There wasn’t an empty chair in the Redmond Room, as faculty and staff gathered to celebrate their colleagues who had achieved tenure or promotions and who had given 10 to 45 years of service, as well as to say one last goodbye to the three respected and distinguished individuals who were retiring at the end of the academic year.
Walter Childs, M.B.A., most recently the director of the accelerated adult degree program, began his career at CHC in 2007, where he taught business courses as an adjunct for five years. From there, Childs moved on to his current position, where he helped adult students in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS), complete their degrees in an eight-week format.
To celebrate his retirement, Elaine Green, Ed.D., dean of SCPS, invited David Contosta, Ph.D., professor of history, Bob Meyer, Ph.D., professor of biology, and Joe Bucci, Ed.D., assistant professor of business and chair of the business department, three men whom she referred to as Childs’ “lunch buddies,” to play a game of who knew him the best before wishing him well in the next stage of his life.
“Many of our students believed they could walk over mountains because, time after time, you assured them it was possible,” added Sister Carol, regarding Childs’ dedication to his work. “Thank you for the many alumni who bear the imprint of your faith in them.”
A graduate of Chestnut Hill College in 1973, Barbara Hogan, Ph.D., returned to CHC 30 years later as the coordinator for spirituality and healthcare and clinical pastoral education collaborative programs. Hogan wore many hats during her 14 years at her alma mater, including as dean of graduate studies and associate professor of human services; the last two positions she held just prior to her retirement. Amy Antrim, who served as Hogan’s assistant for the past four years, gathered faculty members to reflect on, “When we think of Barbara Hogan.”
“One of the words that comes to mind is that Barbara is a leader,” said Leslie Parkes Shralow, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and co-coordinator of the master’s program in clinical and counseling psychology. “With her incisive thinking and with kindheartedness and ethical integrity, she’s been a model for me that you can face incredible challenges with complicated situations and you can do it with the face of compassion and empathy. She’s been a wisdom elder whose spirituality leads and inspires.”
Another Chestnut Hill College alum, Sister Margie Thompson ’73, has spent the last 22 years teaching the next generation of CHC artists as an associate professor of art history and later, coordinator of the art studio program. One of her pupils, Danielle Rossi ’97, followed in her footsteps, becoming an adjunct professor at CHC as well. Alongside art studio students, Kathleen Szpila, SSJ, Ph.D., assistant professor of art history, and Kathleen McCloskey, SSJ, M.M.Ed., assistant professor of music, Rossi paid tribute to her mentor and friend by sharing ways in which Sister Margie is “irresistible.”
“When I was younger and was here as a student, we would be working in the studio and Margie would just say, ‘Stop. This is a moment. This is a moment of God’s grace.’ And we would just stop and appreciate the silliness. Laughing, working, having fun. I’ve taken that into my teaching and into my life,” said Rossi.
As classmates in the Class of ’73 and colleagues, Hogan and Sister Margie reflected on their time together and everything that Chestnut Hill College had provided them.
“We noted how serendipitous it was that we should be retiring together since we began our association with CHC together in 1966,” they said in an email. “The highlight of our undergraduate experience was the joy of studying with our teachers who were on this journey together with us exploring the richness of the liberal arts curriculum through the lenses of our respective majors of English Literature and Art Studio. Our experience at this college has inspired a lifelong love of learning and inspiration for embracing our life journeys with all their joys and challenges. We truly did learn how to ‘earn a living,’ mostly as educators, and also ‘how to live’ just as Sister Maria Kostka Logue commented many years ago. It has been a great grace to return to foster the mission and legacy of Chestnut Hill College with our colleagues here and new generations of students.”
In addition, 31 members of the faculty and staff were honored for their years of service, which amounts to 480 years of dedication and commitment to the College and its students. In addition to her 15 years of service, Allison Pollack, senior accountant, was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award, given to an employee who goes above and beyond their job description and assigned duties.
As CHC President Sister Carol Jean Vale said in her closing remarks, “We salute you and thank you for all that you’ve accomplished and the work that you have done.”
— Marilee Gallagher ’14