Director of Mission Effectiveness Charlotte Rohrbach, ASC presented her February Mission Talk at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center, to an audience that included relatives of the subject of the talk, Marciana Heimerman, ASC.
Rohrbach began with a simple question — "Why was the Heimerman Science Center named for Marciana when she wasn't a scientist?"
The information provided after and throughout the one-hour presentation gave attendees a clearer understanding of this mystery. Rohrbach explained, "Marciana was the first American and non-Italian to be elected American General Superior of the Congregation of Adorers." She served in the position from 1965 to 1975, during a time when many important changes were happening within religious congregations.
Rohrbach also noted that Heimerman came to Wichita at the same time that Tarcisia Roths, ASC was in initial formation. Roths is a 1948 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy, a 1952 graduate of Sacred Heart Junior College and a 1954 graduate of Sacred Heart College who served as university president from 1991 to 2000.
Heimerman had a "true missionary heart" according to Rohrbach, whose mission work included a trip to Brazil working with women of all ages who were coming to join the sisterhood. She kept a record of all her travels on a single page in her bible.
Rohrbach also gave the audience a sneak peek at what will happen with the Heimerman legacy on campus. Within an outline that will resemble the original Heimerman Science Center footprint a special "honor wall" or "mentor wall" will be built.
"Six women who have influenced the sciences, including Marciana Heimerman, ASC, will be on that wall," said Rohrbach. "This will be a beautiful green space and will add some beauty to the campus."
The idea is that the new space can be used for reflection, meditation, or possibly special class time. The outline of the Heimerman building will become a walkway with six stops to include benches which will honor an individual or group.
Rohrbach's next Mission Talk will take place on Wednesday, April 5 and will cover the life of Sylvia Gorges, ASC.