Siena College is honored to have the opportunity to recognize the life of service of Sister Margaret Carney.
Since 2004, Sister Margaret as President of St. Bonaventure University, has worked with Trustees and the University community to develop a 21st century plan for educational excellence in a student-centered learning environment. She has established the Damietta Center, a multicultural center, celebrating the diversity of the campus community and the Mychal Judge Center, a new program of study that centers on Ireland's journey from sectarian violence to powersharing and peace. The University's new "First-Year Experience" program is renewing the way in which new students come to grips with the potential of their college careers. Since Sister Margaret became President, the University has added a number of new academic offerings. A unique Art History program uses the Regina A. Quick Center's renowned private collection of art as a primary resource. A dual-admissions/dual-degree program in the Health Professions is attracting candidates from across the country. Also available are new options in Sports Studies, Theater Arts, Integrated Marketing and Communications, and Gerontology. St. Bonaventure University has invested approximately $25 million in seven major building or renovation projects on its 500-acre campus since Sister Margaret took office. She was also a driving force in The Anniversary Campaign for St. Bonaventure University, with the campaign surpassing its $90 million goal by $5 million.
A leader with a strong impulse for collaboration both on and off campus, she is a board member of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Alvernia University, and the Secretariat for the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition. She is also a member of The Atlantic 10 Conference's Council of Presidents.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sister Margaret received her Doctorate in Theology in Rome in 1988, becoming the first woman to graduate from the Franciscan University of Rome at the doctoral level. She studied in Europe after having completed Masters' degrees in Theology at Duquesne University and Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure University.
From 1980 to 1982, she worked as a member of an international commission on a new Rule of Life for the 400 institutes of the Franciscan Third Order Regular, eventually approved by Pope John Paul II. Sister Margaret has lectured extensively both in the United States and abroad.
In 1997, Sister Margaret came to St. Bonaventure University to serve as a faculty member of its world-renowned Franciscan Institute. Within two years, she was named its Dean and Director. She promoted a number of important collaborations during that time, including partnerships with the Franciscan Family of East Africa; special summer seminars for the cloistered Poor Clare nuns; re-organized the publishing staff; and renewed international relationships with other contemporary Franciscan scholars.
Sister Margaret holds five honorary doctorates. She is a member of Duquesne University's Century Club. She received The Community Leader Interfaith Award from the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York in 2007. This past year, The LOUIE Award of the Greater Olean business community was conferred in view of her success in restoring confidence and trust in the University's economic role in the region.
In recognition of her dedication to live a noble life of service to others through her faith and skills as an educator and leader within the Franciscan community, Siena College awards Sister Margaret Carney, the honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.