100 reasons we are thankful for Marylhurst …

We wanted to know what drew you to this special place, and you responded with spirit. We are deeply humbled by your heartfelt words.


1. Marylhurst allowed me to be a student and a single mother at the same time! The ability to take night and weekend classes allowed me to be present for my children during the day.
– Michelle Bayley ’08

2. It allowed me to stand tall as a women, as a wife, as a mother of young men and women and as a leader in the work place.

3. It offered me a program, interconnected courses and passionate experts that introduced me to a whole new way of viewing my world and my place in it…and the passion for discovering even more!
– Jackie Fowler ’96, Interim Director, Center for Experiential Learning & Assessment

4. It has allowed us, as faculty and staff, the ability to put the student at the center of all of our efforts. I hope that can continue!

5. The caring community of learning.

6. I have been provided an opportunity to teach and share what I know to inspire others to make an impact in the world.

7. The instructors of Marylhurst helped rebuild my confidence and writing skills. I would always get extra encouragement when walking past Meg Roland’s door where she had a sign that said “Writing well is the best revenge.” Thank you, Marylhurst, for helping me rebuild my confidence and voice.
8. It has provided a place of learning, growth and transformation for me!
– Jacquie Begemann ’15

9. The friendliness and caring of the people who are here — faculty, staff and students.
– Joan Jagodnik, Director of Student Services

10. The warm collaborative group of professionals who put the mission above their own self-interests. This is what distinguishes us and is the core of our success.
11. Our mission and heritage provide a clear path to fulfill our calling of service and support.
– Lynn Brown, Director of Career Services & Internships

12. This is a dedicated, inspired community of scholars, artists and practitioners who want to serve God’s people.
– Sheila O’Connell-Roussell, associate professor, religious studies

13. Every day I work at Marylhurst, I have fun and enjoy the people I work with.

14. I was able to return to college after a long absence, yet all my credits were accepted. For adult learners, Marylhurst provides a great atmosphere for learning and the staff is extremely helpful to make us feel comfortable.

15. It helped me acquire my dreams.

16. I now understand that potential knows no age, and self-knowledge knows no limits.

17. The professors were fair even when they heard points of view that they may have disagreed with.
– Greg Bo Bowman ’14

18. I completed my MBA at Marylhurst during a very hard time in my life personally. Obtaining my MBA was a confidence-building and personally liberating experience, and one that is worth every penny and every hour spent. I contribute this to the Marylhurst staff and their dedication to students.

19. My cousin became a nun at Marylhurst and from that time on, I always admired the whole essence that is the foundation of this amazing university. I feel I got an excellent education as an older adult going back to school. Graduating from college was something I dreamed of. Marylhurst is where that dream came true. I will always consider my time at Marylhurst to be one of the best experiences of my life.

20. I met my best friend.
– Janice Fahrney Rudeen ’72
21. The Master of Divinity program has prepared me both personally and professionally for my mid-life career change into professional ministry. In addition, I gained direct understanding of holistic pastoral care and understanding of how to be with and care for others. I cherish Marylhurst for this well-balanced education and preparedness for spiritual care in the larger community.
– Kevin Lawson, M. Div. ’13

22. I am thankful to Marylhurst because I DID it!!

23. The opportunity for an education that fit my needs: as someone who worked full-time and needed/appreciated the small class sizes and one-on-one interaction with my instructors.

24. Staff and faculty work tirelessly to preserve the ability to care for each student.

25. It gave me the opportunity to meet and work with people from very diverse backgrounds
– Sharon Murtagh, MBA in Sustainable Business ’14

26. I am thankful that the Marylhurst program allowed us to focus on one class at a time.

27. The education gained during my time at Marylhurst put me at a competitive advantage in the workforce. Without my MBA I would not be in the position that I am today.

28. It is a community of individuals who have always gone the extra mile to ensure that online members of the community are included and feel connected and supported.

29. The MBA in Sustainable Business that I earned has helped to propel my professional career in strategic and sustainable business plans with the Department of Defense.

MAIS-pat-edwards-230. I learned a great deal from my peers and the professional faculty that I am able to apply to my professional life. It has given me the opportunity to advance in my career and has opened the door to many more opportunities I didn’t have before. I am very fortunate to have graduated from Marylhurst and have made lifelong friends with many of my peers.

