From the President
As our community prepares to begin the academic year, we first pause and reflect on the many accomplishments from the past year.
When I began my tenure one year ago, I shared my eagerness to be part of this outstanding university. One year later, I am more impressed than ever with the faculty and staff who live out our mission of educating the whole person. I feel blessed to witness the growth of our students and to see them find their voices in the world. The Mount Mary tradition is alive and thriving.
I hope as you read this Year In Review that you, too, will be filled with a sense of pride and tremendous hope in the future. We encourage you to remain engaged with our Mount Mary community and to consider sending more young women our way. Mount Mary can transform their lives, as they understand and develop the great gifts they bring to the world.
On behalf of the faculty, staff, students and board of trustees, I wish to thank those of you who have partnered with us as volunteers and donors. You are so instrumental in our success. I am encouraged as I look to the year ahead, knowing that many of you support the experience that a Mount Mary education provides.
Christine Pharr, Ph.D.
Mount Mary University's 12th President
Fidelis Society recognizes our most loyal alumnae and donors who have included Mount Mary in their estate plans. These individuals have chosen to leave a meaningful legacy of what was important to them during their life, to be gifted at their time of death.
- 18 new members joined the Fidelis Society this year
- 194 Total Fidelis Society Members
- 129 Living Fidelis Society Members
President’s Circle includes those donors who contribute $2,500 or more in one fiscal year. These generous donors are critical to the ongoing mission and delivery of education at Mount Mary.
- 94 members this year
In order to respect donor confidentiality, Mount Mary University has chosen to not publish our list of donors. Please know we appreciate every donor and the impact your gifts make to achieve excellence in our programs, on campus and within our students.
Demographics, Enrollment & Retention
Support for our students' educational journey means ensuring their graduation success while minimizing their investment of time and money. The numbers reflect our commitment to achievement and accessibility for all.
Compared to other Wisconsin private colleges and universities:
- Students transfer to Mount Mary at a higher rate than the average of private nonprofit colleges and universities in Wisconsin. Transfer students comprise 37% of Mount Mary's new student population, compared with a 23% average at other institutions.
- 100% of our students receive merit or need-based aid.
- Mount Mary provides a rich learning environment to a diverse student body that models the demographic makeup of Milwaukee.
Responding to Workplace Needs
- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calls Mount Mary’s new food science program “backed by some of the biggest names in food and beverage manufacturing in Wisconsin and the world” (Oct. 28,2017). These corporate partners are dedicated to supporting this unique and innovative program, having donated scientific equipment and provided students with workplace opportunities.
- As the field of dietetics shifts to a master’s-level entry, Mount Mary has created a pathway for undergraduates. This begins with a human biology/ pre-dietetics bachelor’s degree in which students can earn assured entrance into Mount Mary’s master’s program. Few other programs are able to offer this competitive advantage to their students.
- To address Milwaukee’s shortage of bachelor’s degree prepared nurses, the new Nursing 1-2-1 Program partners with local community colleges to help students earn their degrees. The RN to BSN Program gives working nurses an efficient pathway into leadership positions. Student response has been good, with nearly a full cohort of Nursing 1-2-1 students starting our partnership with MATC and brisk enrollment with our most recent WCTC partnership.
Women's Leadership Institute
Educating, preparing and inspiring women of all ages to become thoughtful, self-aware and confident leaders in every stage and aspect of their lives.
Women's Leadership Institute (WLI) not only enhances the educational experience of current students with its programming and the professional experience for faculty and staff, but it reaches beyond the campus confines to engage alumnae, encourage relationships with business leaders and community organizations, and inspire prospective students to enroll. WLI’s signature programs include Voices of Leadership and the Summer Leadership Academy.
- 300 students and members of Milwaukee’s business community attended NASCAR champion Julia Landauer’s keynote presentation
- The following academic disciplines participated in learning projects centered around the theme of empowerment: graphic design, art therapy, studio art and dietetics.
Summer Leadership Academy
- 46 high school girls participated in this all-new program of career exploration, college preparation and leadership.
- Students came from four states to participate.
- Students reflected the diversity of the world around them: 57% Latina, 25% White, 14% African American, 4% Middle Eastern.
- Seven young professionals participated in a career panel, offering advice to these emerging leaders.
Raising the Bar - Welcoming New Opportunities and Celebrating Milestones
Mount Mary students understand the value of studying abroad. Twenty-two percent of our students study abroad, compared to 1.6 percent of students nationwide.
Since 2012 - Mount Mary students have received $77,500 from the federally funded Gilman Scholarship. The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship is a prestigious, federally-funded scholarship to help students, particularly first-generation college students, study abroad.
Our fashion show, CREO, is planned, executed and promoted by students and is a longstanding signature event for the university. We celebrated its 50th anniversary this year by bringing the event back to campus and integrating it more fully with the School of Arts and Design senior exhibitions.
Fashion Leadership - We welcomed new leadership in the fashion department. Iconic New York dress designer Donna Ricco ' 81 has returned to Mount Mary as an Executive Fellow and industry leader Ashley Brooks has assumed leadership of the department. Both will work with students and build industry connections.
Blue Angels - Mount Mary Blue Angels have joined the newly formed American Collegiate Athletic Association in basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball. Student athletes now have the opportunity to play in post-season conference games.
New Places and New Spaces
Mission and Identity - Acting Upon Our Values and Beliefs
The spirit of the School Sisters of Notre Dame can be felt all around campus, as students engage in service learning and unlock their potential in leadership for social justice classes. The SSND legacy manifests itself in so many ways.
- Mount Mary had the great honor of being selected by the School Sisters of Notre Dame as the location for their North American SSND Archives. Today, 185 years of SSND history is housed in Bergstrom Hall.
- Mount Mary students contribute 100,000 hours of community service in the metro Milwaukee region annually, proof that service learning has a major impact upon the community.
- Delegates from 18 institutions and higher education societies from around the country came to campus to celebrate with us the inauguration of Dr. Christine Pharr on April 20, 2018. The theme, “A Community of Our Making,” underscored a commitment to creating lives of meaning and purpose.
- Sister Joanne Poehlman SSND presented the May commencement speech, encouraging graduates to savor the moment of accomplishment by “experiencing this moment with all of your being. Record this in your body, mind and soul.” That day, 256 students received their degrees.
- Terrence W. Tilley, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor at Fordham University, was the featured speaker at the All-University Workshop in January, presenting Claiming Our Legacy: The Catholic College and Catholic Intellectual Tradition.