Ursuline News

Five Questions with Grandparents Co-Chair Joe Pete Wilbert
Five Questions with Grandparents Co-Chair Joe Pete Wilbert

Joe Pete Wilbert graduated from Jesuit in 1962, but he has quite the legacy at its nearby sister school.

A long legacy.

His grandmother, Isabelle Layden, attended Ursuline, and so did her four sisters: Genevieve, Kate (Class of 1900), Elnora (Class of 1911), and Marguerite (Class of 1914). Joe Pete's mother, Mary O'Donnell Wilbert (1935) followed along with Joe Pete's sister, Joanne Wilbert Weed (1965), Mary and Joe Pete's daughter Elizabeth Wilbert Midgett (2000), and their granddaughters Allie (2021) and Maddy (2022). Granddaughter Emma (2023) will be a freshman next year.

Mary and Joe Pete Wilbert will host Grandparents Day along with President Gretchen Kane on Sunday, March 31. RSVP for the event online.

What does Ursuline mean to you?

"We love Ursuline's sports and academic programs, and the school was among the first in Dallas to engage its students in service to the needy in the Dallas community. (President) Gretchen Kane and I served together on the Cristo Rey Dallas board, and I saw how she set up the work-study program. Watching her at work gave me an insight into her approach to organizing, staffing, and directing a successful college preparatory school. Our granddaughters can compete across the board with the best private and public schools in Dallas."

What is your funniest Ursuline memory?

"When I went to Christ the King, we had Ursuline nuns. They all knew my family, which was a GREAT disadvantage. Rarely did I do anything wrong (of course), but when I did, my grandmother and my mom got a phone call. I was always on a short leash."

How excited are you for Grandparents Day?

"Mary and I are delighted, grateful, and honored to be asked to serve as co-chairs of this event. We both were very engaged in parents' activities when Elizabeth was at Ursuline, Mary especially as a previous Mardi Gras Chair. It's nice to be back."

Is grandparent your favorite role?

"Nothing beats being a grandparent. As we all have learned, grandchildren are among the few things in life that are underrated. We are blessed that all of ours live in Dallas."

What events do you attend at Ursuline now?

"I don't think Mary and I have missed a volleyball game in two years. Even more amazing is I don't think Gretchen has either. Allie was voted MVP of her freshman volleyball team and played JV last year. Her younger sister, Emma, hopes to play on the freshman team next year. Also, Maddy is on the track team."