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Sister Marguerite Donovan

Sister Marguerite Donovan ’54, G’62 spent 20 years of her life serving the Saint Rose community as a business professor who left a lasting impression on the Huether School of Business.

Donovan was first drawn to the business school as an economics and business education student, anticipating that she would work in the field after graduation. But God had other plans for her. Donovan promptly entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in the summer after she graduated from Saint Rose and began her journey living out their founding values.

Donovan did end up teaching business education for nine years in high schools of the Albany Diocese. She returned to Saint Rose to receive her master’s degree in business education in 1962, and then again in 1969, but this time as a business professor with a Ph.D. from New York University. In addition to serving a long tenure as department chair, she collaborated with other business faculty to develop the MBA program from the ground up, under then-President Thomas Manion’s direction.

“He [Manion] encouraged us to think big, and so we did,” Donovan said.

As a professor, Donovan was unwavering in her expectations of students, pushing them to reach their highest potential. She wanted students to feel a sense of pride in their work and ready to take on the world without hesitation.

“Students have said to me that I was ‘tough but fair.’ They appreciated having been praised when their work was praiseworthy,” she said.

Donovan retired in 1989 but remains connected to Saint Rose and its business students as she attends College events. After her brother, Edward J. Donovan, passed away in 2008, and she settled his affairs, Donovan contributed funds to the Huether School of Business in honor of her family. The business school’s Graduate Classroom was made possible “through the generosity of Edward J. Donovan Family,” which is engraved on a plaque outside of the classroom.

In 2013, Donovan gained professor emeritus status.

“The school of business, the people, the faculty members — it was another kind of family. They were dear friends,” she said. “We supported and challenged one another.”

– By Caroline Murray ’13

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