Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Manhattanville College Celebrates Sister Mary T. Clark’s 100th Birthday


Sister Mary T. ClarkManhattanville College held a special 100th birthday celebration for Sister Mary T. Clark on Sunday, Oct. 27.

“First and foremost I want to thank all of you. I value what you are and what you bring. I’m more convinced than ever that your education has illuminated you,” Sister Clark said at the end of the Mass at Mother O’Byrne Chapel.

“What is visible here is your value of friendship. The love that comes from a friend is freer than any other kind of love,” she said, quoting Saint Augustine, speaking about the restless heart.

In addition to receiving her bachelor’s degree from Manhattanville in 1939, Sister Clark spent 44 years at the College as a philosophy professor, 12 of which she chaired the department. Her many honors include: the Interracial Justice Award from the Catholic Interracial Council in 1967, an honorary degree from Manhattanville in 1984, and the Aquinas Medal for Eminence in Philosophy from the American Catholic Philosophical Association in 1988.

Walking through Heritage Hall on the way to the luncheon portion of the celebration Sister Clark and her family stopped and observed her picture on the display titled, “Living the Mission.”

“I am inspired by her intellect and even more inspired by her love of philosophy and God. She can integrate these in her service and education for good,” said her nephew Kevin Clark, who was accompanied by his wife.

“I’ve been in awe of Aunt Mary since I was a small child. I always loved her smiling welcome and ready laugh. I continue to be inspired by her love for God and her countless friends,” said her niece Regina McGranery.

“I would sometimes come to Manhattanville and visit her. She would live with the students. She had two adjoining rooms, one where she lived and one was a library with a mini refrigerator. She values the little things in her life,” said her niece Kathleen Clark.

During the luncheon, which was held in the West Room of Reid Hall, President Jon Strauss, Provost Gail Simmons, Trustee Nancy King ‘66, Lisa Dolling ‘84, and Philosopher Antonia Arslan, shared personal experiences they had with her.  

Arslan stated, “Sister Clark throughout her life has been an inspiration to women scholars and myself.”

Between family, friends, alumni, faculty and staff about 100 people were in attendance including many members of the class of ’57, which she was the warden of. The class of ’57 also established Mary T. Clark R.S.C.J. Chair in Christian Philosophy at the College.