Dr. Rosalie Mirenda
The Malvern Retreat House presented its annual
St. Joseph the Worker Medal to Dr. Rosalie Mirenda, president of Neumann University, on November 10, 2013. Dr. Mirenda is the first woman in the 100-year history of the Retreat House to receive the award.
“You were selected by our committee to receive this award due to your exemplary life of faith and service to the Church and Community,” wrote Retreat House President James Fitzsimmons in a letter to Mirenda.
Dr. Mirenda became president of Neumann University in July of 1996. Since she became president, the total enrollment tripled (from less than 900 to almost 3000), annual and capital giving has increased by more than 30 percent, the campus has expanded from 14 to 68 acres, new academic programs were added (including four doctorates), athletic teams have grown from 9 to 21, and fully wired residence halls have been built to accommodate 850 students.
In 2009, the University opened the Mirenda Center for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development, a 72,000 square foot facility named in honor of Dr. Mirenda and her husband Tony. Designed to be more than an athletic center, the building uses exhibits and storytelling to provide a new perspective on sports, one that goes beyond the obvious element of competition to address the myriad ways in which students learn life lessons, develop character and deepen spirituality through sports.
Dr. Mirenda is committed to the Catholic Franciscan mission of the University, which is based on the belief that knowledge, while valuable in itself, is best used in the service of others. She has enhanced this distinctive identity, taking great delight in sharing her Catholic faith, beliefs and wisdom with others, both as a writer and as a speaker. She participated and spoke at the Rally for Freedom: Relevance to Higher Education - Stand up for Religious Freedom in 2012. In addition, she has presented at a number of varied higher education meetings and conferences on the Role of Mission and Student Experience, Optimizing the Role of Collaboration in Meeting Institutional Challenges, and Ensuring Student Success: Getting the Right Fit.
She serves on the board of the World Meeting of Families 2015, Inc., and served as Chair of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary’s Task Force on College. She was appointed by the late Bishop Joseph McFadden to the Ex Corde Ecclesiae Working Group for the Committee on Catholic Education, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and is a member of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
Rosalie has been recognized by a number of organizations for her distinguished character and numerous accomplishments. She is receiving the Gary Papa Award (2013) from the Delaware County Community Foundation, and has received the Sons of Italy Distinguished Achievement Award (2013), the Sourin Award (2012) from the Catholic Philopatrian Literary Society, the Catholic Graduate Hall of Fame Award (2011) from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Woman on the Move Award (2011) from Main Line Times, The Key and Sword Award, Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul (2011), the Catholic Leadership Institute Award (2010), the Outstanding Alumnus Award (2006) from Widener University, and the Pontifical Honor of the Cross, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (2003).
Dr. Mirenda earned her Ph.D. from Widener University, her MSN from the University of Pennsylvania, and her B.S. in Nursing from Villanova University. She is married to Anthony D. Mirenda. They have three adult children and five grandchildren.
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