Smiling for STAC
A smile crosses my face as I reminisce about my years at STAC. I was 19, engaged and eager to finish my degree close to home. My future husband came up with the idea that I should go to STAC. St. Thomas had (and continues to have) a really flexible transfer policy. So I applied. I wasn’t sure how I would get there as I had no car. STAC had a bulletin board. I put up a notice and several sweet women offered me a ride!
Even though I was engaged, I fell in love again. Imagine falling in love with a college. I felt welcomed, loved and valued. My English Literature Professor, Sister Marie Jean met me with open arms. Sister knew I was a transfer student and she made it her mission to ensure a smooth transition for me. I was introduced to fellow students, offered first-rate experiences and for the first time started to appreciate that I did, in fact, have a fine mind! Right before I graduated with honors, Sister Marie said to me, keep going, Susan. You have a lot to offer. I knew I had made a wonderful decision to complete my four year degree at St. Thomas. I followed Sister’s advice and managed to get two master’s degrees from SUNY New Paltz and then a doctorate in educational leadership from Columbia.
All my love affairs continue. I married my fiancé almost 49 years ago, we have two fine sons, and I had an amazing career that culminated in my being an award winning assistant superintendent of schools. I did keep on going and I thank STAC for the numerous opportunities it afforded me. When I lacked faith in myself, I found the staff and my fellow classmates inspirational in their belief in me and others. I believe in paying it forward. STAC continues to inspire me almost five decades later. The program offerings, special services and the diversity of students and staff enable STAC to continue to be an award winning college that still puts that smile on my face. Forever, I thank you.
Dr. Susan Loew Heiferman, Class of 1969