Shirley’s Purpose Driven Life

Slide Show of Her Life

Shirley’s Life, Part One

Shirley’s Life Part Two

Shirley Mura McGlinn Induction into the Immaculata Hall of Fame, April 16, 2011

Introduction of Shirley by Bob McGlinn

I feel blessed and honored to present my beautiful and loving wife of 46 years to you as an inductee into the Immaculata Hall of Fame.

Allow me to begin by introducing the many family members of ours who are with us this evening.

Our daughter, her husband and our granddaughter

Maura and Allen Webb, and our granddaughter Eva Louise Webb.

Unfortunately, our son Matt, his wife Lisa and their two children Riana and Josh

Were unable to make the trip because of work and school.

Shirley’s dad Bud Rodgers

Shirley’s sister, her husband and their daughter:

Mary Helen Owens

John Owens

Jeanne Drewery

Shirley’s sister Patty Rodgers

Shirley’s brother Buddy Rodgers

Shirley’s cousins:

Ruth Wright

Bobbie Wildung and her husband Dave Wildung

My brother Dick McGlinn

My cousin Charla and her husband Jerry Reilly

Shirley is a product of the Leavenworth Catholic school system, having attended

Immaculate Conception and St. Casmir grade schools (class of ’58), Immaculata High School (class of ’62) as well as University of St Mary (class of ’66). Upon graduation from IMAC, she received a scholarship to attend St. Mary. Upon graduation from St. Mary, Shirley spent a year at Emporia State in graduate school on a National Science Foundation Fellowship for Biology teachers.

As a footnote, may I add that we were married in August of ’65. So I followed her lead to Emporia to do graduate work in the Mathematics department.

Her graduate education was interrupted in June of 1967 by the births of our son Matt and our daughter Maura three years later. She resumed graduate work in Zoology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1972, received her Masters degree in 1975 and then began work towards a PhD in Zoology and in Educational Psychology. Simultaneously, she worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the SIUC School of Medicine teaching histology.

Her teaching skills were so highly regarded that she was hired as an instructor at the Medical School from 1978 to 1982. During this time she was awarded the “Teacher of the Year” award at the medical school for three consecutive years 1980, 1981, and 1982. This was a remarkable achievement given there were so many highly trained professors teaching at the medical school but it demonstrates vividly how much the students respected her work.

In the fall of 1982, she began teaching in MEDPREP, a department within the medical school, which is a preparatory program for Medical school. It was founded in 1972 as a post baccalaureate prehealth professional program. MEDPREP provides an opportunity, in a supportive environment, for educationally disadvantaged students to hone their skills in preparation for the MCAT test which is key to gaining entrance into medical school. She taught fulltime from 1982 until her retirement in 2009 and has continued teaching part time since her retirement.

During this period she was awarded eleven more teaching awards:

She was voted “Faculty of the year” in MEDPREP for the years 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 by the students. Upon receiving the award four straight years, Shirley asked the students to recognize someone else in the future. The students simply stopped giving the award.

Shirley received the “Education of Minority Youth” award from the Associated Medical Schools of New York in 2007, an award which reaches far beyond Carbondale, Illinois.

Shirley was awarded the Term Faculty Teaching Award in 2007, an award that is open to the term faculty in all of the university’s departments.

Finally, she received the Academy Scholar Award from the Academy of Scholarship in Education at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in 2007.

Additionally, she authored or co-authored 19 journal articles, presented 11 papers and 9 exhibits at various professional meetings around the country.

Shirley also developed the Milestone Ceremony at MEDPREP, which is patterned after the white coat ceremony which is used at all medical schools.

She and her colleague, Evelyn Jackson, became nationally known and respected for the workshops they presented throughout the country on how to prepare for the MCAT test. Their publication in 1995 Meeting the Challenge of the MCAT, also jointly authored by another colleague in MEDPREP, has been widely used throughout the country by students preparing for the MCAT.

I have been privileged through these many years to see the deep respect and love Shirley’s students have for her. I see it in their eyes and sense it whenever I’m witness to their interactions with her.

Allow me to read excerpts from a couple of unsolicited messages from former students sent to Shirley recently:

“You are such an amazing woman and you have an incredible gift as an educator. There have been countless times as a medical student when I have been asked for information or concepts related to Endocrinology and Reproduction and I did not need to find a book or medical journal because I had the knowledge already in my head! Ms. McGlinn, I would never have gotten to this point without you. I am forever grateful to you for what you have taught me.”

“I remember the aha! Moments, the many visits to your colorful office filled with so many pictures and objects, the words of encouragement to “keep going” no matter how disappointing my practice MCAT score was, the emails explaining concepts previously misunderstood – I could go on and on. I also remember a day of honor and pride as I along with Ryan and Kris, presented you with what you deserve: Our humble recognition, on behalf of the students you touched during your MEDPREP tenure, of your years of service to the MEDPREP family. You are a blessing and a true representation of what it means to educate and do it well. I owe you so much.

