Dorothy Helen Ettling was born in 1940 in St. Louis, Missouri, one of two daughters of Marie and Winn Ettling. She attended Incarnate Word Academy where she became acquainted with the Sisters teaching there and entered the Congregation upon graduation from high school. Her exceptional leadership skills were easily recognized and she earned her MSW from the Worden School of Social Work at Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio. After a noteworthy career as a social worker, Sr. Dot (as her friends called her) was encouraged to continue studies, and she earned the PhD in Transpersonal Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California.
Sr. Dorothy believed strongly in the power of Consecrated Religious Life and served as General Superior of her Congregation from 1984 to 1990. As a member of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Board, she dedicated her remarkable talent to the envisioning of religious life after the Second Vatican Council. She facilitated this process in many religious Congregations in the U.S. and Canada. While recognized as a woman of great accomplishment, Sr. Dot was continually honing a quiet, contemplative style that inspired confidence. She manifested a unique ability to gather people in communities dedicated to systemic change.
While Sr. Dot was anchored at UIW as a Professor of Organizational Leadership in the Dreeben School of Education, her creative energy knew no boundaries. Her latest project was bringing the Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) from idea to reality. A partnership between UIW and CHRISTUS Health, the Center is dedicated to promoting the common good for those in most need. Sr. Dot believed that the mission of the CCL is a legacy of UIW, CHRISTUS Health and the Sisters.
Sr. Dot's legacy, passion, and energy will be forever missed but will continue to progress via the work of many faculty, students and staff at The University of the Incarnate Word including the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership & Sustainability and the Cardinal Community Leaders Program.