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In the Spotlight
October 26, 2018

St. Francis College Celebrates Two Milestone Anniversaries

160th Anniversary and 50 Years of Coeducation

St. Francis College is proud to celebrate two milestone anniversaries – its 160th anniversary of the college and 50 years of educating women.

Over the course of the year, the campus will engage the community in a series of celebratory activities, events and initiatives in recognition of the College's rich history and achievements made by SFC women.

"As we celebrate our 160-year history and the contributions of women who have paved the way for younger generations, it challenges us to have a conversation about the value of diversity in learning environments," said St. Francis College President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D.

As the 1960s drew to a close, St. Francis College became a fully coeducational institution, admitting its first female students other than nuns, who had been enrolling since 1953. The first class of women was just 13 students. Today, over 60 percent of the full-time undergraduate student population and 52 percent of the graduate population are women.

"Back in 1859, the Franciscan Brothers laid a foundation for us to remain committed to serving populations that didn't have access to a college education and we're committed now more than ever to continuing that tradition," added President Martinez-Saenz. "We've got to number those trailblazers who have created conditions for the young people today."

The kick-off event for the 160/50 celebrations did just that. The Women as Catalysts for Change event, hosted by the Women's Leadership Network (WLN) - an affinity group of St. Francis' accomplished alumnae community, SFC students connected with alumnae trailblazers like featured speaker, JoAnn Stonier '84, chief data officer of MasterCard.

Arianna Sartzetakis '19, JoAnn Stonier, Esq. '84, Judy Rice '79, Elizabeth Mindlin '81 and Danielle Francavilla '19

"The WLN is steering some of the work when it comes to celebrating the lives and work of women," said Martinez-Saenz. "They did something really powerful with the intergenerational dialogue, which made us appreciate the legacy."

The college celebration continues with the Nov. 2nd Annual Alumni Dinner and retirement roast for Dennis J. McDermott '74, special assistant to the President. On Nov. 29th, the WLN and Center for Entrepreneurship are sponsoring a Lunch and Learn with business owner Lindsay Ullman as part of Women Entrepreneurship Day.

Women's basketball, under the direction of new head coach Linda Cimino, begins play on Nov. 6. At the Dec. 15 home game against Albany, Jeanne Zatorski '79 will have her jersey retired.

The celebration picks up in 2019 with exciting events and activities, including a special tribute at the Charter Award Dinner on April 3rd honoring Lorraine Lynch '91, SVP US Finance Business Partners, and Stephanie Whittier, co-head of the foundation and endowment services team at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management.

Visit for updates and more information on 160th anniversary and 50 years of education women celebrations.

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