31. It expanded my insight on humanity and culture and exposed my mind to complex critical thinking skills.
– Pat Edwards ’09, ’12

32. The support the nuns gave me to succeed.

33. I was made to feel special. Like I could do anything!

34. It endures through its countless missions and transformations.
35. The wonderful inclusiveness of the student body gave me a new perspective on life. I felt accepted for who I was. I made friends who I hold dear to this day. Painting courses with Sister Miriam Clare directed me toward my lifelong commitment to art and to using it for social purposes.
– Marilyn Anderson ’59

36. I received my teaching degree and certificate from Marylhurst, and that lead to my wonderful teaching career, from which I am now retired.
– Joyanne Felman ’70

37. The additional opportunities opened within my company with an MBA in Sustainable Business.
– Xavier A. Hairston-Khan ’14

38. It allowed me the opportunity to discover my own inner strength. Through the challenges of the courses, and the support and insights of my professors, I was able to perform at a much higher level than I ever imagined I could. I now have much more confidence and determination, and I am currently pursuing the opening of a socially responsible restaurant here in Amarillo, TX. I would not be doing this had it not been for my Marylhurst experience.

39. I met some wonderful lifelong friends. I am currently on a cross-country driving trip with two of them and am married to one of them.
– Katie Keller ’74

40. I was in my mid-60s, had raised seven children, had been in the work place, and was currently serving as a pastor’s wife; I still wanted to finish my college degree I had begun nearly 50 years earlier. I was scared beyond description, knew I could not keep up with the younger generation, or my children’s college grades…what to do? Sister Cecilia quieted my fears, and the trek began. It truly was a defining event in my life. I graduated at the tender age of 68 with high grades and joy in my heart for completing a 50-year-old dream. I have recently finished a manuscript of “My Story” due in part to the excellent education I received from Marylhurst University.
– Ruth Gibbs ’01

41. The university and its staff gave me the tools and opportunity to achieve my goals and improve my life. For that, I will be forever thankful. God Bless Marylhurst University!

UNI-thankful-quote-sylvia42. I made lasting friendships, received an outstanding education which gave me a rewarding teaching career, and still enjoy visiting the beautiful campus I called home for four years.
– Sylvia Paiva Keller ’68

43. It helped me find my voice when I thought I had none.

44. In a world of darkness and desperation, Marylhurst University stands strong and tall as a beacon of light and hope; and as a promise for a better tomorrow, filled with the life and love of Jesus Christ, as disciples and leaders are forged in the crucible of solid spiritual and academic growth. Knowledge Aflame!
– Steven Kulzer ’12

45. It gives me fond memories of some of my best times in life and wonderful friends of 55 years that I continue to be able to visit.
– Patricia Allen Maddux ’60
46. The university made it so easy for me to get back into college with credits that were 35 years old, and they made it possible for me to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. It was wonderful; the best college experience ever.
– Kim Stewart ’13

47. I was able to graduate from college with honors and a heart full of gratitude that I could go to a school that focuses on older adults returning to school.

48. They are supporting an innovative new program…Food Systems and Society!
– Kristy Athens ’15

49. My time on campus was so special; the friends I made, the nuns I loved, the great education.

50. When I didn’t believe I could finish my MBA, my Marylhurst professors believed it for me and provided the encouragement I needed.
51. Marylhurst helped me become the person I was meant to be, through insight and encouragement even in the most challenging of times. The staff in my department and the professors were kind and gentle in their guidance, and still held me to a higher standard to reach the goals I desired. I was both encouraged to reach new heights and to refine and tune my existing strengths. And let’s face it, the campus is an amazing place to learn … truly beautiful.
– Regina Anne Cristan’13

52. As a resident of the far north in Alaska, Marylhurst opened amazing doors and windows. The diversity of staff and students brought my focus to the many opportunities and depths that I could pursue. Marylhurst is the foundation of my success and happiness.

53. Grateful is not the word I would chose to describe what happened to me at Marylhurst; it was an awakening — for the first time in my life what I said and did mattered and was of value to others. My dad was very proud of me at graduation, as I was the first member of the family to ever graduate from a school of higher education.
– Andrea Abernethy ’93UNI-thankful-quote-andrea

54. Staff, faculty and students all supported and inspired each other while I worked at the university.

55. All the instructors in the graduate business classes loved their subjects and liked their students. The class sizes were small so everyone could have a chance to participate in discussions, ask questions and get extra help if needed. What I learned helped me not only in my career, but also in my personal life.

56. I was able to fulfill a dream of obtaining an MBA.

57. I have always been thankful that in the late 50s and early 60s, education at Marylhurst went beyond the classroom. When we gathered for dinner in the dining hall each evening we learned how to host and serve guests at our tables. We attended sessions with Anne Culkin, an actress and professional woman from New York City, who taught us how to sit and stand and walk and speak and get in and out of a car gracefully. All great life lessons that I’ve remembered often throughout the years.

58. I am thankful to Marylhurst for helping me accomplish a life-long dream of attaining my Master of Education. I had taught for 27 years, and Marylhurst allowed me the instruction and flexibility to complete the graduate program.
– Alex Gordin ’13

59. The culture that is encouraged and exhibited is all about respecting individuality, nurturing creativity and valuing the work adult learners have already done through the Prior Learning Assessment process. I am thankful I can call Marylhurst my alma mater.

60. The doors that have opened up to me since earning my MBA. People know and respect the university and the program.

61. Marylhurst gave me the opportunity to achieve my degree by allowing me to obtain new knowledge and apply that new knowledge to solving new problems.
– Stanley Esler ’08
62. Marylhurst provided to me both structure and freedom, both guidance and the opportunity to explore, both peace and stimulation, when I needed these things most. I am thankful every day for my education there, which is truly of a measureless value.
– Christopher Wicks ’97

63. I was able to re-take a needed class earlier that allowed me to complete my B.A. in Business Management on time.
– Cynthia Wilson ’13

64. The doors of opportunity that Marylhurst has opened for me! I am the CEO of Eagle Pride Construction, Inc. Marylhurst University and their stable of outstanding professors have polished my business acumen. I am thankful to Marylhurst for their attention to details and guidance. This was a lifetime experience that has widened my circle of professional and lifelong friends alike.
65. Because of you I am whole. Your trust in me, gave me the trust in me, that I offer to the world. The vision of the world offered through Marylhurst’s eyes is a world of kindness, strength, fortitude and beauty.
– Chena Tucker ’10

66. The Holy Names nuns gave the students unlimited time and devotion. We learned so much in this loving and caring environment — lessons which we tried to emulate in all of our later lives.
– Mary Ann Megale Guenther ’57

67. Knowledge learnt during the MBA in Sustainable Business made me a better person.

68. With my MBA, I was afforded the confidence and knowledge needed to receive two promotions in two years. I worked my way up from a sales representative to a regional trainer.

69. It was an easy university to attend, being small, intimate and convenient. There was no loss in quality or standards.

70. I received a wonderful education and met and have kept lifelong friends. I also spent a number of years on the faculty and was enriched by all the dedicated people as a member of the Board of Trustees.
– Sr. Joan Hansen, SNJM ’56

71. The wonderful professors that helped me with my B.A. and M.A. degrees. Marylhurst is kind to old people!
– Velda Metelmann ’11, ’14

72. Marylhurst provided me with both the foundational knowledge and a fantastic set of tools to be an effective leader and manager in the large corporate environment I work in. I received both of these things thanks to a group of exceptional educators that didn’t just provide me with “book learning” but could give concrete, real-life examples of how I could apply the concepts they were teaching. As an adult learner with heavy demands on my time, Marylhurst also provided me with the flexibility I needed to balance work, life and my education. Bottom line — I couldn’t do what I do without my Marylhurst experience…and I love what I do.

73. it was a great experience being part of the Marylhurst family. I’ve advanced my education and I’ve made friends around the country. Mostly I’m thankful for the high standards Marylhurst holds itself and its students to.

74. My peers and professors challenged me to think differently about how I work, play and serve others.

75. It gave me the opportunity to complete my degree, and move on to graduate school, despite being a young mother.

76. I am thankful to Marylhurst for their support, encouragement, flexible, accommodating, personal approach to my educational success.

