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Mary Kate's Story Brings Neumann to Life

Mary Kate McGurk


Neumann Navigators shoulder much responsibility in their role as university spokespeople. They meet families who are likely visiting Neumann for the first time and lead them on campus tours. The navigators can describe building and reel off facts about the university, but their real task is to capture the Neumann spirit – in about 45 minutes in front of people they have never met. This summer, Mary Kate McGurk, a senior navigator, illustrated the impact that a student can have on a visiting family.


After touring with Mary Kate, a mother of a prospective student summarized her experience in an email to Sr. Marguerite O’Beirne, OSF. In part, it reads:


My son, Brian, and I visited Neumann yesterday.
I wanted to thank you for the wonderful impression you and the entire staff gave us of Neumann University. Every single person we met greeted Mary Kate by name, and several faculty members stopped to welcome us to Neumann.
We had done our homework ahead of time, and knew many of the reasons to consider Neumann. But what your website couldn't tell us was the incredible generosity of spirit evident in your school.
One example was the story Mary Kate told us of Superstorm Sandy... she said that the LLC's were under lockdown for the protection of the students, but that each LLC was well stocked with food for the storm. As someone who spent that night sleeping on the cement basement floor of our Long Island home, I can very much appreciate that you did for your students what I did for my own family -- tried to ensure both their safety and their comfort at a frightening time.  That example, and others like it, leave me very comfortable with the idea of sending Brian (and maybe one or both of his sisters down the road) to Neumann.
From your beautiful campus to the ready evidence that this is indeed a Catholic school, to the feeling that this more than a school, it's a home -- we were incredibly impressed by all of it.
Brian tends to be a man of few words, at least at first. So I've gotten into the habit of asking 2 questions after our college tours:

What didn't you like? "Absolutely nothing!!"
Can you see yourself going to school here? "Oh, yeah!!"

More than facts and figures, this family remembered Mary Kate’s personal story of how Neumann provided care and safety for its students at a time of need. Only students, who have lived the Neumann experience, can offer testimony this powerful.


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