One of the best indicators that a college has made an impact on its students is the amount of graduates that choose to return to the college after they have graduated. It is proof that the institution has instilled values into their alumni that the latter group values and wishes to help carry forward. This is exactly the type of relationship that Sister Helen McDonald, SHCJ ’62 has with Rosemont and it is why she has returned to her alma mater to work in the Office of College Relations. “The College is a ministry of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. I want to see it thrive and I am happy to be here to work with others to help today’s Rosemont students,” she elaborates.
For Sr. Helen, Rosemont has always been a place she wanted to be, even before she ever enrolled. As a high school student at Sharon, the Holy Child high school in Sharon Hill, PA, Sr. Helen knew she would attend a Catholic college and believed Rosemont was the best choice. “I studied very hard, stayed after school to be tutored because I wanted to be a Rosemont student,” she says. During her time here she made memories that she recalls with fondness today, saying, “I was thrilled to be able to read and speak a bit of German, having been a failure with French in high school… I dreaded my lengthy physics lab and rejoiced after freshman year that my science career had ended. Mother Mary Lawrence’s history classes made long dead people and events come alive and I chose history as a major. I relaxed at the ‘T’ and enjoyed the mixers there.”
As a member of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Sr. Helen has had the opportunity to work in various professional fields. She recalls, “I have been a teacher, a school administrator, a legislative assistant to Congresswoman Constance Morella of Maryland, a member of the American Province leadership team, and a member of the leadership team in Rome. Most recently I worked across Montgomery Avenue from Rosemont as American Province Leader.” And at each position Sr. Helen found that the education she received during her time at Rosemont helped her succeed. “I often had to learn ‘on the job’ and knowing how to write, to think, to speak, to be willing to make mistakes, to learn from others, to enjoy intellectual challenges came from my liberal arts education for which I am most grateful,” she explains.
Sr.Helen says that, of course, she notices some changes at Rosemont since she attended. “The world… has changed since I’ve been a student. We were all single women, we had no business courses, no computers, and many of the professors were Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus. No slacks or shorts were worn unless we were going to a picnic off campus. My former classmates and I laugh about this latter regulation now,” she says. But she believes that Rosemont has retained its essence, explaining, “Rosemont, however, is still small, cares for the individual student and I think, is meeting the wants of our age as it did many years ago for me and my friends.”
Please join all of us in welcoming Sr. Helen back to Rosemont!