By J1 Reporter Rylee Gregg
Everyone knows Ms. Mary Higgins as the friendly face who greets them as they walk into school some mornings, but what they don’t realize is that she has a fascinating past leading up to her current position as Marian’s President.
When asked about Higgins’ past and current position at the school, sophomore Sydney Schroeder said, “I honestly don’t think I know much about her.” And not many students do.
Higgins is a Marian alumna of 1969, and she attended Creighton University for college, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Later, she attended the University of Nebraska Omaha for a Masters degree in Science, specifically, physical education.
What much of the student body doesn’t know is that she worked at Creighton University for 39 years in a variety of positions, including Director of Women’s Intramural Sports, Head Softball Coach, and Director of Student Retention.
“In 2014, Creighton offered a retirement package for employees of a certain age with a long employment history,” Higgins said. She knew she was going to accept, but was unsure what to pursue next.
This was when Marian came back into her story. “They advertised that they were seeking a member of the Marian family to serve as interim president for one year,” Higgins said. As a Marian graduate, mother of a former Marian student, and member of the Board of Directors, she certainly fit the description. “I went through the interview process, the Board removed the word ‘interim’ from the title and I accepted the position.”
As President, Higgins oversees much of Marian’s external aspects. This includes fundraising, enrollment, alumnae interaction and communication. In general, she serves as Marian’s public representation.
Since her return, Higgins said she has greatly enjoyed her time at Marian. “I love Marian to the depths of my soul,” Higgins said. “It provides an incredible education for young women while at the same time enveloping them in a culture of spiritual growth and personal challenge that gives them the tools to develop genuine self-confidence.”
Higgins still marvels at the quality of the staff at Marian and the opportunities it provides. She said simply, “Our faculty are amazing and deeply committed to quality teaching.”
Higgins has had a profound impact on the Marian community. Not only has she become the first Marian alumna to serve as President, but her caring attitude is also noticed by all as they walk in the school doors to begin each day.
“She really does a lot for our community, and I didn’t even realize it. We’re lucky to have her,” Schroeder said.