Imler to lead mission integration at USF

Feb. 17, 2010

University of St. Francis is pleased to announce the appointment of Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler as vice president of Mission Integration and Ministry. Imler, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Frankfort, will lead the university community in living its Franciscan values of respect, service, integrity and compassion in the classroom and the community, according to USF President Michael J. Vinciguerra.

“Sr. Mary Elizabeth comes to USF with a rich background of accomplishment in a variety of roles,” Vinciquerra said. “She undoubtedly will aid the entire USF community in living our mission and fulfilling our promise to manifest our Catholic identity.”

Imler recently completed her second term as general superior for her congregation and served three years in the presidency, on Spirit and Life, and the Transformation Task Force for the Franciscan Federation of North America. Well known within the International Franciscan Federation, Imler is frequently asked to assist Franciscan congregations’ formation and leadership throughout the world. This past summer she served congregations in the Far East and Africa.

From the leadership and administrative arena, Imler is deeply involved with Catholic health care serving on the board of directors for Catholic Healthcare West and now on the Provena Health System. She served as chairperson on the board of St. Joseph’s College of Nursing when it was part of Provena Corporation and two terms as board president for Retreats International. From 1991-1999, she served as the co-director of the Portiuncula Center for Prayer in Frankfort where her responsibilities included directing, planning, and coordinating retreats and workshops for adults and high school programs.

Imler is a graduate of St. Mary’s College/Notre Dame University with majors in Physics, Chemistry, and Secondary Education. Her spiritual development was enhanced by course work through Retreats International and Ignatius College in Guelph, Ontario, and continued with her earning a master’s degree in the summer of 1999 from the International Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University. Her master’s thesis was printed and is entitled “A Franciscan Solitude Experience: The Pilgrim’s Journey”.

Imler replaces Sr. Rosemary Small, vice president for mission integration and ministry emeritus, who retired at the end of 2009.

The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,600 students nationwide, offering 38 undergraduate programs, four degree-completion programs and 12 graduate programs, along with a doctorate in nursing practice. Programs are offered in arts and science, business, education, nursing and health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit