Villa Maria alumnae from eight decades returned to campus on Sunday, April 19, for the 2015 Alumnae Luncheon. The day featured campus tours, Mass and the presentation of the Ars Liberalis and Maxis Awards, and brunch and cocktails in the gym.
Sister Theresa Maxis Award for Leadership
Kathi Novelli Clapham ’89 received the Maxis Award for her work on the boards of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Penn Medicine to raise funds to find a cure for this congenital life-threatening illness. Kathi drew on her own life struggle with cystic fibrosis and, nine years ago, a double lung transplant to become a noted health care advocate and motivational speaker. Kathi is an active volunteer and spokesperson for the Gift of Life Foundation which promotes the life-saving gifts of organ and tissue transplants. She is the creator and co-author of the book Mommy Can Play Again,a book that explains the process of transplantation to children and families. Through her dedicated efforts, great medical strides have been made in organ donation from living donors, in anti-rejection therapies, and in medical devices that allow those awaiting a transplant to wait at home. Great social strides have been made as well in education about transplantation and in the number of registered organ donors. Kathi and her husband Drew have been married for 13 years, and are parents to eleven-year old twins Paul and Sarah. Kathi is a graduate of Barry University with a degree in theater.
Ars Liberalis Award for Service
Sister John Sheila Galligan, IHM, S.T.L., S.T.D. ’65 (Susie Galligan) received the Ars Liberalis Award for her innovative approaches to fostering a deeper understanding of God in the community at large. Her ability to deliver compelling messages in familiar language has helped many people embrace the path of Christian discipleship. She has published many articles and spoken across the country about how important it is for Catholics to be proud of their faith and to engage a culture that is indifferent to religion with an ability to explain and proclaim the faith. Sister Sheila’s current research is focused on the topic of forgiveness, with her primary interest in its theological and pastoral aspects. She is delving into contemporary behavioral research on the means, processes and effects of forgiveness. The goal of her research is to understand the interpersonal, intra-personal and group processes that lead to effective Christian forgiveness. Sister is presently a professor of theology at Immaculata University. She is a graduate of Immaculata University, St Charles Seminary, and the Angelicum in Rome.
Members of the Class of 1965, the Golden Girls, brought back memories for many by singing their class song, and performing Bless This House.