Angela Pirrone Sandri graduated from the College of Holy Names in 1963 and celebrated her 50th reunion last fall. In a 2013 interview, she recalled the impact that Holy Name’s commitment to social justice and academic freedom made on her.
“It (i)s the kind of thing that … remains with you over the years, the way the nuns really cared about the community and also their students,” Pirrone Sandri said. “You weren’t just there to learn about some particular subject. You were there to learn about life.”
Pirrone Sandri, who studied literature, drama, and speech, remembers attending a conference at Dominican University with other Holy Names’ students that opened with a statement that drama in Catholic schools should only be related to religion. The nuns at Dominican University felt that the students should not perform any plays that did not have to do with the saints’ lives or similar issues.
“We decided we were not going to stand for that. So we got up and left,” she said. The late Sister Claire Madeline, who served at that time as chairperson of the Holy Names’ literature department, supported the students’ choice. Pirrone Sandri said that Sister Claire was a wonderful mentor.
“Her attitude about learning was (to teach) the whole person,” she said. “The (Sisters) led you to find what it was that you wanted to do.”
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