Monday, July 21, 2003

College president Sister Margaret Anne Molitor

By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

As a teacher, a professor and a college president, Sister of Mercy Margaret Anne Molitor always focused her work on serving her community and serving God.

Sister Molitor died Friday at Mercy St. Teresa Center in Walnut Hills. The Walnut Hills resident was 82.

"Spirituality is basically what I'm all about. It isn't what a job pays - that kind of thing isn't important to me. What is important is the service I can give to God."

Sister Molitor told the Enquirer this in 1973, when she was appointed acting president of Edgecliff College. She became president about a year later and served in that post until 1980.

But her philosophy wasn't limited to her newly acquired position - it was one she adhered to in all her roles.

Raised in Milford, she earned a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of Cincinnati College in 1942 and entered the Mercy community in 1943. She professed her vows on March 12, 1946.

She continued her education at Xavier University, where she completed a master's degree in education. She received her doctorate in sociology and Catholic social thought from Catholic University in Washington D.C. in 1966.

She taught in several Cincinnati-area Catholic schools, including Mother of Mercy High School, St. Teresa, Assumption, and St. Margaret of Cortona schools.

After earning her Ph.D., she served as a sociology professor at her alma mater, Our Lady of Cincinnati. Eventually, she became head of the college's sociology and social welfare department.

Our Lady of Cincinnati became co-educational and changed its name to Edgecliff College in 1970. Three years later, Sister Molitor became acting president of the college and then president. She directed the office of alumnae from 1980-81.

In 1977, Sister Molitor was chosen as one of the Enquirer's Women of the Year for her achievements in raising the quality of higher education in the state.

She also found ways to merge her love of education with community activism.

"I'd like to create a different kind of relationship with the community," she told the Enquirer. "I'd like to set up meetings with business and industry...One of the ways we (Edgecliff College) tried to do this was to put more students in the field."

A longtime member of the Walnut Hills Area Council, Sister Molitor earned the Community Service Award for Outstanding Service to the Walnut Hills community, the Citizens Committee on Youth Charles P. Taft Award, Cincinnati Human Relations Community Ethelrie Harper Award, the Greater Cincinnati Bicentennial Award; and the Outstanding Service Award from the Better Housing League of Cincinnati.

From 1987 until 1999, she served as archivist for the Sisters of Mercy.

Surviving are three sisters, Mary Lou Day, Ruth Kuhnell and Rita Benkert. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Mercy St. Teresa Center, 2335 Grandview Ave., Walnut Hills. Mass of Christian burial will follow.

Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery, Price Hill.

Memorials can be made to the Sisters of Charity Ministry Fund, 2335 Grandview Ave., Cincinnati, 45206.



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