Women of Influence

Introduction by Susan Sward
Photos by Toby Burditt and Erin Mulvehill

Profiles of some of the 40 Influential Women are available below. More profiles are being added soon, so check back again.

Four decades after women were first admitted to Saint Mary's College, many female graduates have gone on to make spectacular contributions in a wide array of professions – from inner-city education to law enforcement.

Claiming a Voice

By Sandra Grayson
Illustration by Seana Lyn Mickols

A Year of Change: 1970

Letters to the Editor

The Wow Meter

Dear Editors,
The latest issue of the Saint Mary's magazine (spring 2010) arrived today. Upon closer examination and with some measure of prior issues of the magazine, it is my opinion that the latest issue is the greatest copy ever issued by Saint Mary's.

The layout is without peer. Thankfully, there is much to celebrate, and the foldout feature of the Gaels basketball team sends this issue high into the wow meter. Such excellence must be congratulated.

From the Editor

By Erin Hallissy


The 1960s and '70s brought many changes to America – the civil rights era, the women's liberation movement, the hippie era. Saint Mary's yearbook from 1970-71 noted a revolution was going on that "will originate with the individual and with culture, and it will change the political structure only as its final actual act. … This is the revolution of the new generation."

Women of Influence: Anna Maria Cardinalli '97

Women of Influence: Amy Vernetti '90

Women of Influence: Nance Tovar '78, MA '79, MA Counseling '83

Nance Tovar, who graduated in 1976, was among four women who founded a private school in Oakland in 1989 for children from all socioeconomic and academic levels who would not otherwise be able to get an excellent education.

Women of Influence: Frances Sweeney '86, MA Liberal Studies '08

Women of Influence: Claire Sheridan