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NDNU Honors Community Leader Sister Roseanne Murphy

Belmont, CA, March 10, 2009 — Notre Dame de Namur University will honor Sister Roseanne Murphy, SNDdeN, for her exemplary community service and for reflecting the vision of the University at the Eighth Annual NDNU Gala, “Great Expectations,” at 6:30 p.m., March 21.

In keeping with NDNU’s mission to promote the values of social justice through community engagement, NDNU has established an annual award for an individual who has demonstrated outstanding community service, with the goal of recognizing citizens who have given selflessly of their time, energy, and resources to improve the quality of life for others and to promote social justice.

This year the University is excited to honor Sr. Roseanne with the NDNU Community Spirit Award, not only for her many accomplishments, but also for her thoughtful and lively personality. 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.

“It is our goal to recognize citizens of the Bay Area who have given selflessly of their time, energy, and resources to improve the quality of life for others and to promote social justice,” said NDNU President, Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D.

“This time we didn’t have to look very far at all,” Dr. Greig continued. “Sr. Roseanne has served the University for more than 45 years, and embodies our mission and core values. She is a part of all of our hearts.”

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. In the past year 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 land owners. 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 has also written 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. After entering the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, she was sent to Stanford University for her M.A. 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.

When asked about being honored at Great Expectations: The 2009 NDNU Gala, Sr. Roseanne says, "I see it as an honor to all the Sisters who have given their lives to this place, not just me. I've had the honor to work with some of the finest women in the world."

Previous recipients of the Community Spirit Award include Marie Damrell Gallo ‘57, Mary Lou ’79 and Joe Putnam, Peter Brusati, Pamela G. Clarke, and Dennis Pettinelli.

Sponsors for this year’s NDNU Gala include Leadership Sponsor-W.F. Batton Management Company, Benefactor Sponsors -Bob and Marie Damrell Gallo, Tad Taube, Koret Foundation, Argonaut Sponsors - Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Hawley, Bob and Toni '85 Oyster, Union Bank, Patron Sponsors –Borel Private Bank & Trust Company, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, Dr. Giselle Parry Farris and Ray K. Farris II, Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Denise Hannig, Mr. Joe Putnam/Putnam Automotive, and Wells Fargo Bank. Friends of the Gala include Mr. and Mrs. Bedros Agopovich, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Daley, DJ Dowling General Contractor Inc., First National Bank of Northern California, Ted and Dorothy Kitt, Louis and Natalia Poletti, and Mr. Michael Vartain/Vartain Law Group.

Tickets cost $175 each. Those interested in attending the NDNU Gala or participating in the various levels of sponsorship for the event should contact (650) 508-3549 or gala@ndnu.edu or visit www.ndnu.edu/gala.