Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss

Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss, Texas Women's Hall of Fame Inductee 2018

2018 Inductee

For nearly two decades, this humble risk-taker—a Catholic nun with a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame—opened the doors to higher education for more first-generation college students, working adults and other underserved communities in Texas.

One of the first women to lead a Texas university, Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss of the Congregation of Divine Providence was in 1978 named president of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. During her tenure, the university experienced unprecedented enrollment growth. Weekend College, the first program in South Texas to offer classes to accommodate working adults, was launched, first in San Antonio and later expanded to Houston and the Rio Grande Valley. Campus facilities were upgraded through multiple ambitious capital campaigns. The nation’s first doctor of psychology in counseling psychology was accredited by the American Psychology Association. The first e-commerce degree program in Texas was launched. And the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, now comprised of 380 higher education institutions that are home to more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college students in the U.S., was formed.

Though she passed away in 2009, Sister Elizabeth Anne’s legacy of defying expectations lives on in every student who graduates and makes a difference; each walks in the path her devotion to meaningful learning helped blaze.

Page last updated 12:17 PM, May 18, 2022