Category Archives: Alumnae


Amalfi Coast, Day 1 of UC Tour of Italy

As we touched down in Naples, everyone was exhausted from our long trip, but excited about the journey ahead. Everyone’s luggage made the long way and our next task was to find Enrica, our Odysseys Unlimited tour director. I can say we were all really happy to see her smiling face welcoming us. We boarded the bus and started on the next leg of the trip, an hour and half drive up the Amalfi Coast to our hotel. Well, to say the drive was not nerve wracking would be an undersatement, it was an on the edge of your seat kind of drive. The views were spectacular and our driver Domico was magnifico!

We all settled into the hotel and took in the sites, rooms overlooking the coast. We all met for dinner and took our first full group picture. Tomorrow off to Pompei, we can’t wait.

-Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer’03, Director of Alumnae Relations and Development Specialist



And we are off…

The Tour of Italy trip for alumnae, students and friends of the College has begun. All 23 of us left from Cleveland at 12:30 PM with a flight to NJ. Now onto the long flight to Munich, Germany and then Naples, Italy. This group is truly excited for the wonderful trip in front of us. I have even been asked when’s the next trip and where to.


– Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer ’03, Director of Alumnae Relations & Development Specialist


Ursuline College heads out on a Portrait of Italy

In 6 days, 23 of the Ursuline College Community (alumnae, students, staff & friends of the College) will set out on a 17-day excursion through Italy.  The planning of the trip started over a year ago and it’s hard to believe that we departure in less than a week.  The trip includes; Amalfi, Pompeii, Sorrento, Rome, Orvieto, Assisi, Siena, Florence, San Gimignano and Venice.  The journey will showcase ancient sites and ruins, priceless art, outstanding cuisine and unique lodging.

Throughout the trip, travelers will blog, showcasing their individual perspectives and photos.  As the Alumnae Director, I am extremely excited to begin the trip and experience this with fellow alumnae, students & friends of Ursuline & St. John College.

Volunteer Day 2013

Ursuline Under-construction: A History of Building the College

construction_timelineUrsuline College is celebrating 142-years of educating women and we, the Ursuline community, have much to be grateful for despite what mother nature delivered campus this past July. Let’s take a look back at our legacy from the beginning.

The College was founded in downtown Cleveland, Ohio near East 6th and Euclid Avenue in 1871. Now in at its fifth location, Lander Road in Pepper Pike, the College has grown in community and space as well as changed scenery from an urban to suburban landscape.

A portion of the property for the Pepper Pike campus was purchased in 1929 while additional land was bought in 1949.  The College has approxiamtely 78 acres and adjoins property owned by the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland.

Many of the early buildings, including The Mullen Academic Building, the Fritzsche Center, the Dauby Science Center and Grace Hall, were designed by local architect, Peter Van Dyke. Several other buildings were built over time including Murphy Hall, Wasmer Gallery Besse Library, Pilla Student Learning Center and Smith Hall. The serenity of the campus is reflected in the architecture of the buildings and the beautiful lake that shines in the middle of the campus.

The O’Brien Athletic Center was completed in 1974 and it included a recreational gymnasium and swimming pool, classrooms, locker room and a lounge. When the College started an athletic program in 2000, a training room and another locker room were added along with the renovation of space for a fitness center and offices for coaches.

Ursuline entered a new athletic era as a member of NCAA Division II in July 2013 – a status the College held for six days until a tornado swept through campus July 20. Thankfully there was no human injury or loss of life. The gymnasium was the storm’s victim, as it collapsed the entire West wall of the building and tore off much of the roof.  There was also significant damage to the fitness center, locker rooms, coaches’ offices, and the swimming pool and the pool roof.

Undaunted, the College continues to move forward. Athletes arrived on campus in mid-August and the entire student body arrived shortly after to begin the Fall 2013 semester. Upon returning to campus, students were able to eat in the newly renovated Pilla Dining Center.

The months of August and September have been remarkably upbeat in the midst of very unusual conditions. Temporarily scattered in many gymnasiums and work out facilities in the area, coaches and athletes are excited for the future as their dreams of a brand new athletic facility begin to take shape. The future looks bright for Ursuline College and its athletic program.

There is much work to be done. Once the settlement is known from the insurance company, the College will decide what to build and how much money must be raised.

For more information, please keep up with the blog. To find out how to help or to donate to the Ursuline College Rebuilding Fund, visit

Kevin Gladstone is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Ursuline College. 

Family Fun Festival Highlights – September 7, 2013

Team “Nursulines” Participate in The Dirty Girl Mud Run

Early in the morning of July 20, 2013, before we even knew about the tornado that had ripped through our campus just a few hours earlier, six faculty and staff from Ursuline College started driving toward an off-roading course in Garrettsville, Ohio in the drizzling rain. We had been planning this outing for months.  Five of us in Nursing had formed a walking team on the Arrows Walking Club in the fall of 2012 and later, on a whim, signed up for a 5K called the Dirty Girl Mud Run. I will confess here and now that it was my idea, and that the only way I (Patti Stephens) was able to convince Betsy Beach Mosgo, Christine Wynd, Kathy Rogers, and Becky Mitchell to go along with me was to ensure them that 1) we did not have to run the course (we would walk it) and 2) there was a detour option around every obstacle.

