on the Hill


Sister Shari Leaves Lasting Legacy


fter 14 years of faithful leadership to Mount Mercy’s community, Sister Shari Sutherland ’71 announced her plans for retirement.

Originally from Kalispell, Montana, Sutherland came to Iowa and joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1966. After graduating with Mount Mercy’s first co-ed class in 1971, she went on to teach music at St. Benedict School in Decorah, Iowa. She served the Decorah, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Iowa City communities in multiple capacities before joining the Mount Mercy College Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2009. Moving on to another key leadership role at the college, she became executive director of mission and ministry in 2010.

While at Mount Mercy, Sutherland was instrumental in numerous projects. She is most proud of her involvement in providing student activities related to mission and ministry; facilitating the beautiful sculptures of Catherine McAuley and Frances Warde placed on Rohde Plaza, just outside of the Sisters of Mercy University Center; placement of Mercy crosses in most public and classroom spaces; and the connections she’s facilitated between the Sisters of Mercy and faculty, staff, and students of Mount Mercy.

“We are grateful for Sister Shari and all she has done to further the charism of the Sisters of Mercy and Catholic identity,” President Laurie Hamen says. “We will deeply miss her skills, compassion, enthusiasm, grace, and love.”

In retirement, Sutherland plans to work part time as liturgical-music minister at Sacred Heart Life Center.

Effective January 1, 2018, Sister Linda Bechen ’74 will take over as vice president for mission and ministry. ■