Front of Ralston Hall

Sister of Notre Dame de Namur to Speak at NDNU Commencement

Belmont, CA, April 26, 2011 — Sister Roseanne Murphy, SND, Executive Director of Planned Giving at Notre Dame de Namur University, will address over 400 graduates at the university’s commencement ceremony at Koret Field on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m.

“For more than 45 years, Sr. Roseanne has been a major presence at NDNU. She has touched the lives of innumerable students, many of whom still keep in touch and treasure her as part of their lives,” said President Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D.

Sr. Roseanne has had a powerful impact on the cause of social justice not only through teaching and bringing noted scholars to the NDNU campus, but also through her writing. She authored the biography of Sr. Dorothy Stang, who was murdered in Brazil in 2005 for defending the rights of the poor against corrupt government officials and greedy landowners. Her book, Martyr of the Amazon: The Life of Sister Dorothy Stang, has done much to call attention to the issues of social justice and sustainability in Latin America.

She also wrote the biography of Saint Julie Billiart, and contributed to numerous publications. Her awards include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Danforth Fellowship for College Teachers. Sr. Roseanne is a member of Delta Epsilon Sigma, and the Psi Chi Honor Society.

Upon graduating from Notre Dame High School in Belmont, Sr. Roseanne attended St. Joseph's College of Nursing where she became a Registered Nurse, and received her bachelor’s degree from Mount Saint Mary’s College. After entering the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, she was sent to Stanford University for her MA and then to University of Notre Dame for her Ph.D. in Sociology.

In 1965, she was sent to (then) College of Notre Dame where she became Chair of the Sociology and Psychology Department, a position she held for thirty-seven years. During her tenure as Department Chair, she began innovative programs in graduate studies and directed a semester in Rome for thirty-three students. In 1999, she became Director of Alumni Relations and currently she is the Executive Director of Planned Giving.