In the richness of our Catholic intellectual tradition, science and faith are fused through the prism of understanding. Many of life’s mysteries have been and continue to be illuminated by scientific discoveries. Through the unlocking of those mysteries, we get a glimpse into what is so wonderful about creation in the first place.
Marywood has always understood this connection. Our institutional motto—Sanctitas, Scientia, Sanitas (Holiness, Knowledge, Health)—formulated soon after our founding by an eminent scholar and former student of the IHM Sisters, Reverend Francis Donnelly, S.J., linked these vital principles from our earliest days. The motto was later incorporated into Marywood’s seal by our sixth president, Sister Sylvia Morgan, IHM, Ph.D., who was herself an esteemed scientist.
Sister Sylvia taught all the science courses offered when Marywood first opened in 1915, later becoming the first chairperson of the department after its faculty increased. She wrote workbooks in chemistry and biology and performed research on the toxicology of oranges. In 1934, Sister Sylvia received formal recognition from the scientific community when she was admitted as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science—quite a feat for anyone, but especially for a woman religious in the 1930s.
Marywood’s science faculty and students continue to build on Sister Sylvia’s outstanding legacy, demonstrating her curiosity and enthusiasm for discovery. Scholarship and research, performed in a world-class facility—with recent biotechnology and organic chemistry lab renovations and equipment, made possible by a philanthropic contribution from Sanofi Pasteur—have led the program to expand and evolve to meet present and future needs.
Considering the foundation of character and wisdom that built Marywood’s science program into what it is today, it is no wonder that our students and our graduates exemplify Einstein’s definition of “great” scientists.