On Founders Day, April 26, 2017, marking the 120th year since the founding of Trinity, a special ceremony was held in the historic Main Hall to celebrate the return of a beautiful portrait of Sr. Julia McGoarty, SNDdeN, the foundress of Trinity, which was recently restored thanks the the generosity of the Ohio Province. At this ceremony, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur honored Trinity President Pat McGuire as a “Companion in Mission,” a faithful companion in the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who recognized her for her leadership of Trinity and for living the values and vision of Sr. Julia McGroarty. (Learn more about Sr. Julia McGoarty: Read the powerful Founders Day remarks by Sr. Mary Johnson, SNDdeN, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies, about the legacy of Sr. Julia McGroarty, SND, an immigrant woman who “built big…built beautiful…built to last.”)
Sr. Camilla Burns ’60, former General Moderator of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur worldwide, and now a Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at Trinity, submitted the nomination of President McGuire.
Sr. Krisitn Matthes, SNDdeN, gave the following remarks in honor of President McGuire:
On this day when we look upon the newly restored portrait of Sister Julia McGroarty, we might take to opportunity to look around at the faces of the women who are gathered here…strong women, like Julia, courageous and committed. Among the strong women gathered here, we, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, honor a particular woman of strength and vision for her courage and commitment to the Mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. President Patricia McGuire, your leadership of Trinity Washington University since 1989 has been a living example of the values and vision of Sister Julia McGroarty. Several Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur recommended you for this recognition as an extraordinary Companion in Mission, Pat.
In her recommendation, Sister Camilla Burns writes: Sr. Julia McGroarty, SND… faced… opposition with courage and confidence encapsulated in her phrase, “Following our old tradition, enlarging our lives to suit the times.” This… phrase is eminently suited to Pat McGuire as she steered Trinity through some treacherous times to welcome students who had little access to college education…Pat has not only achieved a growing student body but most recently oversaw the construction of a $30 million Academic Building. Her dedication to education at Trinity and wider circles in DC and on national boards is legendary.
Sr. Julia McGroarty’s vision for education was stated as follows: “Our object being to form good Christian women…the training of the heart, the head, and the hands.” President McGuire keeps this vision of holistic education in every facet of her work.
Pat, you wrote in one of your blog posts earlier this year, “Imagine how many thousands of lives have been influenced for so much good because [Sister Julia McGroarty and Sister Mary Euphrasia Taylor], those brave women, persisted…” Looking around at the faces of the women gathered in this space today, I think all would agree that you, too, are one of those brave women who persisted and many lives have been influenced for so much good because of you.
We are proud to display your name in our Heritage Center in Namur, Belgium, with other Companions in Mission from around the world. Thank you for your continued commitment and vision. You are truly a faithful companion in the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur!