Lory (third from left) with fellow President’s Dinner committee members and Dr. Sinda Vanderpool at a New Years Event.

At St. Mary’s University, the support of our community volunteers plays an important role in our continued growth as an institution. Lory Iovinelli, Calgary Catholic School District Trustee representative, is a dedicated community volunteer who started volunteering with St. Mary’s in 2018.

Lory explains that volunteering with StMU is important to her because she admires the university’s dedication and commitment to student success. She values how all students are equally supported and celebrated no matter what stage they are in. Additionally, Lory notes that each fundraiser, initiative, and event that she has been involved with as a volunteer was intentionally crafted to offer students a wide variety of learning opportunities.

“In addition to the strong faith-based liberal arts and science education, St. Mary’s commitment to social justice initiatives and ethical leadership stand out and make the university a learning institution that I am proud and humbled to represent,” says Lory.

“It is evident that St. Mary’s is not simply a learning institution, but a community of learners and a family,” she adds. As one of our dedicated volunteers, Lory has had the opportunity to take part in many initiatives that raise funds to help support StMU students and their continued success.

One of the largest of these initiatives is our annual President’s Dinner, which Lory has attended for the past five years. This fundraising dinner is very important to Lory, and she explains that at each dinner, students are highlighted, and the tremendous appreciation dedicated to the university is commendable and heartwarming.

“I have been humbled to Chair the President’s Dinner Committee for the past three years,” adds Lory. This year, Lory is serving as chair yet again for St. Mary’s 2023 President’s Dinner. By tirelessly committing her energy to supporting the ongoing success of our students, Lory and all volunteer members of our President’s Dinner Committee are making a difference in the lives of our students.

Lory at the 2022 President’s Dinner.

We would like to thank all members of our 2023 President’s Dinner Committee: Lory Iovinelli, Deanna Hutchins, Jamie Mackie, Kim Yardley, MT Vecchio-Romano and Pamela Rath for donating their time, energy and passion to making this an engaging evening to remember for our community.

The 2023 President’s Dinner is our first with Dr. Sinda Vanderpool, and an opportunity to hear more about Dr. Vanderpool’s detailed vision for the future of St. Mary’s. Hosted at the Italian Cultural Centre, this will be an evening of community, entertainment and delicious authentic Italian cuisine!

Tickets to attend are available to purchase here and all proceeds from the President’s Dinner will go toward supporting the student experience at St. Mary’s and the pursuit of academic excellence.

In addition to being involved with the President’s Dinner, Lory volunteers at the annual St. Mary’s Golf Tournament Fundraiser, attends Community Advisory Committee meetings, Scholarship Awards celebrations, book launches, and the annual St. Mary’s Stampede breakfasts. “Every opportunity to be involved with the University has allowed me to appreciate its value to the community and most importantly to the students it serves,” adds Lory.

Professionally, Lory is currently in her fifth year, second term as a Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) Trustee. This role is incrediblly important to her,​​ as she is a CCSD graduate, former teacher, and the mother of four children who are also CCSD students. The district has always played an integral role in her life.

Because of this, Lory explains that she feels a special connection to St. Mary’s University due to the relationship between the University and CCSD. Many Calgary Catholic graduates become St. Mary’s students, completing their bachelor’s degree at StMU and then enrolling in our esteemed BEd after-degree program – eventually returning to the CCSD district as some of its many award-winning teachers!

St. Mary’s is also important to Lory because faith is an integral part of her life; it’s her strength during times of trouble, hope during times of uncertainty, and joy during times of elation. “God guides us to where we need to be on life’s journey and puts people on our path that become integral to our lives,” explains Lory. “I feel tremendously humbled to serve as a CCSD Trustee, which has opened the door to St. Mary’s and all the lovely inspiring leaders I have had the blessing to meet.”

Lory believes promoting a university like St. Mary’s is incredibly easy and important because the community prioritizes student success, social justice, and ethical leadership while offering a variety of rich learning opportunities.

“St. Mary’s University is a family for students and not simply a learning institution,” explains Lory. “Here students are honored, supported, and celebrated not just by university staff but by an entire community that believes in its initiatives. St. Mary’s University is a gem in the city of Calgary.”