The founders and sponsors of the University of Mary are the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation.
The prayerful presence of the Sisters on our campus strengthens us and inspires the Benedictine values by which we live. Several Sisters serve on the faculty and staff of the university, and Annunciation Monastery is a short walk from the campus buildings. The Prioress of the monastic community and a number of the Sisters serve on our Board of Trustees, participating in the governance of the university. And in a true spirit of hospitality, the Sisters open their doors to the university community, welcoming students for regularly scheduled events and special occasions throughout the year.
The Sisters enhance our understanding of mission in valuable ways through their ministry of sponsorship.
To learn more about our Sisters or to arrange for a visit to Annunciation Monastery, visit their website at www.annunciationmonastery.org, watch a vocations video or follow them on Facebook.
From Learning to Lead, a history of the University of Mary:
How does one capture the spirit of a group of monastic women who chose to leave what they knew and loved in Minnesota for the prairies of western North Dakota? The Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery are called the founders and sponsors of the University of Mary, but perhaps pioneers would be the defining word. If they could serve the people of the area and advance the Kingdom of God, these faith-filled Sisters were ready to move westward, reach outward, and lead forward with persistence and courage.
And that is how they began [more than] fifty years ago. They recognized the educational needs of young women joining their monastic community and of other women of all ages desiring degrees in nursing and teaching. They saw, too, the religious and cultural needs of the people in the region, many of whom would develop lifelong relationships with the Sisters. Despite scarce resources, they acquired property with a breathtaking view overlooking the Missouri River to launch a college named for the mother of Jesus.
Here they prayed and worked to create an entity that would be distinctive in its identity as Christian, Catholic, and Benedictine; formative in a curriculum with a strong liberal-arts base; collaborative with its counterparts in the Church, in higher education, and in the civic community.
Mother Edane Volk, prioress and first president of Mary College, used the metaphor of a seed to describe the pioneering efforts of the Sisters. "Even from the start, Providence kept inviting us to grow, to offer additional classes to a greater number of people. As I reflect on how much has come from the tiny seed we first called Mary College, I can only conclude with gratitude to God for leading us into this venture."
- Sister Thomas Welder, O.S.B., president emerita of the university