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SMC announces new vice president for Mission

| Friday, February 13, 2015

Judith Fean, director of Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry since 1995, will be the first laywoman to lead the College as vice president for mission.

The vice president for mission position is a joint appointment of the president of the College and the president of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Fean will head the Division for Mission, working with both the College and the Congregation to integrate the Saint Mary’s College mission statement into community life.

Fean said she looks forward to continuing to integrate the mission throughout the College.

“I’m excited to work with so many people who have been developing and living the mission,” Fean said. “The position also means continuing our relationship with the sisters and assessing what it means to be a Catholic women’s college in the liberal arts tradition and how the mission guides us.”

Fean said she is inspired by an iconic quote of former College President Sr. Madeleva Wolfe: “I promise you discovery — discovery of yourselves, discovery of the universe and your place in it.”

“I believe in this quote because I discovered myself here and what it means to be a woman in the Church,” Fean said. “I’m excited to see what this new chapter looks like and how we can continue to promise young women discovery of themselves.”

Fean said she sees the importance of connection and using the core values as stepping stones to make connections with students, faculty and staff.

The four core values of Saint Mary’s are faith/spirituality, community, learning and justice, which go hand-in-hand with the mission, she said. The interconnectedness of the core values is important in making Saint Mary’s a place for young women to call home.

“Coming here, students realize the importance of women and how they can develop their gifts and what a wonderful unfolding it is,” she said. “Everything we do is grounded in the philosophy of education, divine providence of God [and] the hope of prayer, and the question is how do we integrate the core values and bring them to life on campus?”

In her experience as director of Campus Ministry, Fean said she has seen the mission statement guide programs such as the Ministry Assistant Program. The program, new in 2012, trains and develops a leader in each of the four residence halls to be an extension of Campus Ministry and to help students explore and deepen their spirituality.

Fean said she will miss watching students grow and develop on such an intimate level, but she looks forward to working with faculty, staff and students to further the mission of the College.

“I’m looking forward to breaking open the stories of the Saint Mary’s community and seeing how the lives of students, faculty and staff are centered around the mission.

“The sisters were mentors for me, and I look forward to carrying on the guidance I received and making a difference.”

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About Haleigh Ehmsen

A senior at Saint Mary's, Haleigh is majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature & Writing. She serves as the Saint Mary's editor and enjoys coffee, guacamole and good books.

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