More than 300 people gathered at the Laurel Manor Banquet and Conference Center in Livonia, MI, on Wednesday evening, May 20, to bid a fond farewell to S Rose Marie Kujawa.
After serving 14 years as President of Madonna University, Sister Rose Marie will retire at the end of June 2015.
The reception offered University administrators and staff, Board members, Felician Sisters, and friends the opportunity to share memories and rejoice in the many blessings and accomplishments that have been a part of Sister Rose Marie’s legacy.
Following the opening prayer, Andrea Nodge, vice president, University Advancement, welcomed the crowd to “an entertaining program about one of our favorite people.”
In her remarks describing Sister Rose Marie’s legacy of achievement, SM Christopher Moore, provincial minister, said, “Sister Rose Marie’s ministry here at Madonna is a beautiful incarnation of the spirit of our beloved foundress, Blessed Mary Angela, whose boundless love of God and surrender to God’s will in compassionate service and total availability is what each Felician Sister strives to imitate.
The Honorable Michael Talbot, Chair, Board of Trustees, said he came to know Sister Rose Marie as the principal and chief cheerleader of Madonna University. He noted the challenges facing higher education across the country and said, “Sister Rose Marie has been living her prayer life and it’s been a lesson for me.” He announced that a rose garden outside the Franciscan Center–The Sister Rose Marie Kujawa Rose Garden–would be dedicated in her honor.
In a video entitled “Remember and Rejoice,” individuals and groups from various segments of the University community expressed their appreciation to Sister Rose Marie and also took advantage of the opportunity to say goodbye.
Jack Kirksey, mayor of the city of Livonia, was last but certainly not least among the individuals expressing gratitude, not only for Sister Rose Marie’s accomplishments at Madonna, but also for her innovative community outreach programs, building partnerships and alliances.
Just before the conclusion of the program, when Sister Rose Marie took the podium, she said “These accomplishments are not mine alone. Rather, it is about all of us working together.” She continued, “This is an event of family,” and then credited her birth family, Felician family, Madonna University family, and Livonia family for the blessings of the past 14 years.