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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Congratulations to Rosemary Holland Gidionsen, MV'50

Rosemary Holland Gidionsen will be honored by Maryville University 
during the upcoming Reunion Weekend on September 23, 2011.  

After hearing and reading much about Rosemary Gidionsen over the years, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting her for the first time last April when she arrived in Miami to attend the 38th Biennial AASH Conference. Rosemary as you will read below was one of the four 2011 AASH Cor Unum recipients.  And, this past June while in St. Louis for our first AASH Board meeting a mutual friend Helen Mashburn Penton and her husband Bill hosted both Rosemary and I for dinner.  What an evening!  Great food and lively conversation!  Rosemary you are very much deserving of this honor and I send you, Jeff Flieg '96 and Kay Blumestock Thorton '05 my very best wishes.   

The article below was taken from the July 2011 issue of  Maryville University ~ The Clock Tower

Rosemary Gidionsen, ‘50
The 2011 Centennial Award from Maryville University recognizes a lifestyle best exemplifying the values of the Sacred Heart tradition. It will be presented during Alumni Weekend to Rosemary Gidionsen, ’50 – alumna, alumni parent, former director of various alumni and constituent relations, and past executive assistant to two Maryville presidents, Claudius Pritchard and Keith Lovin.

Gidionsen’s years of dedication to the University are, in some ways, the glue that binds one generation to the next. Greatly guided by long-held wisdom shared by then-president Odeide Mouton, RSCJ, who first welcomed her as student to Maryville, Gidionsen found herself in a unique position to help the University bridge major periods of transition, especially when the Religious of the Sacred Heart turned the institution over to a lay board in 1972.

“The Society was founded to meet the educational needs of the time and that’s what Maryville was doing in creating a lay board, changing programs and admitting men,” Gidionsen says. “One of the things I’m most proud of is being able to communicate these changes to alumni and help them understand and adjust.”

In honor of Gidionsen’s work with Maryville, the Sacred Heart Chapel in Hutting Chapel on campus is dedicated in her name. She was also awarded the Southern Region 2011 Cor Unum Award last spring by The Associated Alumnae and Alumni of the Sacred Heart.

Gidionsen is still involved in voluntary advisory roles with Maryville as a member of the National Leadership Councils for the University Library and the Duchesne Society.

“I’ve never considered my role at Maryville as a career – I consider it an extension of the life I had chosen as wife and mother and I loved every minute of it. Someone once told me that the role of a mother is to interpret members of the family to one another,” Gidionsen says. “That philosophy has guided me, and it carried over into my years at Maryville during those times of uncertainty and institutional change regarding the influence of the Religious of the Sacred Heart.”

Rosemary Holland Gidionsen pictured with her family at the
2011 AASH Conference in Miami after receiving the Cor Unum award
see page 8 of the Winter 2010 issue of Esprit de Coeur 

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