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CNR Alumni at Mercy College
July 18, 2023 submit a class note

Introductory Reflection

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:”
Ecclesiastes 3:1

As I reflect upon this issue of the CNR Alumni Legacy Newsletter, I am reminded of this verse and the opposing stages and conflicting experiences of life. We mourn the closing of our beloved Alma Mater, CNR, but we rejoice in our lasting friendships and the legacy of our education. We graduate and move on from the safety of our campus and our friends but we connect and reconnect at reunions and wherever life takes us with other CNR alums. 

We hope you enjoy this issue of the CNR Alumni Legacy newsletter.  We are pleased to present our first in a series of retrospective articles on Sr. Dorothy Ann Kelly beginning with her impact on education at CNR and the community at large. 

There is much to savor in this issue, from Reunion 2023 to our continuing features CNR Connections and Alumni Spotlight, in addition to an introduction to Dr. Eva Fernandez, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Mercy College and information about ongoing alumni events supported by Mercy College.

When my classmates and I celebrated our 45th Reunion in 2019 it certainly was a bittersweet time knowing that these would be the last reunions held at the New Rochelle campus. Now looking at the photographs from this year’s reunion, I can’t wait for our 50th reunion in 2024! How fortunate we are as CNR Alumni to have Mercy College supporting our Alumni through the maintenance of Moller House, CNR archives, an Alumni Office, and continuing the Reunion tradition.

And while we as CNR alumni are a finite group, our legacy will be ongoing through Mercy College’s support of our educational legacy as exemplified by Sr. Dorothy Ann Kelly. 

  • Annalinda Pandolfi Ragazzo SAS ‘74  
    CNR Alumni Communications Committee

Sr. Dorothy Ann Kelly, OSU

An Extraordinary Leader in Higher Education


Sr. D.A. Kelly w Border

At the time that Sr. Dorothy Ann Kelly died on March 27, 2009, her association with the College of New Rochelle had spanned more than half of its history.  She first came to campus on a bus as a freshman “day hop,” i.e., commuter student, from the Bronx in 1947 and eventually served as President of the College for 25 years from 1972-1997, continuing her service as Chancellor until 2001.  In those intervening years, her roles also included American history professor, Chair of the History Department, and Dean.  Sister often told the story of her first teaching assignment as an Ursuline nun.  Imagine the sophisticated scholar, professor, and administrator that we know looking into the expectant faces of nearly 60 second graders at St. Philip Neri in the Bronx– no teacher’s assistant in sight! The scene could be the opening shot of a hilarious comedy film, but the reality was more likely that she quickly stole their hearts, engaged their minds, and inspired them to succeed with the same passion she applied to all her future endeavors.

She was a natural leader – always had been – and was soon either elected or volunteered to take responsibilities in student governance and national student organizations.  In an interview with Dr. James Schleifer, she noted the influence of Mother Therese Charles who always referred to CNR students as “women.”  “No one had ever called me a woman before, and she had a sense of our possible roles as college women in anything you want, parish organization, the bigger world.  I found it all very fascinating.”  And so it was that she pursued her fascination with the bigger world for the rest of her life.  Her natural aspirations, eagerness to explore opportunities, and drive to find new solutions to vexing problems guided her work to the very end.  Click here to continue reading the full article on Sr. Dorothy Ann Kelly and her incredible leadership.

  • Eileen Niedzwiecki SAS ‘72
    CNR Alumni Communications Committee


Spotlight Interview – Sugey Lara, SAS ’08, GS ‘11

Sugey Lara, LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) graduated from CNR with a BA in Psychology in 2008 and an MS in Mental Health Counseling in 2011. She is a lead supervisor for “Endeavors,” a Christian non-profit organization based in San Antonio. “Endeavors” serves migrants, veterans, and persons living with disabilities. Ms. Lara serves as a bilingual (Spanish) clinical supervisor for the Migrant Wellness Program, specializing in providing trauma treatment for individuals and families seeking asylum in the U.S. Click here to read the full interview on Sugey Lara.

  • Sr. Susan Conte, OSU, SAS ‘73
    CNR Alumni Communications Committee

Introduction: Eva Fernández

Fernandez with borderJuly 2023 marks just a year since Eva M. Fernández, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, came to Mercy College, after a distinguished career as professor and administrator, adding ever-more challenging appointments. This past year, with both warmth and expertise, Dr. Fernández has worked with faculty and with students to make Mercy College even more committed to being, as she has said, "a place for people who are student-centered, talented, and out-of-the-box thinkers." Click here to read the article in Mercy's Magazine. 

