In Memoriam: Sr. Brigid Driscoll ’54, RSHM, Ph.D.

  • Sister Brigid Driscoll ’54, President Emerita of Marymount College, Tarrytown, participating in the inauguration of Kerry Walk, President of Marymount Manhattan College
Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) is saddened to learn of the passing of Sister Brigid Driscoll, a member for 62 years of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM), MMC’s founding order. She was also an alumna of MMC (Class of 1954), a former MMC trustee, and a Math instructor at MMC’s Bedford Hills College Program, at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, NY. In addition to many other roles, Sister Brigid served for two decades as the President of Marymount College, Tarrytown, MMC’s parent college. She died at Marymount Convent, Tarrytown, on Monday, October 29, 2018 at the age of 84.

She was born Joan Driscoll in New York City on November 20, 1933 to Daniel and Delia Duffy Driscoll. After graduating from Marymount Manhattan College in 1954, she entered the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary at Marymount in Tarrytown, NY, on September 8, 1954. She made her first vows on April 1, 1956 in Tarrytown, where she also made her final vows, on August 25, 1961.

In addition to the BA in Mathematics from Marymount Manhattan College, she earned an MA in Mathematics from Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from The City University of New York. She was awarded five honorary doctorates.

Sister Brigid taught at Marymount College in Tarrytown from 1957 to 1964. She returned to the College in 1967 after completing her doctoral studies, and she served there until her retirement in 1999. She was Associate Academic Dean from 1971 to 1974 and then became director of Continuing Education. She introduced the Weekend College in 1975. This program was one of the country’s first full bachelor’s degree programs that offered adults, most of whom were employed full-time, the opportunity to pursue a college degree exclusively through weekend classes.

In 1979 Sister Brigid was named President of Marymount College and continued in that position for 20 years. During that time she oversaw Marymount’s transformation from a homogeneous liberal arts college exclusively for women to an institution that also served an inclusive population of adult and international students from diverse backgrounds. Sister Brigid promoted the expansion of women’s educational opportunities through programs such as the Marymount Institute for the Education of Women and Girls and the Girls’ Summer Science Program that offered laboratory and other science experiences to girls who might otherwise shun the field.

Sister Brigid served on the RSHM Eastern American Province Executive Board from 1973 to 1976. After her retirement from the college, Sr. Brigid represented the RSHM NGO at the United Nations for two years. Until her recent illness she also worked with LifeWay, an anti-trafficking network, and taught mathematics in Marymount Manhattan’s degree-granting Bedford Hills College Program at the Bedford Women’s Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, NY.

Sister Brigid served on the boards of Marymount Manhattan College, New York, NY; Marymount University, Arlington, VA; Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN; and Marymount School of New York City, as well as the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the New York State Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Westchester Education Coalition, and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, where she also served as a representative to the Consultation in Rome on the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities. She was appointed a consultant to Beacon Institute by Governor George Pataki in 2000 and chaired the advisory committee that developed their initial strategic plan. 

Sister Brigid was living at Marymount Convent, Tarrytown, NY, at the time of her death.

Services at Marymount Convent, 32 Warren Avenue, Tarrytown, NY. Wake Friday, November 2, 4:00 - 7:30 pm, Vigil Service 7:30 pm. Mass of Christian Burial, Saturday, November 3, 9:30 am. Burial Mount Calvary Cemetery, White Plains.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in her name may be made to Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, 50 Wilson Park Drive, Tarrytown, NY, 10591.