After assuming the presidency in July 1994, Sister Therese led Salve Regina through a dynamic transformation into a highly respected and vibrant Catholic university in the Mercy tradition. Under her tenure, the University community refined its mission and renewed its commitment to integration of the mission’s principles into the life of the community. Local community partnerships were established and solid links were advanced with national and international academic communities.
Sister Therese’s commitment to continued academic excellence helped to advance increased professional development opportunities for the faculty, institute a new core curriculum, encourage visiting lecturers and promote international programs that supported students’ preparation for citizenship in the global community. Volunteer service, established as integral to the University mission for all members of the community, was instituted as a requirement in the undergraduate curriculum.
Sister Therese was instrumental in establishing the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina. The center honors Claiborne Pell, Rhode Island’s longest-serving and most distinguished U.S. senator. Bringing global issues and national and international policy initiatives to the forefront of the University community’s consciousness, activities at the Pell Center serve to inform the community and enhance students’ academic experience.
During her tenure as president, applications for admission increased by more than 300 percent, two successful capital campaigns were completed and the endowment grew from $1.3 million to more than $40 million. Additionally, more than $90 million was invested in the expansion and improvement of campus facilities.
In addition to acquisition and construction of new facilities, perhaps the most visible symbol of progress during Sister Therese’s tenure was the restoration and adaptive reuse of the many historic buildings on the University campus. These initiatives earned numerous awards and national recognition from preservation agencies across the country, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Getty Foundation’s campus heritage initiative.
Sister Therese’s commitment to the preservation of cultural heritage led to the establishment of the Department of Cultural and Historic Preservation at Salve Regina. Her stewardship of the arts encouraged the Department of Art to maintain its high quality and continue as one of a select number of small liberal arts schools accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
In September 2008, to honor and recognize Sister Therese’s service and leadership of Salve Regina, the Board of Trustees dedicated the Antone Academic Center for Culture and the Arts.