Sister Antoninus Buckley, CCVI, Registrar, Board Member and Professor Emerita of Education

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Mary Buckley came to San Antonio as a teenager to become an Incarnate Word Sister and until her death in 1996 she served UIW, mostly as Registrar. But her role went beyond that. For many of her years she served as assistant to president Sister Columkille Colbert, helped with the recruitment of students and lived with the students in the residence halls. On many an early morning during exam week she would watch the door as resident students dashed to Earl Abel’s for a fried chicken break. She was a big sister, mother, grandmother, advisor and best friend to generations she never forgot.

Sister Toni, as many called her, was also a friend of faculty, alumni, parents and benefactors over the years. But to children of all she was called Sister Candy; the minute they hit the Administration Building they would bolt for her office and the candy treats she always kept in her desk drawer. That ready smile and twinkling eyes announced to one and all she had an ever young spirit.

She did take time to earn her bachelor’s degree from IWC and the MA from the Peabody Institute. After that, from 1944 on, she and her limited staff kept excellent student records and registrations by hand. Sr. Toni had a sixth sense for a student in need, and how to meet it. After 1985 she and Sister Ann Finn became surrogate guardians for Louis and Nancy Agnese, children of the then young President, played soccer, and made many a PB&J sandwich for school lunches.

As a volunteer for the annual Alumni Phonathon she was an inspiration, and a challenge to other volunteers. She not only remembered the student, married name and spouse, children, other relatives, but also could recall major events in their lives. She frequently made second calls to gather additional data for her incredible memories that she treasured.

A people friendly courtyard behind the Administration Building, The Buckley-Mitchell Building , and an endowed memorial scholarship commemorate her and her favorite motto: “The more you give, the more you receive.”

This is part of our heritage. Making a difference.

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