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. She oversaw a capital campaign to secure further campus expansion and build Marywood’s endowment.

Sister M. Coleman Nee IHM, M.A., M.S. (1970-1988)

Our ninth president, Sister M. Coleman Nee IHM, began her administration at the start of what was to be a change-filled decade at Marywood. 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 was later commemorated by the Marywood Memorial Commons in 1975 (now, the Motherhouse and Seminary Morgan Memorial Garden occupies that sacred space). 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 Mary Reap IHM, Ph.D. '65 (1988-2007)  

Our tenth president can be seen on every part of Marywood’s campus. She is our longest-serving president to date, having served from 1988-2007. During her remarkable 19-year tenure, she 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. 

Highlights of her leadership 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. Upon her retirement in 2007, the Board of Trustees named the Reap College of Education and Human Development in her honor. Sister Mary currently serves as the President of Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, but her remarkable leadership at Marywood University continues to inspire and benefit generations of students.

Sister Anne Munley IHM, Ph.D. '66 (2007-2016)  President Emerita

Our eleventh president and, now, our President Emerita, expanded on the University's mission, emphasizing empowerment, inclusion, and global interdependence. During her presidency, Marywood celebrated its Centennial, opened the region’s first and only School of Architecture, celebrated the largest graduating classes in the university’s history, and witnessed a renewal of the legacy of Marywood’s founding religious congregation—the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On September 8, 2015, Marywood celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding by dedicating the Learning Commons and the Motherhouse and Seminary Morgan Memorial Garden on the site of the first building of the newly formed college in 1915. Additionally, Sister Anne led Marywood through its highest enrollment growth and expansion of its business program to become the School of Business and Global Innovation.

While each has distinctive gifts and talents that they bring to Marywood University, this group has, collectively, moved mountains to ensure the strength of Marywood’s future. They have given a significant amount of their time and their resources to support and advance the Bold Heart Centennial Campaign on behalf of Marywood University.

Ann R. Henry, Ph.D. '73

Ann first walked Marywood’s paths as a student at Marywood Seminary, and, later as a college student. She is an exceptional business leader, currently serving as Vice President, Global Operations, at Cisco Systems Capital.
Her commitment to Marywood can be seen through her extensive service on our Board of Trustees, for which she currently serves as Board Chair. Ann truly understands the dynamics of being a servant-leader, and she has tirelessly worked on behalf the University, its students, and its tradition of service. She has given scholarship support, gifts for capital projects, provided opportunities for student internships, and lent her expertise on business panels. She gladly stepped forward to lead the way to Marywood’s future as a Co-Chair of the Bold Heart Campaign.

For Ann, however, there is more to “living responsibly” than what she has done for Marywood. She also has extended her compassionate outreach to the people of Africa, traveling with me to continue her committed work with the African Sisters Education Collaborative. She certainly reflects the bold heart of Marywood in all that she does, professionally and personally.

Edward and Lynda Mulligan Lynett '66

Like other members of the extensive Lynett-Haggerty Family, they have demonstrated, in countless ways, their significant financial commitment and ongoing dedication to Marywood. Both are ardent supporters of Marywood and both have served on our Board of Trustees. During Lynda’s trusteeship, she held several leadership roles, including Secretary and Vice Chair, and she concluded her service in the demanding position of Chair of the Board.  

Ed and Lynda also have a personal connection to and a deep understanding of the impact of a Marywood education. While Lynda is a Marywood College alumna, Ed was educated by the IHM Sisters during the days when Marywood Seminary included a primary school for boys and girls. I am sure both of them have never forgotten the lessons they were taught here because they certainly have shown their gratitude through their community leadership to countless causes and organizations. They were among four generations of the Lynett-Haggerty Family honored with the “Lead On” award this past spring at our Community Leadership Dinner. With a family historically and deeply involved with the mission of this institution, Ed and Lynda always do their part, continually answering the call to serve and support Marywood. When we asked them to serve as Co-chairs of the Bold Heart Campaign, they did not hesitate and enthusiastically plunged into the important work before them.

Their pride and delight in their family’s involvement with Marywood is clear, as is their personal commitment to carry on this tradition of steadfast support for the University.

Marion Munley, Esq.

Like many in her family, she pursued the study and practice of law, yet Marion has made her own distinctive mark through her profession. She has demonstrated compassionate concern through her work as a trial lawyer, particularly in cases of injury or personal loss. She has been especially committed to assisting victims of heavy trucking accidents and gained national recognition for her expertise in that milieu. Marion continually pursues excellence and has been ranked among the region’s top twenty-five women lawyers by the Northeast Business Journal, named among the Best Lawyers in America, as selected by her peers, and awarded the coveted title of “Super Lawyer”—an honor accorded to just five percent of the legal community in Pennsylvania.

