Mother Mary Kenneth Kearns

SMKK-200Mother Mary Kenneth Kearns (3/17/1908-6/7/1984) 

  • Director, St. Joseph’s Military School, East Liberty (1937 1945) 
  • Teacher, St. Mary’s High School, McKees Rocks (1945-1947)
  • Principal, St. Basil’s Carrick (1947-1950)
  • Supervisor of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Pittsburgh (1950-1956) 
  • Provincial Superior, St. Peter Province (1956-1959)
  • Assistant to Mother General, Rome (1959-1965)

Mother Mary Kenneth’s personal contribution and daring vision of the future on behalf of higher education were instrumental in the founding of La Roche College. Aware of the growing need of extending the intellectual preparation of young nuns training to be teachers to include a complete college degree program before entering upon their particular activity, in the fall of 1958 Mother Mary Kenneth, began preparations to meet the necessary diocesan, legal and academic standards and requirement for the establishment of a four-year college program. The college had long been the dream of Mother Mary Kenneth, and in 1963, that dream became a reality.

Beginning in 1970 Mother Mary Kenneth worked at the College, becoming the first full-time director of financial aid in 1972.  In 1978 she became the first La Roche archivist and worked until 1983, when she retired due to illness.

In 1965, Kearns Hall dormitory was dedicated in her name. In 1983, the building became Kearns Spirituality Center.