77. The Marylhurst experience opened my heart, fed my intelligence and transformed my soul.

78. I couldn’t begin to share all of the wonderful, challenging things that happened to a small town girl, during those exciting four years at Marylhurst! Thanks for letting me remember many wonderful things.
– Shirley Knudeson ’58

79. I was able to use my life experiences to get college credit which enabled me to finish my degree sooner. Marylhurst planted me for my ongoing life; it gave me roots.
80. My courses, instructors, classmates and all staff members I came in contact with made me feel valued. My time spent on campus, events and working on assignments fortified me, enlightened me, restored my confidence and help me to see who I was, and more importantly who I could be. If I had it to do all over again I would at any price; my time at Marylhurst is priceless to me and has changed my life in the most wonderful ways. I am deeply grateful to and for Marylhurst and all the wonderful people I had the honor to come to know.
– Stacey Hardie ’10

81. Their Master of Education program not only prepared me well for a very challenging profession, but also introduced me to people who have become my best friends in Oregon.

82. The way it started my college career.

83. Marylhurst continues to hold a very special place in my heart. The kindness and consideration received there always makes me think about the caring of all students by professors and staff as well as the knowledge acquired there. It is a very spiritual place that I visit from time to time because it changed me and changed my life for the better.

84. Marylhurst gave me the opportunity to sustain full-time employment, while supporting my family and living a gratifying lifestyle.
– Stesha Powers ’14

85. The people I met there were exceptional. I am still friends with a few great Marylhurst grads, doing interesting things. The classes were small so we really knew each other well.

86. The Sisters of the Holy Names taught us the importance of being educated women in a free society. They showed us how to be prayerful, moral and responsible women with direction. It was the emphasis at Marylhurst on the “whole woman” that gave me inspiration. I am thankful for the history of Marylhurst originally founded by women, for women. Things have changed over time, but it’s important to remember how it started.

87. They are providing me the means to enrich my life with education and Marylhurst works around my busy work and home life schedule. The instructors care about providing a professional educational plan and work with you to achieve goals to succeed in the class. I am thankful to Marylhurst, because they are providing me a brighter future.

88. It opened up a whole new world to me. The gracious and firm Sisters who stimulated my mind and soul; the opportunity to make many new friends who in turn, opened wonderful, beautiful new vistas to me; and the wonderful, challenging teachers who made such a difference in my life.

89. Studies in both psychology and religion gave me a great healing. From the power of belief and how our world is made from it, to the realization that we are all the love of God. Marylhurst was a gift to me.

90. The many doors the educational achievement opened.

91. We girls learned so much from the Sisters — not just scholastically, but in etiquette, coping with life situations, being well-grounded in our faith, and being prepared for the future in our chosen fields.

92. All of the effort that instructors and staff put into ensuring that I was successful in the program.

93. It continues to enrich my life with possibilities.
– A. Viloria ’04

94. It gave an excellent education with great instructors during the early 70s. The education and home economics departments were ahead of their time!

95. Marylhurst provided me with an excellent opportunity to learn, grow and discover my true passion for using technology to make the world a better place.

96. I was able to earn not only my B.S. in Business Management but also to gain a greater understanding of who I am and how valuable.

97. Marylhurst is academic excellence at its best! My communication degree program was able to provide me with a set of tools to help me adapt more successfully to many environments.
– Betsy Lematta ’03

98. I feel a liberal education gives you a map to the world. From the time I stepped on campus to the time I received my diploma, I felt honored and embraced by the community of Sisters and fellow students. Thanks to the continuing commitment to the educational and societal goals of Marylhurst University I am still involved in her world.
– June Brockmeier ’69

Cat-Wilson-sketch-Simon-Tam-Alumni-Pub-Talk99. I couldn’t begin to share all of the wonderful, challenging things that happened to a small town girl, during those exciting four years at Marylhurst! Thanks for letting me remember many wonderful things.
– Shirley Knudeson ’58

100. We are thankful for the invitation to alumni to attend special events. For example, Simon Tam’s Alumni Pub Talk at Widmer Brewery. (sketch by Cat Wilson)
– Cat Wilson ’01 & Rich Aanarich ’99

What about you?
Why are you thankful for Marylhurst University?