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Meet an inspiring woman

Meet our donor Mary L. Staudenmaier

This is a photo of Mary Staudenmaier, a supporter of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

During Women’s History month, it is most appropriate that the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) highlight Mary L. Staudenmaier and her trailblazing appointment in 1979 as the first woman president of the Stephenson National Bank and Trust of Marinette, Wisconsin. She served in that capacity for 21 years; it is important to note that since 1874, when Isaac Stephenson first formed the bank, there have only been 10 bank presidents.

In 1990, Mount Mary College (now University) (MMU) founded by SSND, recognized Mary’s accomplishment by naming her the recipient of the Madonna Medal, the highest honor bestowed on a graduate by MMU and the Alumnae Association. This prestigious award acknowledges the graduate’s long-standing commitment to professional excellence and her unique accomplishments that separate her from her colleagues.

Mary’s connection to SSND began in her hometown of Marinette, Wisconsin where she attended Marinette Catholic Central High School (now Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy). She and her family reached out to her SSND high school teachers. Sister Mary Catherine Dundon, a former teacher there, remembers the Staudenmaier family gifting the sisters with an annual holiday turkey.

That spirit of generosity continued in Mary, their daughter, who later in her professional life served on MMU’s Board of Trustees for three terms. In addition to this past service, Mary offers financial support to her alma mater. MMU’s Donor Relations Officer, Sister Marilyn Kesler remarked, "Mary has been a longtime supporter of women and education.”

Mary’s philanthropy extends beyond this SSND sponsored ministry. In her generous support of the Central Pacific Province, she expresses her gratitude for one of the hallmarks of the sisters’ ministries. She humbly states, “I donate to the School Sisters of Notre Dame because I believe they are excellent educators.”

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