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Sister Janet Gives Founders’ Week Address

Sister Janet Eisner gave this years Founders’ Week address alongside fellow faculty and students in the Library Lecture Hall. The address was in celebration of the educational legacy of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and all that they have done for Emmanuel College. It also offered an Emmanuel history lesson from the 1970s to the present, which was in honor of the second half of the college’s centennial.


The address began with an introduction from the SGA Executive Vice President Eric Cote ’18.  Cote discussed the importance of Founders’ Week.

“Last year Sister Janet addressed the topics relevant to the first 50 years of Emmanuel’s history, and today she will be discussing the second half of our institutions growth leading up to the centennial,” said Cote.

Cote described how the Emmanuel faculty and staff  help give the students the support they need for success.

“The commitment to excellence and education is driven by the devotion of the faculty who teach us and involve us as an active participator in society,” said Cote.

Following an invocation by Campus Minister for Retreats and Spirituality Karl LaClair, 1804 Society President Jeremy Morrissette ’18 introduced Sister Janet Eisner .

Morrissette praised Eisner’s extensive work in creating a better experience and greater opportunities for students.

“Thanks to Sister Janet’s dynamic leadership over the past 3 decades, Emmanuel today is providing an outstanding liberal arts and sciences education to a record number of students,” said Morrissette.

Eisner spoke of a time when Emmanuel was going through a period of great change alongside many difficulties.

 In the 1970s, Emmanuel was burdened with financial difficulties, as were many other Catholic colleges in the US. The school faced surmounting debt and a decline in student enrollment. Many other colleges in the surrounding areas closed.  Emmanuel was one of the few that kept its doors open.

In this time of difficulty, not all of the dorms on campus were occupied by the students of Emmanuel. In the mid-70s, St. Joe’s was the only dorm that was fully housed with Emmanuel students, while Julie Hall had been sold to Beth Israel Hospital.  Nurses from a local hospital occupied St. Ann’s Hall, and Loretto Hall was leased out to MCPHS. This was one of many decisions that were made in order to keep the college from closing.

From the 1970s to the present day, there was a great deal of change. The switch to a co-ed college discussion began as a solution to the decline in enrollment.

“Sister Janet expressed that schools like Boston College had shown great successes through their switch to co-ed. This had made the decision that much more enticing to the eyes of those on the Board of Trustees to consider this milestone for the college,” said 1804 Society member Molly Grey ’20.

With the centennial approaching next year, the address reflected on Emmanuel’s history from all the way back to the purchase of the land in 1912, to the present day.  All that the sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and other members of the Emmanuel community have accomplished  in the growth of Emmanuel will be further celebrated in the coming year.

Ryan Molly ’20 is a Staff Writer for The Hub.  He ca be contacted at  

Posted by on February 8, 2018. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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