Sister Ann Francis Klimkowski

Founded in 1983, the Lourdes Auxiliary was established as an outreach organization. With the goal of providing support to the college, its programs and activities, the dedicated individuals made a lasting impact.

One objective of newly appointed president Sister Ann Francis Klimkowski, OSF, PhD, was to strengthen the development office led by Ms. Linde Clemens. Previously, Ms. Clemens had sought the assistance of parishioners at St. Joseph Parish in Sylvania which led to the Lourdes Auxiliary being formed.

For 35 years, the auxiliary ladies and often times their husbands created activities and events to support student scholarships. This organization was instrumental in designing the first ever signature Lourdes event – the Black Tie Bingo Gala which would later become Luminations. In addition to their unending dedication to the institution and priceless assistance in growing awareness of the college, they also raised close to $200,000 to benefit student scholarships and the excellent Franciscan education it provides.

In 2019, after three decades of phenomenal service to Lourdes, the University chose to honor the organization and the amazing members with a commemorative brick placed in the St. Clare plaza.

“The Auxiliary was instrumental in Lourdes’ early success. As the University continues to enhance and expand its academic programs and services, we must also create initiatives that provide the necessary funding support.

For that reason, the Lourdes Society was established. In the next several months, Lourdes will continue to strengthen connections with some of our closest friends who have supported the University through scholarships, fundraising events and campaigns. Taking our cue from the Auxiliary members who came before us, the Lourdes Society will carry the torch and blaze a new path for the University,” says President Mary Ann Gawelek.

“The Auxiliary played a pivotal role in this institution’s history. Their contribution is invaluable to what the University is today. As President, I could always count on them to assist us in a variety of development initiatives. The role of the Auxiliary in the development of Lourdes truly cannot be underestimated. They provided a service upon which much of Lourdes was built. The University is grateful to these gracious and talented ladies and gentlemen. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to them. They will forever remain in our hearts,” adds Sister Ann Francis.

Based on their long history of dedication and support to Lourdes, many former Auxiliary constituents will now become treasured Lourdes Society members.

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