“There is no passion to be found in playing small—in settling for a life that is less than what you are capable of living.” - Nelson Mandela
At the turn of the twentieth century, Mother M. Cyril Conway, who was the Superior General of the IHM Congregation at the time, made it her singular mission each day to travel from the former St. Cecilia's Academy in downtown Scranton up to the hills of Green Ridge, where she could oversee the construction of a new building—the Motherhouse at Mt. St. Mary's that would eventually become Marywood.
Due to a street car strike, she had to make this arduous journey on foot, dressed in the traditional full habit. Mother Cyril's daily dedication to this task allowed her to closely supervise the work, make needed changes, and even steeled her to formally object an attempt by the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railroad Company to build a rail line through the grounds. Without her tenacity and faith, Marywood might not have been built; but Mother Cyril was not one to "play small"—she saw a bigger vision before her and moved boldly forward to realize it. She established a solid foundation for a big dream and an ongoing mission that continues to transform lives, generations later.
Our Centennial is on the horizon, and so too are historic plans for this University. As we anticipate this momentous milestone, just two short years away, it is important to reflect on who we are, where we've been, and, most importantly, where we're going. Recalling the courage of leaders like Mother Cyril gives us confidence to expand that transformative vision, not just for our time, but for future generations.
The Marywood mission endures; it is alive and well in the day-to-day interactions between faculty and students, at scholastic and athletic events, and through the "Forever Green" pride shared by our graduates. Time-honored traditions like Orientation, Commencement, and Reunion Weekend magnify the mission on an even greater scale, from the potential of our newest students to the ongoing success of our esteemed alumni.
This is an incredible time at Marywood University. We will not "play small" and settle for something less; like Mother Cyril, we will dream big, and achieve something more—with great passion.
Sister Anne Munley, IHM, Ph.D.