In Memoriam: Ellen Lorenz, 1935-2020

Sister Ellen Lorenz, a long-time educator who served as president of Mount Mary University in Milwaukkee, died on December 22 from complications of COVID-19. She was 85 years old. Sister Lorenz was the ninth sister to die from COVID at the Elm Grove’s School Sisters of Notre Dame facility in Milwaukee over a two-week time span in December.

Current Mount Mary University President Christine Pharr said that Dr. Lorenz “will be greatly missed as an advocate for Mount Mary and a symbol of the strong connection between the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the University. In her multiple roles, she was an inspiration to many students and employees of Mount Mary as the perfect incarnation of our mission, vision, and values.”

Dr. Lorenz was a native of Berlin, Wisconsin. She received her education in a one-room schoolhouse until fifth grade. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Latin from Mount Mary College, a master’s degree in education from Loyola University in Chicago in 1966, and a doctorate in curriculum and supervision three years later from Northern Illinois University.

Dr. Lorenz taught at the Academy of Our Lady High School from 1958 through 1964. She joined the faculty of Mount Mary University as director of secondary education in 1968, rising to the post of academic dean by 1976. In 1979, she was appointed president of Mount Mary, continuing in that role until 1987. Sister Lorenz returned to classroom teaching at the university, spending another 25 years working with prospective teachers. Prior to retiring, she tutored in academic services part-time through mid-2015.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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