  • Marianne Bachand Geiger, SAS ‘55
    CNR Alumni Communications Committee

CNR Connections

As I write this intro for “CNR Connections,” I am savoring the highlights of my 50th CNR reunion, held June 9-11 on Mercy’s Dobb’s Ferry campus.  Many CNR Connections were re-discovered or made during the wonderful weekend spent with almost 40 classmates from ’73 SAS, some of whom had not seen each other in the 50 years since our commencement.  Several entries in this column tell of “connections” from our reunion. Other entries here describe “connections” with CNR alums from other graduation years, made not during a reunion, but a work conference, a radio interview or the reading of book written by a CNR classmate. Click here to read the CNR Alumni Connections.

Summer is here – for those traveling, participating in a local organization or church group, or reading a book, please be on the watch for people, places, or things that “connect” you with our alma mater, its alums, its Ursuline heritage or a former faculty or staff member. We welcome submissions for our fall newsletter from graduates of any of CNR’s four schools and any graduation year. Also, please remember to submit your memories of a connection with Sr. Dorothy Ann Kelly by December 31, 2023 for this column that will appear in the March 2024 issue of the newsletter, which will be dedicated to her. 

  • Pat Keegan Abels SAS ‘73
    CNR Alumni Communications Committee


The College of New Rochelle Post Reunion 2023

On the weekend of June 9-10th, more than 100 CNR alumni, traveling from all areas of the US, gathered together for the second in-person CNR Reunion Weekend at Mercy College.  Classes ending in 3s and 8s were welcomed to Mercy to reunite and celebrate their time at the College of New Rochelle.  Once again, it was reaffirmed that the lasting impact of our CNR education continues to shape our lives in numerous ways, enhancing our families, careers, and communities. Click here to read the full post-reunion article and to see the reunion photos.

Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi BorderOn Monday, May 1, 2023, Mercy College hosted Indra Nooyi, former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo for a thought-provoking speaking engagement. Over 250 individuals came together for a stimulating conversation with Indra as she imparted her perspectives on topics relating to gender bias, inequality and the challenges of balancing motherhood in the modern landscape of today's workforce.

The first 100 attendees received a copy of Indra’s New York Times bestselling book, her memoir, "My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future".

In 2003, Indra Nooyi received an Honorary Degree from the College of New Rochelle. In 2014, she was ranked at number 13 on the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women and was ranked the second most powerful woman on Fortune’s list in 2015 and 2017.

Click here for the full recording of Indra’s keynote.
Click here for the highlights.

CNR Legacy Council Update

The last two Legacy Council meetings of this (school) year were held on March 21st and May 9th.  

The group continues to expand with new members. This is a reminder that all CNR alumni from any of the four schools are invited to attend our meetings (for more information, please contact Tara Alfano at 

Click here to read highlights of the CNR Legacy Council meetings.

Did you know?

There are social media platforms that enable CNR Alumni both to stay connected as a community and be informed about various events, such as reunions, taking place at Mercy College:

Internet Website: CNR Alumni Website
Follow CNR Alumni on LinkedIn: CNR on LinkedIn
Facebook: CNR Alumni on Facebook
Search content on YouTube: CNR on YouTube or Mercy on YouTube  (use keywords such as ‘CNR’, ‘CNR Alumni’, etc.)



CNR Legacy Scholarship Fund

Since it was established in 2019, the CNR Legacy Scholarship has been awarded to 29 students first in their families to attend a four-year college. These students hail from Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester County, Long Island and New Jersey. They are majoring in nursing, computer science, psychology, criminal justice, health sciences, design and animation, biology and the vet-tech program. 

Thanks to the generous support of CNR alumnae/i and friends this scholarship helps to ease the burden of debt and allow students focus on their education.

To learn about The CNR Legacy Scholarship Fund and to make your donation, click below:

  CNR Legacy Scholarship Fund  

Tech Corner: Turn Your Phone into What?!

Do you lug around a weighty wallet containing numerous credit cards?  Does your key chain have fewer keys than fobs - from supermarkets, drugstores, and other businesses you frequent?  Do you rely on hard copies of airline boarding passes, event tickets, and the like?


Or, in contrast, are you using your smartphone as a digital wallet to store credit cards, loyalty cards, and other items?


Here’s an informative article on this topic that was published recently, in the May 2023 AARP Bulletin:


How do you feel about all of this?  Do you have any concerns?  Or are you a convert?  Does the acceptance of this practice vary by generation?  Send your feedback to the “Tech Corner” by emailing us at  We would like to hear from you! 

  • Rosa Napoleone SAS ‘75
    CNR Alumni Communications Committee


“This is what Yahweh asks of you, only this:

              to act justly,

              to love tenderly, and

              to walk humbly with your God.”

  • Micah 6
Update Info

Mercy College is Hiring

Mercy College is always looking for talented, driven individuals to join as faculty
or support staff.  
Click here for all open faculty and staff positions.

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