Thursday, January 29, 2015

An {Unstoppable} Sister

Sister Mary Evelyn, center, with some of the Education faculty in 1975.
THE UNIVERSITY IS MOURNING the passing of one of its longtime faculty members, Sister Mary Evelyn Flynn, CSJ, who died January 21 at age 87. A Mount alumna, she was a professor and academic adviser for more than 30 years, mostly in the Education Department. And, typical of our CSJs, she was a lot more besides.

Sister Mary Evelyn Flynn '53 at her day job in 1978.
She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet on September 1, 1944, and earned her BA degree in English in 1951. After years in elementary education and administration at the Archdiocese level, Sister Mary Evelyn earned an M.A. in Education at the Mount and M.S. in Reading Specialization at  USC. She joined the Mount Education faculty in 1971.

But teaching was just the day job. She did double and triple duty beyond the classroom, serving as faculty moderator to different student organizations and the ASB, and as dorm "mom" – technically "floor warden" in Brady Hall in the 1970s. She accompanied students on their summer trips to Europe and volunteered for the long-running Phonathon annual fundraiser.

Students, staff and faculty showed their appreciation by naming her "outstanding adviser" more than once. She provided academic advisement in Education, English, Liberal Studies and even Nursing, and watched with pride as 30 of the Education Department's advisees received awards from the prestigious Rockefeller Bros. Fund.

She was one of the recipients of a CAPHE grant in 1988 to do research into the best methodologies for meeting the needs of the Mount's rapidly changing student demographics. Her topic was peer coaching in a highly diverse environment. (CAPHE stands for Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education; the grants for diversity research were also funded by the Times Mirror Foundation.)

An earlier grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1985 enabled her to study children's literature, for which she had a special love, at the University of Connecticut.

In her spare time (did she have spare time?) she loved to read, confiding to the Oracle campus newspaper in March, 2000, that she liked
almost all children’s books. I also like mysteries and biographies…  a lot of things! But I don’t like books by authors like Stephen King.
Sister Mary Evelyn, left, with former academic dean
Father Matthew Delaney and Prof. Wanda Teays
in November, 2005.
Sister Mary Evelyn was into her 80s before she finally retired from active mission at MSMU. We offer our condolences to all her Sisters in the CSJs’ L.A. province, especially her sibling Sister Daniel Therese Flynn, CSJ ’60.  Blessings on all the {unstoppable} Sisters and what they’ve done and continue to do for the {unstoppable} Mount.

CSJ Appreciation Day at MSMU in March, 2004. Sister Mary Evelyn is
on the far right. Her sibling Sister Daniel Therese Flynn, CSJ, '60 is second
from the left in the front row.
Note: Dates for Sister's entry into the CSJs and degrees were later updated with new information from the CSJ Provincial Archives. -  Ed.

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