Saint Mary’s College Welcomes New Trustees

Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
(574) 284-4579

June 11, 2012 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—Saint Mary’s College welcomes six new members to the Board of Trustees, including the Alumnae Board president and a student trustee. Elected to the Board for the first time are Thomas E. Black, Jr., Michael R. Leep, Sr., Sister Mary Ann Pajakowski, CSC ’69, and Monsignor Kenneth Velo. They will serve three-year terms. Alyssa Vinluan ’13 was appointed as the student trustee, a one-year term. Karen McNamara Weaver ’91, the recently elected Alumnae Board president, will sit on the Board of Trustees for two years. More information on the new Board of Trustee members can be found at the end of this press release.

Following a two-year term, Sister Rose Anne Schultz, CSC ’66 was elected to a three-year term. Re-elected to three-year terms are Carmen Murphy, Paula M. Dawning ’71, Thomas Joyce, JoAnn McDermott Reed ’77, and Joanne R. Snow. The Board welcomes Michael Cahill as vice chair. Cahill was elected to the Board in 2010.

Meanwhile, Saint Mary’s College thanks the Trustees who departed the Board as of May 31: Sister Alma Mary Anderson, CSC ’65, Rose Marie Lopez Jones ’80, Joan Gifford LeSage ’71, Susan Fitzgerald Rice ’61, Rebecca Votto ’93 (Alumnae Board president), and Catherine Cleary ’12 (student trustee).

Background on new Board of Trustees members:

Thomas E. Black, Jr., a resident of Flower Mound, Texas, is a 1976 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He earned a law degree from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1979 and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame in 2008. Black is president of Goldome Financial, LLC (2010-present) and is a managing partner of Black, Mann & Graham, LLP (1997-present). He has served as a trustee of the University of Buffalo Foundation; a board member and chair elect of the North Texas Food Bank; chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Committee at the University of Buffalo Law School; a member of the advisory board for the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at the University of Notre Dame; and as an advisory board member for Undergraduate Experience at the University of Notre Dame. Black is the recipient of the Edwin F. Jaeckle Award (highest honor the UB Law School and its Law Alumni Association can bestow). He also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Buffalo in 2008. He is married to Bridget Black and his children are Ryan Black, a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame, and Erin Black, a 2011 graduate of Saint Mary's College.

Michael R. Leep, Sr., a resident of Granger, Indiana, is president of Gurley Leep Automotive Group (1977-present). He attended Ball State University. Leep has offered his time to the community in many ways, including service as a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and a member of the Integrated Governance Committee at the hospital; chairman of the board of the Women’s Care Center Foundation; a member of the Northern Indiana Center for History Foundation Board; a member of the American Cancer Society, Great Lakes Division, Board of Directors; a council member of the President’s Circle, Grants-in-Aid, and the Undergraduate Advisory Council, all at the University of Notre Dame. His honors include receiving the Lee Slaughter Award from Logan Center; the Distinguished American Award from the College Football Hall of Fame; the Corporate Philanthropist Award, Michiana Chapter National Society of Fund Raising Executives; an honorary membership to the Monogram Club of Notre Dame; and the 2002 TIME magazine Quality Dealer Award. He is married to Karen E. Leep and his children are James, Michael, Jr., and Kristen.

Sister Mary Ann Pajakowski, CSC ’69, a resident of Park City, Utah, earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Saint Mary’s College, a master’s degree in American studies from the University of Minnesota, and a master’s degree in administration from the University of Notre Dame. She is the education director at Holy Cross Ministries of Utah. Her service includes working with the Community Learning Center Initiative, United Way; the Diocesan Pastoral Council; the Sisters of the Holy Cross Area of North America Immigration Task Force; and the Sisters of the Holy Cross Justice Committee. Her honors include receiving the Peace House Community Service Award (Peace House is the Park City domestic violence shelter).  

Monsignor Kenneth Velo, a resident of Chicago, received his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University and his Master of Divinity degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois. He is a senior executive with the Office of Catholic Collaboration and the president of the Big Shoulders Fund, both at DePaul University. He also serves as a trustee with the DeSantis Foundation; a board member at Children’s Memorial Hospital; rector of religion at Lincoln Academy of Illinois; a trustee of the Wicklander Family Foundation; a life trustee at Fenwick High School; director of the Cuneo Foundation; and director of Trinity High School. His honors include Honorary Prelate of His Holiness with the title of Reverend Monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

Alyssa Vinluan ’13 is a rising senior from Valparaiso, Indiana working towards a major in Spanish and a minor in secondary education (English as a New Language, bilingual/bicultural education). Her leadership roles on campus include serving as vice president of Dance Marathon (2012-13), as a resident advisor (2009-present), as a team mentor with the Spiritual Leaders Institute (July 2012), as a peer mentor to incoming freshmen (2012), and as a student ambassador (2010). Off campus, she works as a teacher’s aide at Clay Intermediate Center in South Bend (2012). She is the recipient of the Le Mans Scholarship, the Mother Pauline Scholarship, and the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship.

Karen McNamara Weaver ’91, a resident of Bettendorf, Iowa, graduated from Saint Mary's College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in computer science. She has spent her career in information technology. Weaver is a business area manager and consultant with IBM Corporation in the Global Services division. During the eight years she lived in Dallas, she held various leadership positions in the Dallas/Fort Worth Saint Mary’s College Alumnae Club, including two years as president. For the past eight years Weaver has been an active member in the Kansas City Alumnae Club. Weaver has been on the College’s Alumnae Association Board of Directors since 2007 and was elected president this year. She and her husband David Weaver have two daughters Hallie and Jennifer.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2012 published by U.S.News and World Report. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.