The testimonies of these two students and the many others I have read express what I have know for many years. Shirley has few peers. She is easily the best I have seen in my 39 years in academia. No one comes close. She has a philosophy and an approach that brings forth the best each student has to offer. That is what a great teacher does!

Allow me a few more minutes as I read a poem, written by one of Shirley’s former students many years ago:

I hope you are as proud of her as our family is. Shirley come show us that smile.

Shirley’s Acceptance Speech

Congratulations to Ed Campbell and family. It is a privilege to share the podium with a man of such distinction.

We should all acknowledge Barbara Ferrara for the tremendous work she does for the Catholic School system in orchestrating this event.

Thanks to the Imac Alumni Board who made the selection. I appreciate the letters from all our friends and family who supported my nomination. It is indeed an honor to be part of the Hall of Fame inductees that includes those who have had superlative accomplishments during their careers at IMAC and have been long standing supporters of the school, like Dick McGlinn, Kenny Kersten, Coach Brown, Tom Fitzgerald, Father McEvoy,Bill, McNamme, Charla and Jerry Riley and other accomplished graduates.

I am humbled to be included in this prestigious group of Imac alums.

I truly believe that no individual achieves alone. Family and school support were major factors in helping me develop a passion for teaching. . As Bob mentioned, I I was fortunate to be able to attend Catholic School from grade school through college.

But It all begins with family.

First of all, my family believed in me. My first inspiration came from my Mother, our Mother, who had minimal schooling. She always impressed upon us the value of a good education. Her faith provided a solid foundation and I share each special moment like this with her. Can I ever pay her back for all she has given?

My Dad, who took on a ready-made family when he married my mom, worked long hard hours, often two jobs at a time to care for his family. Although it was costly, he made sure that I was able to attend the catholic schools.

I have been fortunate to have sisters and brother who supported me with love and pride. The warmth of their love hugs me every day of my life. Knowing how much education means to me, members of my family have recently set up scholarships to help fund college education for Imac graduates. Can I ever pay them back for their kindness?

What many of you may not know is that Bob championed equal rights for women, way before it was the politically correct way to go. He shared the home and family responsibilities with me so that I was able to continue graduate work and eventually fulfill a life-long passion in teaching. For 46 years I relied on his support. Like many of you I was surprised that HE was not the one receiving this honor. Can I ever pay him back for his dedication?

Our children tagged along to the classrooms when I was in graduate school. I remember Maura when she was 5 years old, sitting in an endocrinology class, with her crayons, drawing the professor’s diagrams. Throughout my teaching career I treated students as part of my family. Maura and Matt had to share their mother’s time with hundreds of students who needed assistance, often in the evenings and on weekends. For the sacrifices they made, how could I ever repay our children?

There is no way I could ever pay back my family for all of their support. Hopefully I can continue to pay it forward.

Immaculata High School provided a nurturing environment for students to develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary for life. I don’t have to tell any of you Imac alums about the demands of the teachers in the Catholic School system. My first biology course was a challenge. At midterm I was getting a D. I was devastated. But with encouragement I was able to bring the grade up to an A. The support from Imac plus the inspiration from the nuns at the University of St. Mary inspired confidence. With confidence and foundation received in the schools, that sophomore in high school who struggled through biology, later was able to teach physiology and histology and to be a leader in the curriculum development in the medical school. Can I ever repay those teachers who made it possible?

The teachers at Imac not only challenged me to strive toward excellence but also to dedicate my life to helping others through teaching. My holistic approach to teaching is based on principles learned as a student, when Respect, Responsibility, and Integrity were valued as much as Math, Science and English. Can I pay back Imac for the values acquired?

Perhaps you saw the movie entitled Pay It Forward. It is about a challenge made by a 7th grade social studies teacher to his class: “Think of an idea to change our world—and put it into action.” Hence, Pay it Forward.

But Paying it Forward is not a new idea: John Wooden, the famous basketball coach said “You can’t have a perfect day without doing something for someone who’ll never be able to repay you.”

And Paying it Forward does not have to be a big action: As Mother Teresa said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”

Imac education inspired acts of Paying it Forward under the names of Service, Charity, and Giving to Others.

We were always reminded that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” And “Blessed are the Meek, the Merciful, and the Peacemakers.”

In organizations like the YCS, Young Christian Students, weekly actions included visiting nursing homes and helping the poor.

So years later, it was an easy choice, when I had the opportunity to assist hundreds of disadvantaged students to prepare for medical careers. While many of them were raised in an environment of poverty, violence, abuse, or neglect, these students eventually went to medical schools all across the country. They are now “paying it forward” by providing quality care in areas where good doctors are scarce. Many are practicing in inner city hospitals and in poor rural communities. If I have any claim to fame it is that I was a part of the chain of service, using my passion for teaching to pay it forward.

So the answer to my question “Can I every pay YOU back?” is “NO.” My only hope is to pay it forward.

I would like to conclude with quote from an essay called Compensation written in 1841 by Ralph Waldo Emerson. “In the order of nature, we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them,…. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody.”

So Pay it Forward and Enjoy the rest of the Evening.

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