National President Emerita, 1981-1987*
Sister Eloise Therese Mescall, Ph.D., Gamma
Born Mary Virginia Mescall on December 20, 1919, Sister Eloise Therese was raised in Los Angeles, attended Catholic elementary schools and St. Mary's Academy. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1938 and received the name of Sister Eloise Therese in honor of her two elder sisters. Sister Eloise Therese earned her B.A. and M.A. in French at UCLA, and joined the Mount St. Mary's College faculty in 1948 where she became chair, a position she held until 1961. Before it was even fashionable, she was interested in multicultural issues, and returned to UCLA and earned a Ph.D. in Romance languages in 1959. Sister Eloise Therese believed that classroom teaching was second only to traveling to learn about the world, and in 1955 she founded a program for undergraduates to study abroad in their junior year. She received study travel grants from the Instituto de Cultura Hispánica, the Mexican and Austrian governments, and the Richilieu Institute, and post-doctoral fellowships at Laval University in Québec and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. A member of many professional and academic honor societies, Sister Eloise Therese served as the Pacific Regional Representative of AATF from 1982-1984. She also received many accolades throughout her lifetime, including an honorary diploma from the University of Madrid, and the title of Officier des Palmes Académiques from the French government in 1975 in recognition of her cultural rendering and strengthening of Franco-American ties. While involved in teaching, traveling, and studying, she also translated not only textbooks and scholarly tomes, but also a four-volume catechetical series from English to Spanish, and edited an Italian work on modernism for Alba Press in 1970. She passed away on May 18, 2001.
Pi Delta Phi thanks to Mount St. Mary's College for permission to reprint some of the information from their article "Adieu, Sister Eloise Therese Mescall, CSJ" The Mount, 19:2 (summer, 2001) 3.
*Estimated dates of service based on available historical documents.