Mary Anne Marks, Harvard ’10 -UPDATED

This is really charming, and comes our way thanks to reader Jenny, whose son graduated from Harvard University (motto: Veritas ) last month, with this young woman, Mary Anne Marks.

Ms. Marks, a classics and English joint concentrator hailing from Queens, NY, chose to give her salutatory address in Latin; and manages to be engaging and lively with this “dead” language:

YouTube Preview Image

You can read read the speech, here.

Come the fall, this gifted, confident and serene young women will head to Ann Arbor, Michigan to try her vocation as a Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (aka the “Oprah” sisters).

Lifelong study is a core feature of the Dominican charism (motto: Veritas) and the DSMME’s are attracting many bright stars to their order. Recently Sr. Mary Elizabeth Merriam received her doctoral degree after defending her dissertation in electrical engineering.

Let’s wish the best to Ms. Marks!

Turns out, Mary Anne is one of Deacon Greg’s parishioners!

Meanwhile, another Dominican Community–this time the cloistered nuns of Summit, NJ–welcome a new postulant to join their crowded novitiate!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • shana

    Mary Anne will be marvelous no matter what she does in life! I hope she finds her home with the Dominicans, if God so wills. She should fit right in.

    And congrats to Sr Mary Elizabeth Merriam for her PhD.

  • Clare Krishan

    I recognize isolated smatterings from grade school Latin but the motive behind the felicitous urgency “fervorem animi” evaded me, so I googled and found this:
    link ie receptivity and generosity, in other words a certain feminine genius, sapienta, “ . . . wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” Matt. 11:19

    [I added a link to the translated text, just minutes ago! -admin]

  • dave roth

    Your link to the speech goes to something called Google Docs, which requires a login.

    [Updated -admin]

  • AvantiBev

    Felicitas, Ms. Marks! Your accomplished speech in the language of my ancestors and my Church reminds me of the accomplishment of the first “western” woman to earn a Doctorate, 332 years ago as of tomorrow.


    ELENA LUCREZIA CORNARO, a member of the Piscopia branch of the Cornaro family, blazed her name in history as the first woman ever to be awarded a university degree. Descended from a long line of educated intellectuals, Elena had gained a reputation throughout Europe for her erudition, scientific knowledge and mastery of foreign languages even before she received her degree. Foreign visitors sought her out for demonstrations of her learning.
    On one occasion in 1677 in the presence of the entire College, a great part of the Senate, and many Venetians and foreigners, she held a philosophical debate in Greek and Latin with Giovanni Gradenigo and Fathers F. Caro and G. Fiorello. The demonstration prepared the way for her to receive a degree in theology, but that effort was blocked because of her sex; eventually a degree in philosophy was awarded to her instead, 25 June 1678 at age 32.

    Dott. Elena Cornaro is buried in the Church of S. Giustina at Padua. Among numerous other tributes, she is commemorated by a statue at the University of Padua and in the United States by a stained glass window at Vassar College

  • kmk

    Hope! She exudes hope!

  • Dave

    And without a teleprompter!

  • anniebird

    Perhaps she will be Sister Catherine! Certainly she embodies that beautiful quote, “when we are whom we are called to be, we will set the world ablaze”.

  • Sandra

    Anyone else notice that the gentleman in the top hat and (Our Lady’s) Blue tie not only understood her, but enjoyed her speech?

    And without notes, not even on her hands!

  • Pingback: On the Way from Harvard to the Cloister: A Tribute From the Heart | DeTocqueville's Daughter()

  • David

    Perhaps you could add the old, full Harvard, motto: “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae” (a dative, presumably – of purpose?). The scattering of syllables over the books remind me of Milton’s ‘Areopagitica’, but I have never learned if they are a deliberate allusion to it.

  • Richard A

    That was amazing! There is hope for the future of Western civilization!

    A minor quibble – may she swiftly learn from the Ann Arbor Dominicans the pronunciation of Church Latin. I’m sure she’d be up to it.

  • Alice Gunther

    Wow, that is a great story. As a Queens native, I am especially proud.

  • Rebecca

    I am sure my niece, Kay, will learn a lot from Ms. Marks as well as all the other Sister. My fourth grader just started Latin and this video is an inspiration to continue.