SJC to honor S. Loretta at 2015 commencement
May 01, 2015 BK LI
Provost S. Loretta McGrann, C.S.J., Ph.D., will address the graduates at St. Joseph’s College’s 96th commencement exercises this spring. The Brooklyn commencement will be held at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, May 23; and the Long Island ceremony will be held at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale on Tuesday, May 26.
“S. Loretta has been a relentless advocate for quality curriculum, student success and assessment,” said Jack P. Calareso, Ph.D., president of St. Joseph’s College. “A Sister of St. Joseph, S. Loretta has embodied the community’s charism in her work with those in greatest need and her advocacy for all people.”
The Board of Trustees unanimously accepted Dr. Calareso’s recommendation to award S. Loretta an honorary Doctor of Arts and Humane Letters at the 2015 commencement exercises. In June, she will step down after 10 years as provost, and take a one-semester sabbatical before returning to the English department next spring as an instructor.
“S. Loretta was the right person at the right time in the ongoing development of SJC,” said Academic Vice President Emerita S. Mary Florence Burns ’46, C.S.J., Ph.D. “She played a significant role in the development of the Long Island Campus.”
“S. Loretta has been a relentless advocate for quality curriculum, student success and assessment. A Sister of St. Joseph, S. Loretta has embodied the community’s charism in her work with those in greatest need and her advocacy for all people.”
— Jack P. Calareso, Ph.D., president of St. Joseph’s College
Appointed provost in 2005, S. Loretta has been a fixture at St. Joseph’s since 1978. She is the former vice president for academic affairs and Long Island Campus academic dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.
“Her qualities of leadership and persuasion, her sense of humor, her ability to charge forward, recognize occasional mistakes, change course, and then move on again, strengthened the Patchogue Campus, and for the last 12 years, the entire College,” S. Mary Florence said.
Loretta received a B.A. from Seton Hill College in Greensburg, Pennsylvania; an M.A. from Brooklyn College; and a Ph.D. from Stony Brook University. All three degrees were in English, with her master’s specifically in English education. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she taught at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and later at Bishop Kearney High School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
She began her career at St. Joseph’s College as the director of student services and instructor in English, and later served as a professor, associate chairperson and chairperson of the English Department. In 1990, she was also visiting assistant professor of the graduate English department at Stony Brook University.
Throughout her academic career, S. Loretta has been a member of numerous committees including the Collegewide Planning Committee, the College Advisory Council, the Academic Development Committee, the Steering Committee for Middle States Periodic Review Report and the Intra-College Council. During her tenure the number of faculty grew from 92 to 187 to serve the concurrent increase in the student body.
Loretta has been dedicated to her scholarship and to her community. She has presented several papers on topics in African-American literature, her field of study, and has participated in numerous literature conferences. She has been a member of such professional organizations as the American Studies Association, the National Council of Teachers of English and the American Association of University Women.
In addition to her professional activities, while dean of the Long Island Campus, S. Loretta served the local community by participating in such activities as the Visiting Scholars Program: Lectures in Poetry Writing for the Consolation Nursing Home, and the Institute for Religion and Literature at St. Lawrence Parish in Sayville. She has served as a board member for St. Joseph High School in Brooklyn, and the Academy of St. Joseph in Brentwood; and is a currently a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens.