Nearly 600 Mount St. Mary Academy alumnae, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends gathered in the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock on Tuesday, April 16, for the fifth biennial Mercy & Me Luncheon. The signature event celebrates Mercy-inspired leadership – modeled by Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy – and honors its impact in the Central Arkansas community and beyond.
Sister Mary Sullivan, highly regarded author and educator with “unparalleled knowledge” of Catherine McAuley, provided the keynote address at the luncheon. She shared stories of the influential Sisters of Mercy founder and spoke of Catherine’s extraordinary courage, generosity and service with hopes of inspiring guests to demonstrate the same sort of merciful love in their own lives. Sister Lisa Griffith, executive director of the Mercy Education System of the Americas and former assistant principal at Mount St. Mary, provided special remarks after Sister Mary’s address that further celebrated Mercy and its impact – particularly within the 56 Mercy-sponsored schools across the Americas.
Near the end of the special event, Laura Landreaux was honored with the Mount St. Mary Academy Women’s Leadership Award. A new addition to the Mercy & Me Luncheon, the award was established to recognize exceptional women with ties to Arkansas who have demonstrated outstanding leadership within their community. Laura is the first female president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas, the state’s largest electric utility, and a member of the Mount St. Mary Class of 1991. In her acceptance speech, Laura shared touching words from her late father, encouraging those in attendance to “take a risk, stick your neck out, speak your mind, challenge the status quo, don’t just accept responsibility – chase it down.”
Prior to the luncheon, Sister Mary and Sister Lisa addressed the Mount St. Mary student body in the McAuley Center. The Mercy & Me student program gives all students the opportunity to hear from the Mercy & Me keynote speakers in a more informal setting prior to the luncheon and has become an important tradition and accompaniment to the larger event.
View photos from the day’s events: https://flic.kr/s/aHskTRDU57
Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.