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The life of Mary Catherine “Cathie” Ryan, alumna, former trustee and champion of Dominican University for 60 years, was highlighted in a recent Chicago Sun-Times feature obituary.

Ryan, 83, died Jan. 10. In the article, she was remembered as a philanthropist and “female trailblazer in the Chicago private banking world” who had a 47-year career with Bank of America, retiring as senior vice president. 

A 1961 Rosary College graduate, Ryan served on the Dominican University Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2013 and was involved in many leadership roles through the years. She helped create the Rosary College Women’s Board, served as vice chair of Dominican’s Heart and Mind campaign in the early 2000s, was an advisory board member of the Sinsinawa Dominicans, and served on many grant-making foundation boards.

“She knew everybody, and people looked to her for advice and for influence,” Dr. Donna Carroll, president emerita of Dominican University, told the Sun-Times. “In the home stretch, Cathie was someone on whom you could depend.”

“Cathie was tirelessly devoted to the university over the years,” Sara M. Acosta, vice president for University Advancement, wrote in a community message following Ryan’s death. “Her impact on this institution and the greater community cannot be underestimated.”

Named in memory of Ryan’s parents, the Mabel and Joseph Crowley Scholarship Fund was also established at Dominican University. Donations to this fund may be made in her memory.

Read more about Ryan’s life in the Chicago Sun-Times.