When the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg founded Marian College in Indianapolis in 1937, they realized their vision of a rigorous, exemplary liberal arts education for women focused on empowering its students to effect positive and enduring change in the world. At a time in our nation’s history when most women were denied the formal educational opportunities available to men, Marian College fostered the development of transformative women leaders. The Sisters’ stated resolve “to do the best that can be done” in building the school informed the institution’s fundamental understanding of its academic mission: “Marian College endeavors to permeate every aspect of its curriculum with the spirit of Franciscan joy, so that its students…may contribute constructively to the home, the Church, the civic community, and the world.” Since its inception, a Marian education developed leaders intent on improving the lives of others. From their strength as a community they provided a model of collaborative, inspiring leadership dedicated to the realization of a more just and equitable world through academic excellence and social responsibility.
This project is a collection of oral histories delivered by numerous Sisters of St. Francis. While discussing their own personal histories, they also provide a deep and genuine insight of life and service "in community", at their convent in Oldenburg, Indiana. The goal of this collection is to preserve their legacy so that it may be applied across curriculums that include models of leadership, service, and international relations.
Note: Interviews were conducted by Professor Mary Ellen Lennon between 2014-2016. Processing of the audio and transcription content was performed by Hackelmeier Memorial Library staff. Loose transcriptions were based on guidelines established by Baylor University. Record bibliographic structure was inspired by the Jefferson Digital Commons First Women at TJU collection. Use of Oldenburg convent images were kindly granted by Beverly Wilson at the Oldenburg Franciscan Center. Photographs were generously provided by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer and Marian University faculty member Bill Foley.