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Dominican Sisters Honored by Mount Saint Mary College

NEWBURGH, NY-- October 30, 2009 -- As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Mount Saint Mary College honored the Sisters of Saint Dominic who founded the college. The event took place during the convocation on Thursday, October 29th. New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan was the keynote speaker.
hope leadership
Leadership team of the Dominican Sisters of Hope: (LEFT) Sisters Lorelle Elcock, Bette Ann Jaster, Patricia Magee, Judith Brunell, and Maryann Ronneburger.
Sr. Lorelle Elcock, OP, prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, spoke on behalf of the sisters. Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, Mount president, conferred honorary degrees upon the Dominican Sisters and Archbishop Dolan. Sr. Ann Sakac, OP, president emerita, who served as president for 31 of the Mount's 50 years, served as the master of ceremonies.

The sisters came to Newburgh in 1883 to start an elementary school. Thirty years later they bought the adjoining Van Duzer estate and started teaching high school classes. In 1927 the sisters built a high school and with the continuing success of their educational mission, the sisters started a teacher training school in 1930.

In 1955 the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York granted the Mount a provisional charter to grant the associate of arts degree. The Board of Regents amended the college's charter October 30, 1959, and the Mount became a four-year liberal arts college. For 50 years the Mount has been a beacon of enlightenment to thousands of students, creating productive and value-laden citizens and providing opportunities for cultural and intellectual growth to the community.

The Mount conferred an honorary doctor of humane letters upon Dolan in appreciation of his service and leadership in the Catholic Church and his advocacy for education. The convocation will also recognize the recipients of Dominican Sisters of Hope Scholarships.