1958 Celebration Campaign
Please join our 1958 Celebration honoring the Sisters of St. Francis: the founders and sponsors of Lourdes University.
Honor the Sisters of St. Francis with a Commemorative Gift Now
What is the 1958 Celebration?
From now through January 13, the 1958 Celebration recognizes the founders of Lourdes University, the Sisters of St. Francis. For more than 60 years, the Sisters have been integral in establishing Lourdes as a premier higher-education institution, and their vision continues to propel us forward.
Why celebrate now?
The past year has been challenging for everyone. Since March, we’ve divided our campus to help keep the Sisters safe from the dangers of the coronavirus. We feel their absence on our campus and in our lives. They miss all of us, too. We celebrate them now to bring joy to an incredibly difficult time.
Listen as some of your favorite Sisters share personal stories and connections to Lourdes.
Why is January 13 meaningful?
January 13 marks the date the Sisters signed the official charter for Lourdes.
How can you make a difference?
Using this celebration bell, send words of encouragement and love to a Sister — or a Lourdes faculty and staff member — that has touched your life in a meaningful way. We will display the bells on campus and online for all to read. Although we are apart, your words can mean the world in another person’s day.
You may also honor the Sisters with a commemorative 1958 Celebration gift. Your donation is a terrific way to further the mission of Lourdes while building on the foundation the Sisters created more than six decades ago. Your gift will keep Lourdes’ operating with excellence as the University continually pushes the forefront of innovation.
Honoring Legacy of Sisters in Memorial
After entering the Sisters of St. Francis in 1954, Sister Adrienne Urban, OSF, professed her final vows in 1960. She dedicated most of her 63 years in religious life to the ministry of education. For more than three decades, Sister Adrienne taught biology, anatomy, and physiology at Lourdes College, and she was on hand to witness the school’s transformation to a university.
After retiring from teaching, Sister Adrienne continued her commitment to Lourdes and the SOSF community. She assisted in the chapel and All Good Things Gift Shop and with outdoor tasks around campus. We remember Sister Adrienne for her kind, gentle, and helpful nature, as well as her lovely smile.
Sister Lucilla Osinski, OSF, entered the religious life after graduating from the eighth-grade. She earned a bachelor’s degree at St. Teresa College and a master’s and Ph.D. at Catholic University in Washington, DC. Sister Lucilla taught English for many years at Lourdes around the time the college evolved from a women’s school to a co-educational institution. Serving as academic dean from the mid-1970s to 1981, she dealt with Lourdes’ curriculum development and oversaw student counseling services. Known for her brilliance and dedication, Sister Lucilla eventually returned to teaching.
Sister Alberta Uzedoski, OSF, dedicated her life to the ministry of teaching. She taught math and religion at Central Catholic High School from 1936 to 1956. She later served as chairwoman of the mathematics department and director of the Al-Geo-Trig mathematics publication.
During her lifetime, Sister Alberta earned a bachelor’s degree from the former DeSales College in Toledo; a master’s in mathematics from Loyola University; and a doctorate in mathematics from St. Louis University. She also taught math at Lourdes College. Sister Alberta was registrar at Lourdes College from 1981 until 1990. Then, after learning to use a computer at age 79, she became a bookkeeper in the Franciscan Center. She enjoyed campus-wide admiration for her devotion to education and her love for Lourdes.
Sister Cabrini Warpeha, OSF, arrived at Lourdes in 1983 as the college was seeking accreditation as a four-year institution. Later, as vice president and dean for academic affairs, she would help lead reaccreditation efforts. Sister Cabrini developed several bachelor’s of arts and science degree programs and the weekend college program. She helped improve the general education curriculum and encouraged diversity concepts in the curriculum and academic environments.
Debbie Schwartz—a retired Lourdes English professor and administrator—described Sister Cabrini’s importance to Lourdes as monumental. “She was the doer,” said Schwartz. While others might have had the vision, it was Cabrini who made things happen. “She motivated everybody...to turn that college from a place no one had heard of to a viable institution of higher education.”
Sister Rosaria Petra, OSF, president of Lourdes College from 1972 to 1981, paved the way for Lourdes to become a four-year institution. During her tenure as president, Lourdes grew from a women’s college with just 100 students to a co-educational school enrolling more than 600. After receiving a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, Sister Rosaria taught in various elementary schools, high schools, and colleges throughout Michigan and Ohio. She eventually served four years on the Sylvania Franciscan Leadership team. She returned to Sylvania in 2004 and volunteered at the Rosary Care Center, helping other sisters. Her happiness and smile were contagious.