As almost a side note in a fascinating article about the amazing President of Spalding College in Nazareth Kentucky another dimension caught my eye.
Although her school has been independent of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth since 1973, McClure continues some of the traditions the order started at the school’s founding. She and other Spalding staff annually visit the order’s Bardstown, Ky., motherhouse, and students learn of its legacy of community service that includes sisters who served as nurses for units on both sides of the Civil War.
Since she was installed as president of Spalding University, Tori Murden McClure has encouraged students and faculty to feed the hungry and repair houses for the needy, helping the Louisville, Ky., school clock in 1.6 million service hours in one year.
The article continues…So when she learned of religion scholar Karen Armstrong’s Charter for Compassion, the Protestant president pushed to have her Catholic university designated the world’s first “compassionate university.”
“It gave us something to brag about,” said McClure of the school founded in 1920 by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. “Not being Catholic, I’m allowed to brag.”
Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz said that McClure is a “good fit” as the leader of the Catholic university just blocks from his archdiocesan headquarters and that the decision to make a Protestant its leader — a rarity among the member schools of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities — was uncontroversial.
“To me what is essential, of course, is that a person understands, accepts and promotes the mission and I have found that consistently she has done so,” said Kurtz, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He appreciates that despite her “sports hero” background she has chosen to work “for a very unselfish and community-serving outcome.”
And, oh yes, she was the first woman to cross the Atlantic alone by rowboat. And… she also was one of the first two women to ski 750 miles to the South Pole.
Read the rest of the article by Adelle M. Banks of the Religion News Service to learn about the fact that it was Muhammad Ali who encouraged her to make the second, successful, attempt to complete the trans-Atlantic row. She proposed to her husband, Mac McClure, by phone from the boat after surviving another hurricane and a week before she reached land.