Just as she has proudly contributed to her family’s legacy in the legal profession, Marion has also carried on their tradition of service to the region, and, particularly, to Marywood. Firmly committed to the cause of education, she represented her family in the endowing of a scholarship at Marywood, in tribute to her grandmother, a legendary state legislator, after whom she is named. She eagerly answered the call to serve on Marywood’s Board of Trustees, leading the University forward as the Board Chair for three years. She continues to serve us as a distinguished and exemplary trustee. When asked to co-chair the Bold Heart Campaign, in addition to her vital work on the Board, Marion did not hesitate, because she recognizes how important this campaign is to Marywood’s strong future.

Michael and Dolores Insalaco

It has been said that you can never underestimate the importance of good friends, and the friendship of Michael and Dolores with former Marywood trustee Joseph Cognetti is what introduced the couple to Marywood, its mission, and its students. In fact, it was the quality of the people, the values-driven mission, and our commitment to our students that inspired Michael and Dolores to begin their own friendship with Marywood. What good and loyal friends they have been!

Known for his success as an entrepreneur, Michael, along with his brothers, established Insalaco’s Supermarkets, a regional enterprise that grew from one grocery store to 14 supermarkets before the family sold the business. From that point, Michael invested in real estate ventures, and, of course, philanthropic initiatives. When he was elected to our Board of Trustees in 1998, he immediately set to work to strengthen and advance the mission Marywood. He held numerous leadership roles, including Board Chair, and, upon his retirement, he merited the well-earned title of Trustee Emeritus. Since they began their friendship with Marywood, Michael and Dolores have been extraordinarily generous to this University and its students, making a lasting impact—and a powerful difference— for generations to come. They have established scholarships, provided substantial lead gifts needed to realize the Insalaco Center for Studio Arts and the Insalaco Arena, and made institutional history by endowing the first College at Marywood—the Insalaco College of Creative and Performing Arts—the largest private gift ever received by this institution. Their service as Honorary Co-chairs of the Bold Heart Campaign further deepens this faithful association.

Virginia Collins Shields '48

Virginia has actively supported the ongoing advancement of Marywood with both service and stewardship. A former Trustee, Virginia served as Board Chair from 1998 to 2001—the first female alumna to do so—and she is currently a Trustee Emerita.

From the day of her graduation, Virginia sought to serve Marywood. She always set an example of energetic leadership, giving of her time, energy, and resources in fundraising efforts and alumni activities. Along with her late husband, Paul, she actively supported the ongoing advancement initiatives of Marywood, time after time, in countless ways. The Paul and Virginia Shields Center for Visual Arts is an enduring testament to the spirit of love and dedication they shared. Virginia and Paul were an unbeatable team. They always believed that only by serving others could they themselves be truly successful leaders. Their daughter Paula has followed their lead and, just like her mother, serves as a Marywood Trustee.

Virginia’s service to her alma mater has been—and continues to be—an inspiration. Her willingness to serve as an Honorary Co-chair for the Bold Heart Campaign was immediate and enthusiastic. She demonstrates for all of us what a significant difference we can make by giving of ourselves in service to others. She has always focused her service and her support on enriching and advancing the cause of education, along with a wholehearted belief in the mission of Marywood University.

Paul and Sandra Gaudenzi Montrone '63

Sandra is a dedicated alumna, whose enduring bond with Marywood spans five decades. In fact, she helped lead Marywood’s first major capital campaign. Paul Montrone served three full terms on the Marywood Board of Trustees. Their generous support allowed Marywood University to realize its dream of a permanent campus chapel, the Marian Chapel, in 2007. For decades before that significant commitment, their benevolent gifts and faithful attentiveness benefited Marywood’s Campus Ministry Program. Indeed, Paul and Sandra have been exceptionally generous in their personal financial support and strong leaders in major fundraising efforts, continually seeking to assist this institution in ways that clearly reflect the depth of their personal commitment and involvement. They eagerly accepted when asked to be Honorary Co-Chairs of the Bold Heart Campaign.

Sister Ellen, who was elected as Congregation President in 2014, leads the nearly 400 Scranton IHM Sisters who live and work throughout the United States and in Latin America.

She is a gifted educator, historian, and counselor and holds academic degrees in all of these areas. Her life has been devoted to the cause of education, as both a teacher and an administrator in Catholic high schools. Additionally, she has served as a Pastoral Associate at the parish level. At the heart of all she does is her concern for others; she seeks justice and serves the most vulnerable in our society with compassion and love.

During her installation address last year, Sister Ellen noted, “We celebrate today a continuation of the journey of faith begun by Theresa (Maxis) in 1845 and enriched by the vision, courage, and sacrifices of those who came after her, women who met the ever-changing needs and challenges of each age to bring us to this day, this time.” At this time in Marywood’s history and in the life of the IHM Congregation, those words ring especially true. The Congregation, established 170 years ago, has been built on a powerful legacy of selfless service that draws life and energy from the unconditional love of God and responds to the critical needs of society. Marywood University—founded, sponsored, and led by the IHM Sisters for 100 years—is a shining example of that legacy.

Presidential Medal