Alumnae Spotlight of the Month

List of 5 news stories.

  • October Alumnae Spotlight, Maria Merchan Weidenbacher, Sioux of 2005, Director of Alumnae

    In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?

    Ursuline taught me to lead when I was shy, to try new things even when I was unsure, to not give up if I fell short, and to seek out a friend in every person. I started Ursuline knowing barely anyone and it was a rough transition in that sense, but I left with lifelong friendships and so much confidence. I owe it to Ursuline and the incredibly encouraging students, teachers, and staff for instilling that confidence in me. I believe these qualities will serve me well in my new role as Director of Alumnae Relations. I want to help grow that sense of pride and confidence that each Ursuline girl has when she leaves State Street and enters the world. I want to start new traditions and get more alumnae back on campus to feel the warmth that only Ursuline can provide. Lastly, I want to get to know each and every one of you so I can help you and your classmates and you can help Ursuline.
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  • September Alumnae Spotlight, Jalan Richardson, Sioux of 2011

    In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?

    At Ursuline, I found my love for science. It was in my 7th grade science class that I found experimenting and working to answer questions fun. That love of science was further solidified in my high school Chemistry class with Ms. Harney. Here is where I decided to major in Chemistry upon graduation in 2011. While attending Hampton University, I concentrated on forensic chemistry but was unaware of what was to come next. I thought back to a time in high school where I volunteered to teach Catechism classes and the joy I received in working with kids. This led to my decision to become a teacher back in my hometown. Ursuline not only gave me a love of science but by instilling Serviam, helped me recognize my love of teaching.
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  • August Alumnae Spotlight, Suzanne Dorsey Heidel, Mac of 1985, High School Dean of Students

    In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?
     
    Like so many others, living the Serviam motto became a major element of my profession. I have served Catholic high school girls in various roles, always incorporating community outreach and service learning. Serviam, “I will serve” is a mandate. It does not suggest, recommend or encourage service. Serviam reminds us all that we have both an inherent desire to serve our world and an obligation to do so. I remember my high school senior service project vividly. It was an eye opening experience working with young deaf children. I felt so far out of my element, but the wisdom of St. Angela teaches Ursuline graduates that you must ACT anyway - even if it feels awkward or calls for all of your courage, or in the case of St. Angela, even if you are beginning work at age 61. I acknowledge that for students, serving others can sometimes be messy, even scary, but when the risk is joined to prayer, the experience is always reciprocal, reminding us that we are all responsible for one another and are one family and therein rewarding us by bringing us closer to one another and to God.
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  • July Alumnae Spotlight, Kimberlin Pittman Brown, Skip of 1995

    In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now? 
     
    My Ursuline education is something that I reflect on regularly. I work in healthcare and am often having to be the decision-maker with processes or the implementation of new initiatives. As I have advanced in my career, Ursuline prepared me to stay humble and stay hungry. Humility allows me to always try to understand the needs of others and seek out ways to do good for all, and not just because it may benefit me or someone I am around. As a nurse, I encounter people from all walks of life and various socio-economic backgrounds. My Ursuline background allows me to see the entire person and their family and not treat them as just another patient. Hungry, not in the sense of looking for physical food, but hunger for me is wanting to learn more, wanting to do more, and the drive to understand cultures and communities and how to best serve them. Whether we are talking about healthcare disparities or the opioid epidemic that is affecting everyone to some degree, I am hungry to help make a change by educating and empowering families to live better lives that are rich in quality and seek out help when they are sick, whether physically, mentally or emotionally. Mental and emotional fitness/wellness is equally as important as taking care of your heart. And we have to embrace and encourage each other to do this and offer support. We all need each other and we need to eliminate topics being taboo--if it affects your life or your family's life. We need to have a safe circle or village to help walk with us during the trying times.
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  • June Alumnae Spotlight, Caroline MacLaren, Skip of 2019

    Caroline MacLaren ’19 was selected as the 2019 Cor Unum Award Recipient by the Ursuline Alumnae Association. The award is given to one senior each year. Candidates are judged solely on their love for Ursuline Academy and their honest expression of what the Academy means to them.

    What does it mean to you to be in the 292nd graduating class of Ursuline Academy of New Orleans?
     
    Ursuline to dear old Ursuline…the words sound familiar, but only to a few. The fingers that strike the piano keys signal a song innate to a select number of people - those who have looped the brown strings of their oversized shoes, those who have buttoned up their stark white oxford blouse, those who have trekked up three flights of stairs - heavy bag fastened to their back, those who have strolled the long halls of this castle-like building. Cheers, we pledge our endless love today, bounce off the stone walls of the arching Chapel. The sound that you hear - you, an Ursuline girl - resembles something so unique: a legacy. The faces that surround you, joyful and exuberant, are merely a small amount of a large body of women that make up the astonishing community of Ursuline. Ursuline, forever Ursuline.
     
    292 years. The number is remarkable. Of course, I have understood that my school is the oldest Catholic girls school in America, established in 1727. That information has been born into me since my first day at Ursuline ten years ago. Yet, that number - 292 - is almost inconceivable. 291 classes of women that have come before me. Women who have become the leaders of our city, our state, our nation, our world. Lab researchers, doctors, lawyers, photographers, biologists, teachers, judges, congresswomen, state officials, pharmacists…women who are peacemakers. Women who live the spirit of Ursuline despite graduating - Though life may lead us far away. These are women who have created a legacy - Lamp that lights the flame of all our hopes and dreams - A legacy that I get to be a part of. Beacon bright that guides us onward with its beams. All of which has been produced from the very school I am graduating from. 292 years of women who lived happy hours within your sacred halls. Women who had laughs and learning just as I have. Women living with the cherished memories that I live with.
     
    Ursuline, to dear old Ursuline. It is more than just New Orleans. It is the network of women across the country, across the world - New Rochelle, Dallas, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Paris, Dublin, Wimbledon, Budapest, Athens, Bangkok, Kellyville… All of these women making a change in our world. The song grows louder, We pledge our endless love today. Love. It is all a legacy rooted in love - the courtesy, loyalty, and courage instilled in us. It is cor unum - one heart, one legacy.
     
    Ursuline, forever Ursuline. It is more than just a school. It is the tangible representation of growth and discovery. Though life may lead us far away, we are all still a part of Ursuline by the actions we take. We are still a part of that legacy, no matter how far life may lead us. It is a legacy that draws alumnae back. A legacy that defines who we, collectively and individually, are. A legacy that produces pride in our alma mater. The song you hear is not just the echo of the school, it is the echo of 292 years. Alma Mater beautiful, Starlike ever shine, On our paths To guide our faltering steps, Home at last, Dear Ursuline.
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