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Dr. Marie-Helene Gibney '65

Message from Patricia A. Bosse '81

Vice President for Advancement and Marketing

Dear Notre Dame colleagues and friends,

On Friday, April 5, 2013 the Notre Dame of Maryland University community lost one of its most devoted, spirited and capable alumnae leaders with the passing of Dr. Marie-Helene Gibney '65. Marie-Helene leaves behind an extraordinary legacy marked by a distinguished career in academia and invaluable service to this University.

A 1954 graduate of the SSND-sponsored Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, N.J., Marie-Helene entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame at an early age. While a classroom teacher, Marie-Helene completed her bachelor's degree in music from Notre Dame of Maryland University. In 1969, she received her master's degree in education from The Catholic University of America. Nine years later, Marie-Helene earned her doctoral degree in higher education administration, also from Catholic University. From 1971 until 1977, Marie-Helene served as dean of admissions and director of financial aid at Notre Dame. Her warmth, her sense of humor, and her wonderful joie de vivre made Marie-Helene a most beloved member of the campus community. In 1977, Marie-Helene left Notre Dame to become the assistant vice president for academic affairs at Georgetown University, and from 1988 until her retirement in 1994, Marie-Helene served as Georgetown's associate provost. 

In 1995, Marie-Helene was named to Notre Dame’s board of trustees, and in 1996-97, she served on the presidential search committee. During a time of transition three years later, President Mary Pat Seurkamp appointed Marie-Helene to a year-long term as interim vice president for academic affairs. Marie-Helene's deep respect for the faculty won her many admirers. Her term concluded, Marie-Helene continued her involvement, serving on the Legacy Giving Committee and as regent of the SSND Family Chapter, which connected School Sisters and former School Sisters more closely to their alma mater. She was a member of the Alumnae and Alumni Association Executive Board as well as the Meletia Society, Notre Dame's premier circle of donors. Marie-Helene also lent her considerable talents to the greater community and in 2005, the Sons of Italy Grand Lodge of Maryland honored her for her efforts to preserve and promote Italian culture and music.

On Thursday, April 11, the family will receive visitors from 2 until 4 p.m. and from 7 until 9 p.m., at the Donaldson Funeral Home, 313 Talbott Avenue/Route 198 West, in Laurel. On Friday, April 12, a memorial mass is planned for 11 a.m., at Resurrection of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church, 8402 Brock Bridge Road, in Laurel.  The family has established a scholarship fund at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Marie-Helene’s name and ask that memorial contributions be directed to the fund in lieu of flowers.  Contributions can be sent to:  Institutional Advancement, Notre Dame of Maryland University, 4701 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD  21210.

Please keep Marie-Helene's husband Michael Robertazzi and her sister Adele Baron and all who knew and cherished Marie-Helene in your prayers.