The Dirty Girl Mud Run is similar to other obstacle course runs that have become popular in recent years, with one main difference:  the goal is not competition, but team-work. This event is also only open to women, and a portion of registration fees are donated to support the early detection of breast and ovarian cancer (see below or for more information).  For these reasons, I thought it would be a perfect activity for a walking team from a women’s college! We also invited others in the Arrows Walking Club to register with us, and were thrilled when Sue Kramer from the Registrar’s Office decided to join our team, which we had dubbed “Nursulines.”

Dirty Girl Mud Run Finish Line

Dirty Girl Mud Run Finish Line

Several of us started driving that morning at approximately 6:45 a.m. and soon received the text message alerts about the tornado at the school. This is mainly what we discussed while driving and meeting in the parking area before our heat of the event began. There was a steady drizzle, which didn’t dampen our spirits nearly as much as it drenched our custom-made nurse caps and fuzzy pink mustaches, nearly all of which were gone by the time we reached the finish line!

Because of the record rainfall this summer, the course, which is normally for Jeeps and other off-road vehicles, was much wetter than usual. The water obstacles, aptly dubbed “H2OMG,”were much deeper than normal and we helped each other through them in various ways, such as sending a scout ahead to announce the location of particularly large, jagged, or slippery rocks. We also held on to each other for balance throughout many portions of the course. At this point, Christine Wynd could be heard asking, “Whose idea was this again?”

There were horizontal and vertical rope obstacles, mud pits, steep hills, inflatable tubes to crawl through, and giant slides. Amazingly, we all made it through the course with only minor scrapes and bruises, plus a few cases of whiplash from the last giant inflatable slide.  Not every team member attempted every obstacle, but no one had to do an obstacle alone. Kathy Rogers commented that the “feeling of bonding” due to the “common goal” was what made this event exciting for her.   I, too, was surprised by how much we had to depend on each other to get through the course. I had envisioned a fun event which would be a nice team-building activity; I had not realized how hard we would have to work not only individually but collectively to get through all of the various obstacles.  Becky Mitchell’s rope-climbing research paid off as she coached us on how to get up the vertical rope ladders, and watching the teams ahead of us helped us strategize how to cross the vertical rope obstacle as well.  The ropes weren’t the most challenging obstacles, however; the “Utopian Tubes” challenge, which consisted of crawling on hands and knees in the dark through knee-deep mud full of stones (and who knows what else) was painful both physically and mentally!

After our triumphant celebration at the finish line (see photo of us covered in mud), several of us stopped by the campus on our way home to view the damage from the tornado. Sue Kramer waxed philosophical about the parallel between the way the tornado spread nature all over the campus that day and the way our Dirty Girl Mud Run team ended up covered “in nature” (as neurotic TV detective Monk would say). To carry the analogy one step further, I saw how our walking team had to work together to overcome the physical obstacles which blocked our path on the course; similarly, our Ursuline Community will need to work together to overcome the obstacles that mother nature imposed on us during the tornado. Betsy Beach reminded us repeatedly that the Dirty Girl Mud Run  was “not a nature walk” and later commented that “facing challenges and overcoming obstacles is the Ursuline way,” which is also a great thing to remember at this difficult time of recovery from the tornado.

With the joint goal of empowering women to lead healthy lifestyles, Dirty Girl and Bright Pink will urge the hundreds of thousands of women who participate annually in Dirty Girl events to be proactive with their breast and ovarian health.

Dirty Girl is a for-profit company that believes strongly in the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer, in educating women about health and in supporting cancer victims and survivors. Dirty Girl will be contributing $250,000 to Bright Pink in 2013 to further this mission.

Dirty Girl Mud Run also provides free registrations to cancer survivors who want to muck it up in the mud at one of the 60 events across the county.

Dirty Girl is honored to have Bright Pink as an official charity partner and we look forward to sharing in their mission by encouraging this critical mass of women to understand the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of breast and ovarian cancer.

The Ursuline College Rebuilding Fund

“Do not be discouraged and confused about the     future.  Even though troubles and anxieties will come, these sorrows     will pass into joy.  Hold this for certain, that you will never be     abandoned in your needs.”

-St. Angela Merici


Dear Alumnae & Friends of Ursuline College,

As many of you know, Ursuline’s campus was affected by a tornado in the early morning of July 20.  The College was incredibly blessed that there was neither loss of life or injury.  The O’Brien Athletic Center was hit the most severe damage, where the exterior wall of the gym collapsed.  Additional damage occurred to the Dauby Science Center and the Besse Library with minor damage to an entrance in Pilla and the Mullen roof.  A large number of mature trees were uprooted or destroyed and various other areas of campus were impacted.

I am grateful for the outpour of heartfelt messages, prayers and offers of  assistance.  Through your encouragement I feel the strength of the College community.  I believe that together we will rebuild our campus to an even more vibrant state.  Because of the confidence and support of each of you, Ursuline was able to get through this crisis with dignity and grace.  Ursuline is a small community, but the College has a mighty heart and spirit that not even a tornado can dampen.

The Ursuline College Rebuilding Fund has been set up to help in our rebuilding efforts.  If you would like to contribute to the fund through the College’s website visit Rebuilding Fund or send a check made out to Ursuline College Rebuilding Fund.  If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Gladstone, Ursuline’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement at or 440 646 8355.

May God Bless You,

Sister Diana Stano, O.S.U., Ph. D. ’68