University mourns professor emerita

Catherine Lupori

Catherine Lupori (center) with EVP/Provost Colleen Hegranes (left), VP of External Relations Bea Abdallah and Alumnae Liaison Ruth Brombach '60. Photo by Hilary Stein.

Catherine Pribyl Lupori died on October 13, 2014; born in 1919, she was 95 years old. Lupori was respected and beloved by students for her teaching skill and commitment to women’s education.

An associate professor of English from 1951-1985, and also served served as chair of the English department for nine of those years.

She was the founding director of the Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women's Research, Resources, and Scholarship in 1985 and led the Center until 1994. She was instrumental in the creation of the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities women's studies major, and at St. Kate’s, the women’s studies minor.

Possessing a clear ability to see needs and possibilities and, with characteristic enthusiasm, she was a member of the faculty task force that launched Weekend College in 1979 – the first such program in the region to offer women the opportunity to obtain or finish a bachelor’s degree in a weekend format.

In addition, Lupori chaired the English department and also served as faculty advisor for the student newspaper, The Wheel, from 1951 to 1985. Her visionary accomplishments garnered her national recognition and a profile by the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE).

In an interview with The Wheel, Lupori said, “…As I reflect on what gives focus to my teaching and professional life, I realize it is the intensity of my commitment to women’s education. In a women’s college, the emphasis on women cannot simply be taken for granted, but must be consistently worked for. I have seen my concern for women’s education extend to being involved in the creation of an environment conducive to women’s growth and learning.”

Devoted to reading and to encouraging all to explore expanded points of view and new cultural vistas through reading, she designed “Conversation with Books” in 1964 at the request of the St. Catherine Alumnae Association.

Joined by a variety of panel members, “Conversation with Books” was held annually throughout the Twin Cities and even expanded to other cities in Minnesota, Arizona and Florida. Lupori and CWB fans celebrated its 50th anniversary program in February 2014. Throughout this summer and fall of 2014 she had been guiding the reading for the 2015 "Conversation with Books" program.

She married St. Kate’s Art Professor Peter Lupori in 1958, and they created a life filled with literature and art, attending concerts, plays, lectures, art shows and openings. St. Catherine University faculty and alumnae could always depend on the Luporis to attend and support events and activities. They were named to the "Centennial 100" during the St. Catherine Centennial celebration year, 2005-2006.

Catherine Lupori is survived by her husband, Peter Lupori, alumna daughter Maria Lupori Kaiser ’90 and son John de Thier-Lupori.

Services were held at St. Joan of Arc Church on Tuesday, October 21.

Her last interview with the University's magazine, SCAN, appeared in February, 2014.

By Ruth Brombach