Edgewood College Mourns the Loss of President Emerita Mary Ellen Gevelinger, O.P.

  • Friday, Mar 15, 2024

Madison, Wis. (March 15, 2024) – Edgewood College joins the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, family, friends, and colleagues in remembering and mourning President Emerita Dr. Mary Ellen Gevelinger, O.P., who died Wednesday, March 13, 2024, in the loving presence of her closest Dominican Sisters.

Dr. Gevelinger, O.P. took on the role of President on September 1, 2019, following the resignation of Dr. Scott Flanagan in August, and served for a year marked by profound challenges, including a global pandemic.

“Sr. Mary Ellen Gevelinger served Edgewood College in many ways over her lifetime, most recently as President during a critical year of budget challenges and the onset of the pandemic,” President Andrew Manion, said. “This college is forever in her debt, and deeply saddened by the news of her passing.”

“I had the privilege of serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees during President Gevelinger’s leadership,” Lucy Keane ’84, said. “Sr. Mary Ellen was a progressive visionary who loved to lead and she accepted both the opportunities and challenges that went with those responsibilities with grace and dignity. She was a woman of deep faith, wisdom, and determination. Hers was a life of service and she lived it with a remarkable sense of gratitude for her Sisters, her community, her family, her students and her friends. She lived and loved fiercely. If you were lucky enough to have Sr. Mary Ellen call you her friend, you were lucky enough.”

Dr. Gevelinger, O.P. served more than five years as a tenured faculty member at Edgewood College and as the Director of Doctoral research in the School of Education. A statement to the College community when she took on her new role illustrates her devotion to the Mission of Edgewood College:

“And while not knowing exactly what the future looks like can be troubling at times, I’d like to assure you, Edgewood College has weathered turbulent years - and decades, for those of us who remember the 1970’s - before. The decade may be different, and the challenges may be complex and appear daunting, but please know this: Our students are the reason for coming to work each day. Teaching and serving them is the work we have devoted our lives to accomplishing. That has not changed, and that will not change.”

 -President Emerita Dr. Mary Ellen Gevelinger, O.P., September 2019