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McAuley Hall of Honor

Established in 2013, the McAuley Hall of Honor highlights inspiring members of the McAuley family whose stories reinforce the belief that McAuley's influence provides the foundation to achieve extraordinary things. 

Induction is a high honor bestowed upon members of The McAuley Family, which includes alumnae, parents, faculty, staff, and all who have supported, led, or served Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School/Saint Xavier Academy, including the Sisters of Mercy. To be considered for this prestigious honor, nominees must have distinguished themselves through achievement or service, inspired others through their courage or selflessness, served McAuley/Saint Xavier Academy faithfully and/or brought credit to McAuley/Saint Xavier Academy.

2018 Inductees

We are thrilled to announce the 2018 inductees into the McAuley Hall of Honor.These six women have distinguished themselves in their various fields and are a true testament to what it means to be a McAuley woman. We look forward to celebrating their achievements at our induction ceremony on Sunday, April 22, 2018. 

Sister Cathleen Cahill, R.S.M.

Sister Cathleen Cahill served as Curriculum Director and then Principal of Mother McAuley from 1978 to 1987. Throughout her time at McAuley, Sister Cathleen embraced her commitment to education and her leadership role with faith. Her work today remains integral to many of the Sisters of Mercy education initiatives. Most recently, she filled the role of Chair of the Education Sponsorship Council of the Sisters of Mercy West-Midwest. For Sister Cathleen Cahill, mercy is not just a word, it is a gift to be shared and passed on to others.

Joan Bransfield, SXA ‘52

Joan Bransfield has enjoyed a long and distinguished career with the Chicago Archdiocesan schools.  Most notably, as principal of St. Mary's in Lake Forest, Joan helped oversee a $6.1 million campaign for the construction of a new building. Under her leadership, St. Mary’s grew to become one of the 10 largest elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Joan’s commitment to education earned her recognition as a National Distinguished Principal by the U.S. Secretary of Education, and Most Distinguished Catholic Principal in the Midwest by the National Catholic Education Association.


Joy Bivins ‘94

Joy Bivins is the Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Chicago History Museum, where she channels her expertise on African American history, the Great Migration, Chicago’s world’s fairs, gospel music history, and urban history into a number of diverse exhibition projects. Joy’s love for history began kindling during her time at McAuley. Joy presents regularly at local elementary and high schools, at annual meetings of museum associations, and has taught classes on museum interpretation at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Mary Jean Ryan ‘76

Mary Jean Ryan is the founding director of Community Center for Education Results (CCER), a non-profit based in Seattle. CCER staffs the regional Road Map Project: a collective impact initiative aimed at dramatically improving education for low-income students and students of color. The program has signed up over 30,000 low income students for college scholarships through its relationships with schools and other partners. Mary Jean’s work has earned her the Passionate Citizenship Honoree Award from the Wales Foundation, the Parent Magazine Award, and the Washington PTA’s Statewide Friend of Children Award. Seattle Magazine named her one of their Most Influential People in 2009.


Mariann Rebenson Piano, ‘75 PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA

Dr. Mariann Piano is the Nancy & Hilliard Travis Professor of Nursing and Senior Associate Dean for Research at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She has a distinguished career in substance abuse research, focusing on understanding the adverse effects of unhealthy alcohol drinking patterns on the cardiovascular system. Her work has been supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Center for Research Resources. Mariann spent nearly 30 years teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she holds the title of Professor Emerita, and was instrumental in developing the college’s first adult nurse practitioner programs.


The Honorable Jean Prendergast Rooney ‘88

The Honorable Jean Prendergast Rooney was appointed Cook County Circuit Court Judge in 2010, the first woman from her local class to become a member of the judiciary. Previously, Jean was in private practice at the Chicago firm of Schulyer, Roche and Crisham, where she led the firm’s litigation practice, including trial and appellate work in both federal and state courts, and the Illinois Supreme Court. She earned the distinction of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch” in 2007 by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and was named an “Illinois Super Lawyer” for four consecutive years. Jean passed away in December 2015. Her friends and family continue to speak warmly of her unwavering friendship, intellect, successful career and love for her family.

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McAuley Hall Induction & Alumnae Mass

Sunday, April 22, 2018
10:00 a.m. - Mass & Induction in the McAuley Auditorium (free for all members of the community)
Immediately following we will hold a Champagne Brunch in the McAuley Dining Hall ($50 per person)

All alumnae are welcome to join us for this day of celebration!

Purchase Tickets for the Champagne Brunch      

  • © Mother McAuley Liberal Arts H.S.
  • 3737 W. 99th Street
  • Chicago, IL 60655
  • Phone 773.881.6500
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