Founders Day Connects Community Through Past, Present and Future

Mount Mary celebrated Founders Day event on Thursday, Feb. 22. This annual event recognizes the university's founders, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and celebrates the achievements of students and employees.

Mount Mary presents the Mother Theresa and Mother Caroline awards to students continuing the legacy of the university's SSND founders. This year, the Mother Caroline Student Award went to junior Megan Frerichs, a junior double majoring in Art Therapy and Theology. Megan hopes to assist underserved populations by providing them with high-quality mental health services, including diagnosis, therapy, grant writing and advocating for the rights of marginalized people. She credits her passion for social justice to the community of strong women who raised her, instilling her with a sense of "fierce compassion" that continues to shape her perspective.

The Mother Theresa Award went to Jamy McClain, a student in the Integrated Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (IMSND) program. Jamy loves serving children, and her career goal is to open a wholistic wellness center connecting people to resources such as fresh foods, nutrition counseling, movement and cooking classes, art and therapy resources. Jamy shares that Mount Mary has truly been a blessing in her life, and she is "forever grateful to be a part of this community."

The Founders Day event also recognizes outstanding individuals within the university whose commitment helps create a community centered around compassion, diversity and academic excellence.

The following members of the Mount Mary community received the Heritage Awards, having been nominated by their colleagues who noted how they each live out SSND values:

Administration Award: Michelle Smalley, Director of Learning Services
Faculty Award: Carrie King, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, Professor/ Department Chair, Professional Counseling
Staff Award: Theresa Utschig, Director of Campus Ministry

This year's theme, Making Memories at Mount Mary, celebrates the shared stories connecting the past, present and future of the Mount Mary community.