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Sister Rosemary Nudd honored with Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Award

As she walked through the O’Shaughnessy Dining Room on Saturday, June 1, she recognized many of the faces. She found herself chatting with many of those in attendance, reminiscing about time at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC).

“One former student said to me, ‘Thank you for being the family I never had,’” Sister Rosemary Nudd, SP, recalled during a recent conversation about the evening. “Some of them I remembered and some of them I did not.”

Sister Rosemary, formerly Sister Elizabeth Mary, was the recipient of the 2024 Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Award during the annual Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Reunion.

Sister Rosemary Nudd (center) receiving the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Award during the 2024 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Reunion banquet with (left) Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College interim president Brennan J. Randolph and (right) Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Alumni President Lynn O’Linski. Photo courtesy of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

The award is given to someone in recognition of the “value-based educational legacy of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin established at the college,” according to SMWC officials.

‘A Shock’

“It was a shock. An absolute shock,” Sister Rosemary admitted.

Sister Rosemary was informed by SMWC while she was recuperating at Providence Health Care earlier this year. She has since left the facility.

“I was not doing well,” Sister Rosemary lamented. “It was the first time I’ve ever been hospitalized. But I’m feeling good now. I feel terrific. I have so much more energy after all of this. There’s nothing like receiving an award and two standing ovations to make you feel better.”

33 Years

The eldest of six children, including four brothers and one sister, Sister Rosemary was born in Chicago and entered the Congregation from St. Joseph Parish in Downers Grove, Illinois. She professed first vows in 1967 and final vows in 1973.

Sister Rosemary Nudd

She graduated from SMWC in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Sister Rosemary also has a master’s degree in English from the former George Peabody College and a Ph.D in English from Vanderbilt University.

Her first ministry was as a teacher of religion and humanities at Marywood High School in Evanston, Illinois, from 1969-70. She then spent one year teaching English and religion at Costa Catholic High School in Galesburg, Illinois, before beginning a ministry of teaching English and religion at John F. Kennedy High School in Manchester, Missouri.

After receiving her doctorate, Sister Rosemary returned to her beloved Woods to teach at her alma mater, ministering as an instructor in the SMWC English Department from 1981-85. In 1985, she became an assistant professor of English and went on to become an associate professor in the department, eventually teaching thousands of students from 1981-2014, when she finally retired from SMWC.

During those 33 years, Sister Rosemary said while the faces change throughout the years, some things stay the same.

“Many things change. People change. Change is part of life. I had quite a few students. A wide variety,” she admitted. “But I always felt comfort here. The youth and the energy of the students. It’s the beauty of God’s creation.”

‘An Enormous Honor’

Sister Rosemary is the 14th Sister of Providence to receive the award, joining Sister Mary Joseph Pomeroy (1966); Sister Jeanne Knoerle (1975); Sister Marie Brendan Harvey (1982); Sister Gilchrist Conway (posthumously in 1984); Sister Alexa Suelzer (1989); Sister Barbara Doherty (1992); Sister Ruth Eileen Dwyer (1997); Sister Helen Vinton (1999); Sister Marie Kevin Tighe (2002); Sister Kathleen Desautels (2010); Sister Denise Wilkinson (2011); Sister Carol Nolan (2016); and Sister Ellen Cunningham (2018).

“I feel an enormous honor of being in this Community,” Sister Rosemary added. “The legacy is phenomenal. This award belongs to all of the sisters.”

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

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  1. Avatar Deb Griffey on June 26, 2024 at 7:44 pm

    Fabulous! Congratulations!

  2. Avatar Paula Katherine Modaff on June 27, 2024 at 10:57 am

    You so deserve the award, Roe, dear. And the fruit of your contribution remains. Thank you.

  3. Avatar Susan Paweski, SP on June 27, 2024 at 12:18 pm

    So well deserved! Congratulations to an extraordinary woman! Thank you Sr Rosemary, for your dedication and joyful presence.

  4. Avatar Ann Clem on July 5, 2024 at 12:49 pm

    Sr. Rosemary, I am so happy for you because you deserve this award. Your educational accomplishments and thoughtful personality are great additions to this award.

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