PEPPER PIKE — Ursuline College recently named six new trustees to further enhance the educational opportunities at the college. Four of the six have a background in education, including three Ursuline sisters, while the remaining two come from a corporate background.

“We are delighted to welcome these distinguished professionals and look forward to their wisdom and counsel in key areas of higher education administration,” Sister Christine De Vinne, president of Ursuline College, said in a press release.

The new trustees include Jeanne Colleran, Linda M. Olejko, John King and Sisters Laura Bregar, Cheryl Mentkowski and Gretchen Rodenfels. Dr. Colleran is a distinguished rule of law fellow at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and previously worked for 30 years as a faculty member and administrator at John Carroll University.

Ms. Olejko is a business development director in the Ohio office for Glenmede, a wealth management firm. Sister Laura Bregar served as principal of Ascension and Our Lady of the Lake schools and is now on the executive team for the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland.

Mr. King, 59, of Highland Heights said that he sees the value of the Ursuline sisters and their educational opportunities through three important women in his life. He said that his mother, wife and daughter were all educated by Ursuline sisters at Beaumont School, a private Catholic high school in Cleveland Heights. Mr. King said that his wife, Laura, is a proud graduate of Ursuline’s nursing school.

In addition to his family members who attended Beaumont, Mr. King went to Christ the King School in East Cleveland and was educated by the Ursuline sisters. He is now a certified public accountant and works as a managing partner for KBN Advisors, an accounting and consulting firm for dental practices worldwide.

“The sisters have done such a noble job over the years, and that’s why people like myself feel a need to give back to them,” he said of joining Ursuline College’s board of trustees.

Mr. King said that his overarching goals for the college are to educate the students with a strong sense of service and leadership. He explained that Ursuline, since it is a faith-based institution, grounds its teachings in Catholic values. In addition, Mr. King said that the trustees will ensure that Ursuline stays competitive by offering important majors.

Sister Cheryl Mentkowski, 73, has been an Ursuline sister for 40 years and was also recently named to the college’s board of trustees. She said that she has always prioritized the college and its goal to educate women.

“I can’t think of a more appropriate place where the philosophy is the education of women,” Sister Mentkowski said of Ursuline College. “It’s who we are as the Ursuline sisters.”

She spoke on the importance of a women’s-focused college. According to Sister Mentkowski, who worked at Beaumont School for 35 years, women learn differently than men. She said that women are more collaborative and Ursuline College is tailored to how women will flourish.

“Women have a presence that the world needs so badly – compassion, listening and tenderness,” she said. “The part of our society to be nurturing is sliding away. You can be nurturing and successful. Compassion and mercy are not weaknesses.”

Sister Gretchen Rodenfels, an Ursuline graduate, said that she wants to give back to the college. She said that she received an outstanding education there and wants to make her own contribution for the next generation of students. She formerly served as the president of Beaumont School and raised nearly $10 million for building projects.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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