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News & Info

Alumnae, Mary Karen Marek

Class of 1970
Elementary Education

As a senior at Girls’ Central in Butte anticipating graduation in May of 1966, my biggest decision was hanging over my head. Where was I going to go to college? Not going wasn’t an option in my family. A small, Catholic school with a good education department and a Montana location were my priorities. That narrowed my choices to two, Carroll College and the College of Great Falls. The College of Great Falls won out.

I graduated in 1970 with a degree in elementary education. Things that stand out as I look back are the number of religious sisters and priests who were on the staff. The Sisters of Providence were cutting edge in their social justice activities and were great role models about what a determined woman can accomplish. Many students went to Mass daily at the chapel. Several male students were drafted and called up to serve their country in Vietnam. After my four years and my degree in hand, I headed to Anchorage, Alaska for my first teaching job. I met my husband in Anchorage, we married and have been living life together for 45 years from Texas to several Montana communities. I retired from School District #2, Billings, as a school counselor seven years ago.

I had donated sporadically to the College of Great Falls when they did the annual Phonathon. I never gave much thought to being an alumna and what that entails until last year (2017) when the first competitive basketball team was celebrating 50 years. I attended the weekend with a friend (from college) and her sisters. We had such a great time taking a walk back in time that several more friends joined me for this past ‘Alumni, Family, and Friends Weekend’, 2018. Being an alumna means being interested and engaged in your alma mater and when you are disillusioned by decisions find out why they were made. Changing the name of the school AGAIN has been upsetting to many alumni I have visited with. Attending the weekends has helped me understand the whys for the name change and the direction the college is headed at this juncture.

I am inviting you to engage in your alma mater, the University of Providence, next year. The ‘Alumni, Family, and Friends Weekend’, 2019, is scheduled for the first weekend in October. SAVE THE DATE.  If you would like to be kept in the loop about what the ladies will have going on email me: marekmk@charter.net. It is really more about the people you are sharing the activities with than the activities. We would love to have you share this time with us!