In Memoriam: Sr. Patricia Ann Matthews

Sister Patricia Ann Matthews served Marywood for over 35 years. Photo Credit: Marketing and Communications.

A Message From Sister Anne Munley

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Sister Patricia Ann Matthews, IHM, Ph.D., who served Marywood University as an educator and academic officer for over 35 years. She began her career at Marywood as a faculty member in the Social Sciences department. Through the course of her service, Sister Patricia served as Chairperson of both the undergraduate and graduate departments of Social Sciences; Dean of the Undergraduate School; and, from 1986 until her retirement in 2006, as our esteemed Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Nationally renowned leader in her field, Sister Patricia’s spirit, intelligence, wisdom, and faith guided all of us in achieving the standards of academic excellence for which Marywood University has become known. The responsible and direct style she brought to administrative tasks, along with her passion for justice and effective problem solving, guided Marywood’s course at a critical time in its history –the transformation from a liberal arts women’s college to a comprehensive, coeducational university and a premier Catholic institution of higher learning for the 21st century.

Please add your prayers to mine as we extend our deepest sympathy to Sister Patricia’s family and friends, gratefully recognizing her many years of outstanding service and steadfast commitment to Marywood University and its mission.

Memorial contributions may be made to the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, Pa. 18509, or in support of the Sister Patricia Ann Matthews, IHM, Ph.D. Endowed Scholarship, Marywood University, c/o the Development Office, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, Pa. 18509.

Sr. Patricia’s Obituary:

Sister Patricia Ann Matthews, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, died on Tuesday, February 19 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton. She was formerly known as Sister M. Theodosia. She was born on March 10, 1940, in Scranton, the daughter of the late Charles R. and Carmeada Rowland Matthews. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1960, and made her temporary profession of vows Sister Patricia Ann Matthews, IHM on June 26, 1963, and her final profession of vows on June 26, 1968.

During her first years in the IHM Congregation, she served as a high school teacher, at Bishop Guilfoyle High School in Altoona, from 1965 to 1966; and at St. Mary High School in Manhasset, N.Y., from 1966 to 1968.

She attended Douglas College at Rutgers University prior to entering the convent. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in social science from Marywood College, and a Master of Arts degree in political science from St. John’s University.

After earning her doctoral degree in American Government from St. John’s University, Sister Patricia served Marywood University for more than 35 years. She began her career at Marywood as a political science instructor. She was later named Chairperson of both the undergraduate and graduate departments of social sciences; Dean of the Undergraduate School; and, from 1986 to 2006, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

During her faithful service, she guided the academic affairs division through significant advancements and changes. She positioned the Marywood library to be among the first in the region to automate. She was also instrumental in the formation of two doctoral degree programs and she played a lead role in the reorganization of Marywood from a college to a university in 1997, and the subsequent restructuring of the university into four distinct colleges in 2003.

In 2001, Sister Patricia was named Chief Academic Officer of the year by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), after being nominated and selected by the chief academic officers of the 490 institutions represented by the CIC.

Her belief that each person can make a difference formed her pedagogy as a teacher. Her passion for justice, her wisdom and faith, and her practice of effective problem solving played an integral role in the transformation of Marywood from a liberal arts women’s college to a comprehensive coeducational university and a premier Catholic institution of higher learning.

She was a widely respected educator, scholar, consultant, and lecturer on higher education, including teaching, academic administration, professional development, gender issues, outcome assessment, and strategic planning.

Since her retirement as vice president of academic affairs in 2006, she continued to serve Marywood University as assistant to the president for Special Projects.

During the past year of her declining health, until the time of her death, she served as a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She is survived by a sister, Carmeada Gogal and husband, John, of Lebanon, N.J.; and three brothers; Rowland of Newfoundland, Kirk and wife, Joan, of Germantown, Tenn., and Lee C. of Clinton, N.J; nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her faithful friend, Sister Gail Cabral, IHM, of Scranton.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509, or in support of the Sister Patricia Ann Matthews, IHM, Ph.D. Endowed Scholarship, Marywood University, c/o the Development Office, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.