Catholic education leaders to discuss future

Whether or not Catholic education has a future will be the subject Sunday, March 12, when Sister Julie Upton, RSM, the provost of St. John’s University in New York, speaks at the annual Sister Maura Smith lecture at Mercyhurst College.

Following her presentation, titled "Catholic Education: Does It Have a Future?", Upton will join in a dialogue with Mercyhurst College President Thomas Gamble, Sister Maura Smith, Mercyhurst Preparatory School Principal Peggy Aste, and St. Michael School (Greenville, Pa.) Principal Mary Jo Lipani.

The event will take place at the Mercy Heritage Room at Mercyhurst from 4 to 6 p.m. The public is invited.

Upton is professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John's University and currently serves as its provost. She has taught there for 26 years.. She holds a doctorate in theology from Fordham University and has taught in elementary, secondary and higher education. Her most recent book is "A Time for Embracing: Reclaiming Reconciliation."

Sister Maura Smith, RSM, is a former president of the Erie Sisters of Mercy (1987-96) and president of Mercyhurst Preparatory School (1977-87). She holds a doctorate in education from the University of Florida, and has taught in elementary and high schools in the Erie and Pittsburgh dioceses. From 1970 until 1977, she was a professor of biology, and the founder and professor of the Department of Environmental Studies at Mercyhurst College.

Dr. Gamble officially became the 11th president of Mercyhurst College March 1. He holds a doctorate in Psychology from Syracuse University and a magna cum laude B.A. in Philosophy from Gannon University; he is a post-doctoral graduate of the Bush Center for Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University.

Aste and Lipani have made professional commitments of 25 to 30 years to their respective schools as teachers and administrators.
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