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Sister John Miriam Jones, instrumental in making the University co-ed, dies at 95

| Thursday, November 7, 2019

Sister John Miriam Jones, a retired associate provost and professor, died Sunday, Nov. 3, the University said in a press release. Jones was instrumental in making Notre Dame co-educational.

“Sister John Miriam was one of the pivotal figures in Notre Dame’s transition to co-education,” Rev. Edward A. Malloy said in the release. “She befriended the first generation of Notre Dame undergraduate women and made their transition easier. She was full of wisdom, kindness and enthusiasm. We will miss her deeply.”

Jones was the first senior female official in the University’s administration, the release said. Additionally, she held master’s and doctoral degrees in biology and microbiology, respectively.

She spent 17 years at Notre Dame, holding a variety of positions. She coordinated faculty appointments, supervised affirmative action activities, provided for the needs of students with disabilities and served as the liaison to the ROTC programs, in addition to integrating women into the University.

On the topic of integrating the University in the fall of 1972, Jones once said: “Many men undergraduates found it hard to be welcoming. There was a nightly rating system in the dining hall; catcalls from the windows of the men’s halls; run-throughs in women’s halls; and something akin to non-inclusion in the classrooms.”

Jones also planned the University’s first presidential inauguration and served as the executive chair of Notre Dame’s sesquicentennial celebration.

She left Notre Dame in 1989 to become the provincial of the Central Province of the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati.

From 1997 to 2001, Jones served as academic dean at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati.

In October 1999, Sister John was one of the first individuals inducted into Notre Dame’s Wall of Honor, located on the ground floor of the Main Building, for her work in the University’s transition to educating both males and females, the release said.

According to the release, the Sisters of Charity and family members will allow guests to attend services at Motherhouse Chapel at Mount St. Joseph from 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 12, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in the chapel. Memorial contributions can be made to the Sisters of Charity Retirement Fund in Mount St. Joseph, Ohio.

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