From graduate to president

By Clarion Herald Staff
Photo By Peter Finney Jr. | CLARION HERALD

Dr. Stanton McNeely was installed Dec. 6 as the 19th president of the University of Holy Cross, his alma mater. He said his appointment would not have been possible without the generous example and love of his late aunt and godmother, Marianite Sister Bertilla McNeely, who mentored him. “I pray to her daily,” he told administrators and students at Blessed Basil Moreau Center. “Twenty years ago, at this very lectern, I was representing the McNeely family with this room completely full for her funeral. She died young – only 56 years old – of pancreatic cancer.

After an amazing life of leadership and service as a Marianite and as a nurse, both here in New Orleans and in many of the poorest countries on earth – in Haiti, Somalia, Nicaragua – what many of you have heard is true. If it were not for her, I would not be here today. … She taught me to expend every gift I have, blessed by God, to help lift up others and not to be afraid to answer the call of service and to leadership.”

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