The President's Circle

Celebrating a Vibrant Community

Each year in the spring, members of The President’s Circle gather for a special dinner to celebrate a vibrant Ursuline community. Donors and volunteer leaders are recognized for their Serviam spirit and commitment to the future of the school.

President's Circle Dinner 2022

President's Circle 2022 was held in the spring at the Warwick Melrose - Dallas hotel. The evening’s program shared the ways Ursuline faced challenges, supported students, advanced our mission, and celebrated success in the 2021-2022 school year. Ursuline Academy Board of Trustees Chair Jon Piot opened the evening, followed by President Gretchen Kane's presentation of the 2022 President's Award to this year's recipient, Sybil Emmett Tucker '51. The program concluded with a video review of the school year. View event program.

Sybil's Acceptance Remarks

"I was 12 when we moved to Dallas in 1946. My father, who was non-Catholic, decided it was time for me to walk to the neighborhood public school three blocks away. My mother, who was Catholic, chose Ursuline Academy, the edifice on Bryan and St. Joseph’s Streets… definitely NOT walkable. And for the next five years, I took an hour-long ride of one trolley and two buses to school. My father was extremely proud through those years that I was an “Ursuline Girl.”
 
Ursuline means so many things to me beyond an extraordinary education and life-long friendships.
 
The new Ursuline Campus of 1950 didn’t have the drama of the Old Gothic Ursuline in East Dallas or the beauty of Merici, the estate across the creek. But it did project the strength and sturdiness of the ages, as it has lasted these 72 years.
 
Our Class – the Inimitable Class of 1951 – breathed life into this new building with our laughter and the joi de vie of young girls.
 
Yes, we were the first class to graduate from this new building, but we took one penance for the future classes by graduating INSIDE in the makeshift gym. Our graduation picture, taken in the Rotunda, clearly shows the downpour glistening off the floor to ceiling windows, but our hearts were young and happy.
 
The Ursuline Sisters were semi-cloistered. They were our missionaries who never traveled, but opened the world to us. They had limited boundaries, but limitless spirits. We were encouraged to honor “Courtesy, Loyalty, and Courage”… to show “initiative”… to take “Serviam” to our heart … to have boundless morals... and to embrace our Maker. I became a teacher to honor my students as I was honored at Ursuline.
 
Sr. Dolores Marie Ramsey was more than the first principal and general overseer of the building project. She set the standard for educational excellence and for Serviam that continues today. She even taught us to pray as the Protestants do, in conversation and not just memory.
 
Yes, there is a sisterhood at Ursuline – then as now. My classmates are my dearest friends, and our commitment to Ursuline remains strong. We even have our own Ursuline Sister – Mary Troy – Sr. Mary Troy – who has celebrated 69 years as an Ursuline. We celebrated our 70th reunion a few months ago, and of course, we HAD NOT CHANGED. Returning to Ursuline is the best spa in town.
 
Because of the foresight of Lydia Haggar Novakov ’68 and Sr. Carla Dolce, the Alumnae Office was established in 1982. I began the most perfect position as Alumnae Director. It was exhilarating and challenging to bring 5,000 alums back to Ursuline on a regular basis through reunions, events, publications, and “fun”raising.
 
But first, we had to transfer Sr. Emmanuel Shea’s 5,000 index cards, with each alumna catalogued, into a database. The Haggar Company came to our rescue again.
 
Being the Archivist was a cooling down position. Here I was, a fossil myself, digging up forgotten facts, newsworthy stories, and displaying treasures from the past. Joyce Meyer ’70, an extraordinary volunteer, and I did a school-favorite display titled “Hair Styles from 1874 to Today.”
 
So here I am overwhelmed by this honor and certainly passionately grateful to my family for being loving and Ursuline-favorable all through these years.
 
I am grateful to Gretchen, Michele, Valerie, and Claire, and many others through the years for their gracious support on my multi-year Ursuline journey.
 
And, of course, I am thankful to YOU for your vision and generosity to continue making it possible to have generations of Ursuline Girls. The world needs Ursuline Girls.
 
So, what does Ursuline mean to me?
  • An extraordinary education,
  • Happy remembrances,
  • Sisterhood of classmates and beyond,
  • Intrepid Ursuline Sisters,
  • Blessed morals and a Serviam spirit.
I am closing these remembrances in a traditional but revised Ursuline way:
St. Angela has watched over the days of my youth.
And at 88, St. Ursula is still protecting my future.
 
Thank you."

Donors contributing $10,000 or more in a year become members of The President’s Circle.

The President's Award

Established in 2004, the President’s Award is presented each year at The President's Circle Dinner to recognize an outstanding volunteer for extraordinary leadership and Serviam spirit in support of Ursuline Academy and excellence in education for young women.