An Inspiration to Us All
In a 1988 issue of TODAY magazine, Sister Gregory Naddy was honored for her “leadership by example, by instruction, by her indomitable spirit – all with a deep sense of her personal, as well as an institutional, obligation to God and the Church.” More than 20 years later, Sister Gregory was honored once again at the Success By The Sea Gala for her countless contributions to the University, as well as her continued inspiration for faculty, students and staff.
Born in Ireland in 1918, Sister Gregory went to school with the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary sisters in Ferrybank, after which she entered the convent. She received her formation at the Novitiate of St. Joseph and Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York. Following graduation, she was sent to teach elementary school in New York City. The school was located on Fifth Avenue, where Sister Gregory could enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day parade as it marched along.
She was transferred to Los Angeles and continued her education at UCLA, earning her master’s degree. She taught at Marymount High School while taking courses in Administration. She became principal of the high school and, after more courses in administration, was appointed admissions officer, then dean and, finally, registrar at Marymount College – her last assignment before retirement.
Sister Gregory also is a trustee emerita of the Marymount College Board of Trustees. She began her service on the board in 1995 and retired in June 2001. Sister Gregory has many fond memories of her days at Marymount College. The fondest, perhaps, were when the College and the community were just getting started.
“I arrived at Marymount College during its early days on the Peninsula, when there was nothing but wide open spaces, little animals and plenty of fog,” Sister Gregory said. “The few neighbors we had were very good to us, and we did our best for them and the community.”
Sister Gregory shared that, as the city of Rancho Palos Verdes was being established and organizers needed a place to hold their big dinner, Marymount College offered its cafeteria. They did the same for a local parish. “When the parish of St. John Fisher was forming, the pastor celebrated the Sunday Masses in the College cafeteria. On weekdays, he used the College chapel. We enjoyed helping our neighbors out. In fact, on Sundays and in the evenings, our librarian would open up the campus library to young adults in the community who were finishing degrees and could not study with young children at home.”
Sister Gregory has witnessed many changes in our campus over the years, changing from an all-girls’ school to a co-educational facility, and then moving from a two-year junior college to an accredited four-year University, offering bachelor’s and master's degrees. One thing that has not changed is the University's commitment to providing a high-quality education to all who seek it.
“In the early days, we had a modest scholarship program,” Sister Gregory shared. “This Gala and the hard work of so many here at Marymount California University have done much to expand and improve it, but back then, we provided limited tuition scholarships to deserving, underprivileged students. One recipient was a young lady who had to take three buses just to get to our campus. She worked for her room and board. She finished her associate's degree and went on to get her bachelor’s from a California state university and then her master’s. Not satisfied with those accomplishments, she studied real estate and is currently living in Orange County and doing quite well, despite the recent recession. She periodically comes to visit me and, I must say, I am proud of her and her accomplishments. Young people like this deserve a chance to succeed and excel. It is our job, our commitment, to see that they get such opportunities.”