On St. Patrick’s Day, it’s impossible not to think of our favorite Irish colleague, Dr. Marylouise Fennell. Even as we continue to miss our beloved friend, we cherish the way her character and wisdom endure and guide us.
1. Respect everyone. Weezie was one of the most well connected people in education. Though she had many influential friends, she gave the same attention and dignity to each person she met, whether a maintenance worker or chairman of the board of trustees. She welcomed everyone to higher education—especially individuals who had been excluded.
2. Invest in relationships. Weezie personally involved herself in the lives and career of others. She went out of her way to show interest, share insight, and express care. Despite her many commitments, she was never too busy to attentively listen and thoughtfully respond. Her legacy inspires us to make time to reach out to others.
3. Channel your enthusiasm. Whether it was her deep held belief in Catholic education, her devotion to the Pittsburgh Steelers, or her love of ice cream, Weezie brought energy and curiosity to everything she did. She harnessed her passions in service of causes she cared about and used them as bridges to others.
These principles and more energize our work as we continue to carry forward the legacy of SisterMarylouise Fennell, RSM. Her life is a bright light that illuminates the opportunities in higher education.