Faith, family, flexibility, commitment & resilience

Faith Hope + Lunch is a program offered by the Neumann University Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development. In this series, students have the chance to learn about and reflect on a life well lived.

On April 23, 2012, the Institute had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Rosallie Mirenda for the final installment of FH+L, as we learned more about her life, work and faith in a talk titled “Faith, Family, Flexibility, Commitment & Resilience.”

Dr. Rosalie M. Mirenda became president of Neumann University in July of 1996. From the moment she took the helm of the institution, she has forged a reputation as a tireless advocate and savvy visionary. Since she became president, the total enrollment has tripled (from less than 900 to more than 3,000), annual and capital giving has increased by more than 30 percent, the campus has expanded from 14 to 68 acres, new academic programs have been added (including two doctorates), athletic teams have grown from nine to 19, and three fully wired residence halls have been built.

In 2009, the University opened the Mirenda Center for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development, a 72,000-square-foot facility named in honor of Dr. Mirenda and her husband Tony. Designed to be more than an athletic center, the building uses exhibits and storytelling to provide a new perspective on sports, one that goes beyond the obvious element of competition to address the myriad ways in which students learn life lessons, develop character and deepen spirituality through athletics.

Dr. Mirenda is committed to the Catholic Franciscan mission of the College, which is based on the belief that knowledge, while valuable in itself, is best used in the service of others. She has enhanced this distinctive identity while leading Neumann through two essential evolutionary steps: transformation to a residential campus and the completion of two fund-raising campaigns.

Since her arrival at Neumann in 1973, she served as a nursing instructor, dean of the nursing division, and vice president for academic affairs before assuming the presidency. Dr. Mirenda earned her Ph.D. from Widener University, her MSN from the University of Pennsylvania, and her B.S. in nursing from Villanova University. She has received awards from the Vatican, the Delaware County March of Dimes, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Villanova University, Widener University, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Catholic Philopatrian Society, the Catholic Leadership Institute, and many other organizations.

Dr. Mirenda is married to Anthony D. Mirenda. They have three adult children and five grandchildren.

(Introduction by Jacki Herrington, student-athlete (softball) at Neumann University / Program by the Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development)

(music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod,