February 24, 2017, Miami Shores, Florida – Two Adrian Dominican Sisters – Peg Albert, OP, PhD, and Nancy Murray, OP – were among 10 to be honored as Distinguished Alumni of Barry University. The February 9 award luncheon, held at the Coral Gables Country Club, launched Barry’s Reunion Weekend.
“There are lots of graduates of Barry, so it was an honor to be chosen,” said Sister Peg in an interview. “It’s affirming that some of the things you’ve done in your life, you’ve done well or you’ve made a difference in our world somehow.”
In her brief acceptance remarks, Sister Peg expressed deep gratitude to her family and friends, to Barry University, and to all who supported her and the institutions where she served. She urged the Barry community to “stay on the path of mission. If you’re true to your mission, everything else good will happen to you.” She added, “When you graduate, you don’t lose the mission. It just becomes more deeply a part of you.”
Sister Peg, President for the past 10 years of Siena Heights University in Adrian, studied for two years at Barry before entering the Adrian Dominican Congregation, then completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Wayne State University in Detroit. She earned both her master’s degree and her doctorate in social work at Barry, and completed post-doctoral work at the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Sister Peg ministered for 23 years at Barry: as an associate professor of social work and a therapist for 12 years and as associate vice president for student services from 1988 to 1994, when she was named executive vice president. In 2001, she led Barry’s School of Law, helping it to earn accreditation with the American Bar Association. Sister Peg was named President of Siena Heights in 2006.
Both Barry and Siena Heights Universities were founded and are sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
In an interview in Adrian, Sister Peg said her years as a student at Barry gave her the opportunity to meet people from different cultures, religions, and ethnic groups. In her work at Barry, she found “a real vibrant community – a community that cared for one another … and reached out beyond itself to care for others.” She has found a similar community at Siena Heights.
She added her time at Barry influenced her sense of ministry. “Hopefully it helped me to develop a generous heart,” Sister Peg said. “I learned at Barry and I learn here to stand back and do all that I can, but ultimately everything is in the hands of God, that sense of trust that it’s God’s mission, not my mission. But I try to make God’s mission my own.”
Born in Wilmette, Illinois, Sister Nancy Murray graduated from Regina Dominican High School, also sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She graduated from Barry with a bachelor’s degree in theatre and a minor in education, and went on to earn a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University, Chicago.
Sister Nancy has taught at all grade levels, from elementary to university, and has served as campus minister and as the pastoral associate of an inner-city parish. Most recently, she has traveled throughout the world, on five continents, in her one-woman show portraying the life of the great Dominican mystic and Doctor of the Church, St. Catherine of Siena. Barry recognized Sister Nancy especially for work in spreading awareness of St. Catherine of Siena.
In an interview, Sister Nancy recalled her time at Barry University, 1971-72, when she had the opportunity not only to study theatre, but to be involved in Barry’s productions. Shortly after she arrived, she said, she was chosen to play Fruma Sarah and as a member of the chorus in Fiddler on the Roof. She also directed Arsenic and Old Lace, in which one of her theatre teachers played a role. “She was just as pliable and docile as the others in the cast,” Sister Nancy recalled. “She let me know it was my job to be her director.”
Speaking of Barry’s influence on her life, Sister Nancy said, “The image of giving roots and wings is often used in parenting, but I use it in education. Education gave me roots, grounding me in knowledge, family, classmates and gave me the wings to take off and share the script of Catherine that has brought me around the world.”
Feature photo (above): Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, center, President of Barry University, with two of Barry’s Distinguished Alumni: Sister Nancy Murray, OP, left, and Sister Peg Albert, OP. Dan Bock/Barry University
By Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life
November 23, 2016, Miami, Florida – Four new Adrian Dominican Associates were accepted into Associate Life during two separate Rites of Acceptance at Barry University during Founders’ Week. All four serve on the faculty or in the administration of Barry.
The annual week in November celebrates the university’s Adrian Dominican heritage and its foundation by Mother Gerald Barry, OP, then Prioress of the Congregation; The Most Reverend Patrick Barry, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida; Monsignor William Barry, pastor of St. Patrick Parish on Miami Beach; and John (Jack) Graves Thompson, Mayor of Miami Shores.
Carmen McCrink and Michael Provitera were formally accepted during the Founders’ Week Mass on November 14.
Carmen, an associate professor and chair of the Department of Higher Education Administration, teaches doctoral students in leadership and education and higher education administration. She enjoys teaching the History of Education course, which includes the contributions of St. Thomas Aquinas to the founding of medieval universities.
Born in Cuba, Carmen moved to the United States with her family in 1962. Her hope is to continue to share the Dominican charism with her students and co-workers.
As professor of organizational behavior, Michael instructs students on helping veterans and the poor and founded the Coalition of Children’s Book Authors, which has sent brand new books to the people of Tanzania. He wrote the book Mastering Self-Motivation: Preparing Yourself for Personal Excellence.
Michael brings an enthusiasm to all that he does, and is ready to share the Dominican charism with his students, co-workers, and family, including his wife, Erin, and daughters Janet and Lauren.
Christopher (Kit) Starratt and Gerene (Gerry) Starratt – married for 42 years – were welcomed as new Associates during a ritual on November 16. They have three adult children and are active in their parish, St. Jerome, in Fort Lauderdale.
Kit, Vice President for Mission and Institutional Effectiveness, has served at Barry since 1993. His ministry is to increase the level of our Dominican heritage at Barry by establishing programs to facilitate this process. A clinical neuropsychologist, he noted, “I have found that education is a powerful tool to alleviate human suffering and to combat social injustice."
Gerry, an associate professor of education, teaches methodology and statistics for the School of Education and serves as a dissertation advisor. “Our family values – and my personal values – are aligned with the mission and vision of the Adrian Dominican Sisters,” she said in explaining her attraction to Associate Life. She is a member of her parish’s Chancel Choir and Women’s Emmaus Ministry and makes and repairs rosaries.
The new Associates were mentored by Sisters Mary Fran Fleischaker, OP, Mary Tindel, OP, and Evelyn Piche, OP. Dr. Roxanne Davies, Associate Vice President for Mission and Institutional Effectiveness, facilitated the formation sessions taught by the Sisters and Associates at Barry. They will work with a new group of prospective Associates, who will study the Dominican charism and discern Associate Life.
Feature photo: Carmen McCrink and Michael Provitera, new Adrian Dominican Associates from Barry University, listen as Mary Lach, Director of Associate Life, leads the November 14 Rite of Acceptance. Photo by Thierry Lach