Sister Neomi Hayes, CCVI, Dean of Students , Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
She is Irish, but she was born in England. This led to teasing that she was FBI (foreign born Irish. She got to Ireland soon enough and then decided to come to San Antonio to join the Congregation. She completed two degrees and her nature and temperament easily pointed the way to leadership positions.
Early on she worked in the Registrar’s Office where she got to know the students, faculty and administration exceedingly well. No matter the perceived “crisis” Sister remained calm and had a solution ready. She could have put Atila the Hun at ease.
She was the perfect fit for her role as Dean of Students during times of transition. She was an advocate for students when they needed one and would speak for them when they were right. But she was no pushover and she wanted to hear all sides first. Listening was her strong point with a healthy respect for youthful enthusiasm. Common sense was ever her guide and that was respected. Eventually she was called to Congregational leadership of the San Antonio Province and then General Superior. Her style never faltered, and the mission was her guide.
After that she was the co-founder of a new program, Visitation House for abused women and children. Truly a challenge but it continues to change lives for the better. Now her sights are more global and helps with yet another new venture, the Congregation’s Women’s Global Connection with Sister Dorothy Ettling. Together they enlist the help of students and faculty to minister to the poorest of the poor in Africa and beyond. She has also served on the University’s Board or Trustees and numerous service committees. And like so many of her CCVI predecessors she remains low key, giving glory to God, not themselves.
This is our heritage. Making a difference.