Sister Nancy leaves a legacy of loving life

By Cari Ann DeLamielleure

Emotions filled the room as Sr. Nancy Jamroz led students, staff, faculty and friends in her last rendition of the Madonna University Alma Mater as she bid farewell after 22 years of service.

Sr. Nancy is known for her passion for butterflies, and this is no coincidence. The butterfly is a representation of life, nature, and the love for life, said Pat Baumgarten, National President of Kappa Gamma Pi, as she opened the farewell ceremony Oct. 26. 

“Our motto of Kappa Gamma Pi is faith and service, and there is no member that gives more than Sr. Nancy,” said Baumgarten. “She believes in this faith and service in her students.”

As Vice President of Student Services, Sr. Nancy has instilled a sense of hope and encouragement in university programs through her positive spirit and personality.

From symbolizing the “shining star” of the SWEEP program to rescuing a shrew from psychology professor Jim O’Neill’s office, her diverse service was appreciated with gifts of flowers, paintings and the singing voices of the Madonna students in Hollywood.

With tears flowing from the performance of “What a Wonderful World,” Sr. Nancy finally addressed the audience. “It’s not often that I’m speechless or wordless,” said Sr. Nancy.

She then commemorated her successor, Connie Tingson-Gatuz, stating her confidence in her work to come. To Tingson-Gatuz, Sr. Nancy has been the model of life and purpose.

It is unknown how many students Sr. Nancy has helped and befriended, and for biology major, Jennifer Binkard, she was her biggest supporter when she decided to enter into the Catholic Church. Her fondest memory of their friendship was when Sr. Nancy came to her confirmation.

After her years of service to Madonna University, Sr. Nancy will be moving to Pennsylvania to take on her new position as a counselor of the Our Lady of Hope Province of Felician Sisters of North America.

“I’ll carry you all in my heart,” said Sr. Nancy. “I will be praying for you every day.”

In her honor, a butterfly garden will be planted outside the conference room in the Franciscan Center. In the center of the garden, a statue of St. Francis of Assisi will be beside the butterfly bush. The garden will debut June 1.

“Whenever you see a butterfly, you will know it’s Sr. Nancy loving life,” said Baumgarten.