From the president

Dear alumnae and friends, 

What a fantastic year we had! While some things remain constant, such as our mission, vision and values, programs and plans for the campus and some of the spaces are evolving.


Our finalized strategic plan will kick off this fall with great initiatives related to physical spaces, new programing and plans to grow our enrollment and financial vitality. (Watch for updates in fall.)

Some new and renovated campus spaces will be ready for use this fall. New programs, particularly our innovative Compass Year for undecided students, will launch this fall. Outside, the lawn and flowers on campus are gorgeous this summer, and the campus community pitched in this summer to give the labyrinth a stunning makeover.

Indeed, this overview provides just a glimpse of the progress made. These updates, which lead to transformation on an even greater scale, happen only through the engagement and generosity of donors, funding agencies, volunteers and partners who help us and support our forward progress.

As a friend of the institution, please join us in celebrating the momentum and progress currently underway. We are stronger thanks to your support.

Christine Pharr, Ph.D.
President, Mount Mary University

Funds Secured

Institutional Grants


  • Promoting inclusivity and reducing barriers to education are the focus of campus-wide programming through funds from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Inclusive Excellence Initiative.
  • Increasing graduation rates is the focus of a U.S. Department of Education Title III grant, particularly for limited income students who may face both academic and personal barriers to achieving success.













Donor Impact:


  • 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.
    • ➥ 8 new Fidelis Society Members ➥ 202 Total Fidelis Society Members ➥ 128 Living Fidelis Society Members
  • President’s Circle 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.
    • ➥ 103 members this year
  • Renovated spaces made possible by donors include a $200,000 remodeling of the first floor of Notre Dame Hall and $85,000 toward the creation of a virtual reality classroom for OT, nursing and interior design students.
  • Obstacles to education range from food insecurity to unforeseen emergencies. Affected students receive support available thanks to the generosity of donors through the President’s Emergency Fund, Dash Grant Program and the Hope Fund.

Demographics, Enrollment



Retention and Persistence

  • Grace Scholars Program: In spring, Mount Mary graduated 26 Grace Scholars, the largest-ever graduating class. MMU’s Grace Scholars Program strives to break the cycle of poverty for families in Milwaukee through scholarships and academic support.
  • Remarkable retention: Mount Mary University surpasses the average Wisconsin college retention rate by nearly 20%.

Academic Growth

Nursing Updatesnursing.png

To answer the community need for nurses who are leaders in their profession, Mount Mary's nursing programs continue to gain momentum.

  • Thanks to the excellent faculty and program, the RN to BSN completion program achieved five-year accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in June.
  • It's more flexible than ever for nursing students to obtain an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), licensure as a Registered Nurse, and seamlessly move to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN), all within four years. Mount Mary now has partnerships with Milwaukee Area Technical College, Waukesha Technical College and Moraine Park Technical College.


Master's Degree Transitions

  • Dietetics update: As the dietetics profession moves toward a master’s degree requirement for entry to the workforce, Mount Mary’s request for an Integrated Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics has been approved by ACEND, the Dietetics accrediting body.
  • Master’s in Food Science: In response to the needs of the region’s robust food and beverage industry, Mount Mary approved a new MS in Food Science program to begin in fall. Industry professionals may earn three stackable certificates, resulting in greater career opportunities and local research initiatives.

“With this master’s level program in Food Science, the local talent pool will be larger, more connected to the Milwaukee area, and more relevant to our business.”

— Lori Napier, Director of Applications and Product Development,  Natural Colors Division at CHR. Hansen 


STEM Programs

  • A significant percentage of Mount Mary students (44%) are majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs; this significant representation will go a long way toward achieving equity in a male-dominated field.


New Program Development

Innovative program assists undecided students

To assist students in finding their calling, Mount Mary has developed the new Compass Year program, announced in spring 2019. Faculty and career counselors guide students through career and vocational exploration, while keeping students on track to graduate in four years. Mount Mary's Compass Year is the first of its kind in the nation.


Women's Leadership Institute

Voices of Leadership: Engaging the community

355 students and members of Milwaukee’s business community attended this thought-provoking conversation on  2019 Jessica Shortall with Sister Joangender norms with social activist Jessica Shortall. Multiple academic disciplines engaged our students in learning projects centered around themes of gender equity. 

Summer Leadership Academy: Shaping tomorrow's leaders

Over 55 emerging high school leaders from three states participated in this program of leadership, personal development, college preparation and career exploration.

  • Students came from three states to participate.
  • Students reflected the diversity of the world around them: 36% Latina, 34% White, 19% African American, 6% Middle Eastern and 5% Asian American
  • Young professionals from the community participated in a career panel, offering advice to these young leaders.


New spaces and places

Evolution and enhancement are two words that describe the campus improvement projects currently underway.

  • New mural: Students, faculty and staff helped Milwaukee artist Tia Richardson create a diverse collage outside the Alumnae Dining Room that captures our campus spirit.
  • Locker room: The old lockers are out and the space is ready for new life.
  • Alumnae offices: The Office of Alumnae and Donor Relations has relocated to the main corridor of Notre Dame Hall. Stop in, the coffee is always on!

Fashion: Increasing local visibility

  • Ten Chimneys: Garments from Mount Mary's collection enhanced a exhibit on actress and legend Lynne Fontanne at the historic estate in the town of Genesee.
  • Go Red: To support the American Heart Association (AHA) through creativity, faculty and students created designs for the AHA fashion show.
  • Social events: Donna Ricco and President Christine Pharr, Ph.D. co-hosted a luncheon at the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin and “A Fashionable Tea” at CREO.

New Mural


Mission, Identity & Impact 

The spirit moves us in many ways to strengthen our mission and heritage, thanks to the guidance and support of our community.

  • Our weekly Mass schedule, which includes some bilingual Masses, is made possible by the ongoing contributions of donors.
  • Retreats for students and staff bring a deeper dimension to our understanding of community.
  • An inspirational one-woman play, commemorating the life of nun and activist Joan Chittister, drew an audience from across the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.