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Xavier Magazine | October 19, 2017

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Profile: Sister Margaret Stallmeyer, C.D.P.

Profile: Sister Margaret Stallmeyer, C.D.P.
Xavier University

Sister Margaret Stallmeyer, C.D.P.
Master’s in Education, 1972 | President, Thomas More College, Crestview Hills, Ky.

Sweet 16 | Educated by the sisters of the Congregation of Divine Providence in Northern Kentucky, Stallmeyer felt the call as a young girl. “I felt a pull that I didn’t think I could resist. I was 16 at the time and the oldest at home, but I left high school and went to the convent. It was difficult to leave home at that age, but typical then for people to enter after the eighth grade. It was 1962. Now you rarely see anyone come in until after college.”

Teach Me | She entered Thomas More College expecting to become a teacher. And she did, returning to her own high school, Our Lady of Providence Academy in Newport, Ky.

School Days | While teaching math there for nearly 20 years and earning a master’s degree in education, she also gained administrative experience as assistant principal and principal.

Continuing Education | In the late 1980s, she went back to school for a juris in canon law from the Catholic University of America. With that, she joined the Lexington (Ky.) Diocese as director of the marriage tribunal.

Judge Margaret | “I was the judge granting annulments,” she says. “A canon lawyer is someone whose role is to uphold the law of the church, including marriage. In some ways it was very difficult, but in other ways it was very rewarding. For many, going through an annulment frees them up to move on, and so it’s rewarding to help a person do that.”

A Step Up | While serving five years as judge and 10 years as treasurer of her community, she also served as a Thomas More trustee. When the college’s president’s position became vacant, the trustees asked her to fill in as interim president.

Presidential Material | “I was rather shocked. I had not seen myself as the president, but as we talked about it and reflected on my strengths, it gave me energy. I had a knowledge of the college. I wasn’t coming in cold, and I decided to say yes.”

In Office | Six months later, the trustees asked her to stay, and she gladly accepted. Under her leadership, the liberal arts college of 1,400 students is moving forward with plans to expand enrollment, raise the endowment and improve the buildings. She believes she’s at Thomas More because it was meant to be. “This is a wonderful fit for me. I believe God moves us to the places that are best for us at the time.”

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