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PITTSBURGH NATIVE SR. MARGARET CARNEY TO BE MAIN SPEAKER AT SVC HONORS CONVOCATION, RECEIVE HONORARY DEGREE APRIL 25

Public Relations
Posted: Friday Mar 23, 2012

March 26, 2012

Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., a native of Pittsburgh who is the president of St. Bonaventure University, will be the main speaker at the annual spring honors convocation of Saint Vincent College on Wednesday, April 25 at 12:30 p.m. in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica. She will also be honored with the conferral of an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

At the academic convocation, outstanding senior students will be recognized for academic excellence in their major fields of study, the winners of the Ragan Poetry Award and Fr. Ronald Gorka Scholarship will be announced and special awards will be presented by the Student Government Association for service to the college community, Saint Vincent College’s highest student honor, the President’s Award, will be presented to one member of the graduating class in recognition of their academic accomplishments, leadership abilities and community service which demonstrate the College’s mission as a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college.

Following the honors convocation, the College will present the Ninth Annual Academic Conference from 2 to 7 p.m. in the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion to recognize the completion of research projects and creative work of students in all academic fields. Students will be making presentations and displaying posters of their work throughout the Pavilion. Admission is free and open to the College community as well as the general public.

Sr. Margaret, the 20th president of New York’s St. Bonaventure University, obtained her doctorate in theology at Rome’s Franciscan University, the Antonianum, in 1988. She was the first woman to achieve this distinction. This followed master’s degrees in theology at Duquesne University in 1984 and Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure University in 1985.

Her early work included years of secondary education, leading administrative positions in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and her religious order. In addition to these full-time commitments, she lectured extensively in the United States, Ireland, England, the Philippines and Europe. Her graduate teaching career began with an appointment as associate professor of Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure University in 1997. Two years later she was named dean of the School of Franciscan Studies and director of its internationally recognized Franciscan Institute.

During her term as an academic administrator she helped found the Bonaventure Texts in Translation Series with the leadership of the renowned Zachary Hayes, O.F.M., and established renewed attention to the work of publication of Franciscan master works by the institute’s press.

Together with Joseph P. Chinnici, president of The Franciscan School of Berkeley, and F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., current director of the Institute, she helped to found the Secretariat for the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition, which provides regular consultation for study centers, publishers, and individual scholars of the Franciscan Order.

In 2003, the Board of Trustees of St. Bonaventure University requested that she accept a temporary position as vice president for Franciscan Mission. Upon completion of her work in that post, she was named president and took office in October 2004.

During her term she has been responsible for major initiatives in academic assessment, new construction and renovations totaling more than $25 million dollars, and the successful completion of a capital campaign that totaled $95 million – the largest in campus history. She now leads yet another campaign of $15 million for a new school of business building and faculty development endowments.

Her presidency has focused on the centrality of the Franciscan mission and her university’s role as a leading international resource for the Franciscan order, the importance of improving trust and integrity in relationships of all sectors of the campus community, and the transformation to a learner-centered pedagogy and the maturation of a surge of service-learning activities that has taken place thanks to participation in the Lilly Foundation’s Theological Exploration of Vocation initiative.

Her memberships and professional service include the Presidents’ Council of the Atlantic 10, board chair of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the chair of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities, a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education, and a faculty member of the Council of Independent Colleges’ Presidential Vocation retreats.

In addition to her earned degrees, she is the recipient of seven honorary doctorates. In June of 2011, she received the President’s Medal of St. Francis University in Joliet, Ill., and she is a member of the prestigious Century Club of her alma mater, Duquesne University.

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Photo: Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F. 

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PR2012-116