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General Superior summons foundress to support new SMWC president

Sister Denise Wilkinson, general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, offered the following comments during the announcement of a new president for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Dr. Dottie King. Dr. King had served as interim president for about eight months.

Sister Denise’s comments:

“The General Council of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods unanimously approved the Board of Trustees’ recommendation to appoint Dr. Dottie King as the next president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Dr. King has consistently demonstrated professional excellence in her various roles at the College – faculty member, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the interim President of the Woods.

As important and influential as her competency is, we Sisters of Providence find in her two other qualities essential to the president of this College – first, a deep, authentic and lived faith in God that shapes who Dr. King is and how she relates to others; secondly, a seemingly intuitive and deeply real understanding of the Providence God and of the life and legacy of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Mother Theodore founded the College and has left her indelible mark upon it and all of us associated with the College.

Let me use a collection of her words, Dr. King, to express the confidence the Sisters of Providence have in you, and the hope for success and happiness we wish for you as your life as president of her College unfolds.

We have witnessed in your interactions with others the living out of advice Mother Theodore gave to a sister just named superior of a local convent: ‘The talent of a good Superior is … to require of each one only what she can give.’ May you continue to experience the gifts of wisdom this requires!

The office of president brings blessings and trials. Through it all may you continue to rely on the presence of God in your life, may you continue to be a woman of prayer.

Mother Theodore affirms what you already know, Dr. King. ‘What strength the soul draws from prayer. In the midst of a storm, how sweet is the calm one finds in the heart of Jesus.’

And she reminds you, as she reminds the Sisters of Providence, ‘Our hope is the Providence of God, which has protected us until the present, and which will provide, somehow, for our future needs.’

The Sisters of Providence warmly welcome you as President of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Dr. King. We promise you our support and our prayer.

And – on those days when you feel as Mother Theodore did when she wrote, ‘I have already exceeded the amount of work my head can bear!’ – be certain to call on her, mindful of these words of hers: ‘No one loves you as your old Mother Theodore does.’

May all the blessings of Providence be yours, Dr. King! Please accept this small sign of Mother Theodore’s presence to keep with you.”

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Dave Cox

Dave Cox was media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence for many years. Prior to his work with the sisters, he spent over 30 years in newspaper newsrooms.

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