Sister Rosemary Donley, S.C., will be the 16th recipient of the Seton Hill University Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal. Sister Rosemary will receive the honor on Friday, May 8, at 4 p.m. in Cecilian Hall, as part of the University’s Honors Convocation. The Seton Hill University Alumni Corporation selected Sister Rosemary for the tribute.

Sister Rosemary is a professor of nursing and chair of the Community/Public Health Nursing Graduate Program at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. At the University, Sister Rosemary also has the responsibilities of project director for the Immigrant, Refugee, and Global Health Clinical Nurse Specialist Program and the Community/Public Health Nurse Specialist Educator program; she serves as co-project director for the Promoting Healthy Families in Vulnerable Communities program. In addition to her present roles, Sister Rosemary was the executive vice president (1986-1997) and dean of nursing (1979-1986) at The Catholic University of America.

Sister Rosemary, a past Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow (1977-78), sits on various university, civic, health system, and foundation boards. She served as past president of the National League for Nursing and is currently the co-chair of the organization’s think tank on expanding racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in nursing education. Sister Rosemary was appointed to the United States Department of Health and Human Service Secretary’s Commission on Nursing and has been a consultant to the medical commands of the United States Army and Navy.

Sister Rosemary served as First Councilor of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill General Council in Chicago, Il., from 2002-2008. From 1997-2002, Sister Rosemary was the Second Councilor of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill Council in Greensburg, Pa.

In addition to holding six honorary degrees, Sister Rosemary, a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, was designated as one of the organization’s Living Legends in 2006 in recognition of the contributions she has made to the profession and society and of the continuing impact of her contributions on the provision of health care services in the United States and throughout the world. Additionally, Sister Rosemary is a recipient of the Nell J. Watts Lifetime Achievement in Nursing award, which recognizes a Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing member for lifetime dedication to the nursing profession and honor society, of which Sister Rosemary is a past president.

Sister Rosemary received a diploma from the Pittsburgh Hospital School of Nursing and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from St. Louis University. She earned her Master of Science degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree in nursing education from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a certified adult nurse practitioner. Her clinical and research interests are health policy, clinical decision making, and health care literacy.

The Seton Hill University Alumni Corporation, which selected Sister Rosemary for the award, created the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal in 1959 to commemorate the life of Elizabeth Ann Seton, founder of the Sisters of Charity. The designation of a nationally recognized, contemporary woman whose accomplishments parallel, in some way, Elizabeth Seton’s life emphasizes the relevance of Elizabeth Seton’s life in today’s ever-changing world.

University President JoAnne Boyle said, “As we celebrated the 34th anniversary of Mother Seton’s canonization, we find it most appropriate to recognize Sister Rosemary Donley with the Elizabeth Seton Medal. Through her dedication to improving the quality of health care by educating students, she represents well the values espoused by Elizabeth Ann Seton. As one of the early Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows, she epitomizes Mother Seton’s pioneering spirit.”

Past recipients of the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal include Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (1963), Mary Reed Newland (1967), Sister De Chantal Leis, S.C. (1970), Rita Burke (1973), Dolores DeFina Hope (1975), Judge Genevieve Blatt (1975), Mary Keener Alwine (1975), Madge Skelly (1980), Margaret Giannini, M.D. (1983), Sister Maria del Ray Danforth, O.P. (1986), Julia Montgomery Walsh (1991), Margaret Heagarty, M.D. (1992), Rosemary Houghton (1995), Sister Gemma Del Duca, S.C. (1998), and Corinne (Lindy) Claiborne Boggs (2001).