It was ten years ago, October 8, 2006, that Gwen Ifill visited St. Scholastica Academy, Chicago. Every year, the Alumnae Board hosted a "Woman for the World", someone who had followed their calling and would help inspire students and alumnae to follow theirs. Gwen certainly lived her call.
She was co-anchor and managing editor of PBS Newshour and moderator and managing editor of Washington Week. She had held numerous positions throughout her life that reflected her passion for journalism, including White House correspondent for the New York Times and political correspondent for NBC News. She passed away this November.
At the visit, the Alumnae Board presented Gwen with the "Hildegard of Bingen Woman for the World" award. Sister Judith Zonsius, OSB participated in the event and recalls "how unassuming and easy she was to be around." She notes that Gwen "made everyone feel comfortable and 'at home' with her....Benedictine humility at its best."
As the year comes to a close, we look back at Gwen's visit to St. Scholastica Academy and want to share some of the inspiring words she shared with us that were recorded in the yearbook. May they inspire your own calling and journey during this coming new year:
"Realize what your concerns are. I remember I covered a story on Housing B and I was the only one who had lived in Housing B, so I saw the experience differently. Diversity isn't about different races, it is about having everyone bring their experiences together." -Gwen Ifill
"My mother was my role model. My mother kept the house together. My dad was a preacher and said there wasn't anything we couldn't do. There were no limits. We took it for granted. People who are closest to you can affect you the most." -Gwen Ifill
1) Top: (left to right) Loretta Namovic (Class of '84), Gwen Ifill, Judy Janowiak (Class of '57), Sister Suzanne Zuercher (Class of '49)
2) Middle: Katie McCoy, Class of '08 (right) interviews Gwen Ifill for The Raven, the St. Scholastica Academy newspaper.